Bayonetta dev: High degree of difficulty not always good

Platinum Games is known for its roster of hardcore, unforgiving, sometimes brutal games, and Bayonetta itself was promised to be a “sadistic” experience. Curious to find out just how hard Bayonetta will be (as opposed to how hard Bayonetta makes me), I asked Platinum producer Yusuke Hashimoto how the team is currently approaching the upcoming game’s difficulty levels.

“Because Bayonetta is a game for action fans who are looking forward to a real challenge, we paid the closest attention to the adjustments for attack and defense,” he explains. “I think a game which just has high a degree of difficulty is not always good. The most important thing is to be able to cater to gamers of all abilities so you’re not making the game inaccessible to people who’d want to play it.

“We prepared an ‘Easy Automatic’ mode for users who are interested in playing Bayonetta but aren’t very good at action games, or maybe haven’t even played one before. There’s several different difficulty modes so whatever your skill at action games is, you’re sure to find a mode that suits you.” 

One problem I have with a lot of Japanese action games (as much as I adore them) is that they often spend so long focusing on making a game simply “hard” that they forget to include any other important design elements. It’s great to see that Platinum understand that difficulty isn’t everything, and that the game has been built so that anybody can enjoy it. Both the inhumanly hardcore action junkies and the spineless casual chickenbabies get to enjoy themselves, and that’s a compromise I think we can all endorse.

Jim Sterling