Two games I never finished have been repackaged, remastered and released as a solid double package.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of my brief time with both Bayonetta (2009) and Vanquish (2010) but it was at a point in my life when video games ebbed out of my radar for a good 2-3 years.
This is the kind of remaster I love the most. When forgotten (to me, anyway) heroes resurface, kicking you in the teeth for even daring to underestimate them, and giving me a second wind. And though the twin package was released before this whole messy COVID-19 situation, it’s clear that this is one of the most valuable releases for isolation right now.
Why? Well most obviously is the fact that you get two full games for (less than) the price of one. The other has a lot to do with just how immersive these titles are. They don’t have the hyper-realism of modern AAA releases, but they’ve been touched up just enough to complement the wall-to-wall, more-is-more action to truly absorb. And that’s going to be important over these next few months; playing through gaming worlds that suck up your attention while the actual world you’re living in right now is in tremendous pain.
For those who have played through both before, this bundle sparks a bit of a friendly debate on which title was actually the best. Bayonetta has obviously gotten more attention over the years, thanks to its unique tone and (superior) sequel, but the no-fuss muscle of Vanquish wins me over every time.
The juxtaposition between both is played well by PlatinumGames. Vanquish, a futuristic third-person shooter, offsets the eccentric acrobatics of Bayonetta, which is better described as a highly effective beat ’em up in the same vein of Devil May Cry. Ones brims with personality and a relentlessly gorgeous soundtrack, the other furrows its brow and pits you up against tough-as-nails giant robots.
Both are challenging, brutal and are defined by their considerable speed. Three very important qualities when we’re talking about the high level of immersion. Across both, speedy and heavy gameplay has been lifted for modern console gaming, playable at 60fps in 1080p on the PS4 and Xbox One (4K if you’ve got a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X). The action is fluid and the cut-scenes are impressive. If you’ve played neither, this very affordable purchase is a no-brainer.
Unlike most bundles, collectors may be left wanting a bit more as there’s no extras included. No documentaries or concept art. That’s a bit disappointing for those who are already members of the cult following each game has built individually, but luckily the gameplay more than makes up for that.
I’m definitely not complaining, getting to re-visit two games I’m now slapping myself for not finishing in their original forms. Being able to play those with a hefty visual upgrade certainly helps as well, making all that dense action run without issue so I can forget about all this real-world nastiness for awhile.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Highlights: Two games, less than the price of one; great for distracting myself from COVID-19 news; fluid fast-paced action; great juxtaposition between two cult hits; both have great replay value.
Lowlights: Missed opportunity not including extras for fans; while the graphics have been updated, models could have been worked on a bit more.
Platforms: Playstation 4; Xbox One
Availability: Now / $59.95 AUD