Bayonetta 3’s Naive Angel Mode Is For Cowards And Fake Gamers
Bayonetta 3 finally has a release date! PlatinumGames’ long awaited sequel is coming this October, with the latest trailer bringing with it plenty of new questions in desperate need of answers. There are new faces, old faces, and even faces being torn to pieces by giant angelic demons bursting forth from the netherworld. It’s pretty sick, with the series losing none of its stylistic lustre in the years since its last instalment.
Our titular character is ‘back and sexier than ever’ according to Platinum, although a new feature has been implemented to accommodate the more prudish among us. Cutscenes and gameplay sequences that have our heroine removing her clothes to summon demons or turn her hair into all manner of deadly weapons can now be covered up with the Naive Angel Mode.
This means you don’t need to feel embarrassed playing the action game featuring a sexy lady saying sexy things to sexy enemies in front of your hopefully not sexy relatives. Given how much of a mommy Bayonetta is to so many people, why’d you want to play it in front of your actual mum? No amount of nude filters are going to change how awkward that would be. God I can imagine the questions now, although my mum already knows I like anime so maybe this will just lower her opinion of me even further. I’ll find out come October.
If you’ve glanced at Bayonetta for even a second in the past decade, you’ll know that she radiates supreme mommy energy. We want her to step on us and she has the capacity to do so – I mean just look at those heels – meaning she has long become a figure of sexual empowerment that goes far beyond the dated sexualisation we’ve grown to used to in this medium. She owns her body, and uses it to obliterate her enemies and showcase how, in any situation, she remains on top. I should know, since I’m most definitely the bottom.
Part of the series’ charm has always been about how suggestive and over-the-top it's willing to be. The first game’s opening scene has Bayonetta’s garb being ripped apart by angels to a chorus of self-aware moans until she reveals her true self and starts cleaning house. It’s wonderfully cringe, but deliberately so in how Bayonetta dances across the screen with a mixture of lewd acrobatics and splendorous attacks that only ever paint her as the star of the show. Once the second game comes around she’s already a queen, having to interrupt her shopping spree to jump aboard a thundering military jet to do battle with her enemies as it soars through a towering metropolis. Yes, these games are a bit silly, and its approach to nudity is an integral part of that identity. Without it, they’d almost cease to be.
I probably sound like one of those people who send me death threats on Twitter who decry when their anime boobs are censored from random video games despite the internet being full of them, outraged that PlatinumGames is bowing to the woke agenda by introducing a mode that hides the boobs and butts from my lecherous eyes. But I think the mode itself is a really fun idea, and is clearly leaning into the series’ reputation further by painting it as something almost entirely unnecessary. Nudity or not, Bayonetta is not the sort of game you’d be playing in front of friends and family who aren’t already aware of its existence, or that the medium ventures into such outlandish territory in the first place.
Platinum is the type of developer to knowingly acknowledge the sexualisation of its own creations. It did so with Nier Automata, and Bayonetta has traded on that perspective since its inception. The lead character is confident, dominant, and clearly aware of her own attraction and how that can be used as an asset to take advantage of men, women, and even monsters that dwell beyond the landscape of our own reality. None of that is being sacrificed with the introduction of Naive Angel Mode, if anything their presence is emphasised further than ever before by it being an option in the first place.
Bayonetta isn’t the gaming mommy we want, she’s the gaming mommy we need. Also, please don’t play Bayonetta 3 in front of your mum. Mode or not, it’s a bit weird.
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