While a sharp dip in quality from mainline, action-packed "Bayonetta" efforts, the isometric, adventure-oriented spinoff "Cereza and the Lost Demon" manages to retain the character's sultry charm while spinning a compelling side story.
PlatinumGames' Switch-exclusive first-party title, released under the Nintendo publishing banner, maintains the series' standard of eye-popping twists and kinetic confrontations.
The aim is to tell Bayonetta's origin tale through the lens of young Cereza - who becomes known as Bayonetta - and her demon, Cheshire. A rebel without a clue, Cereza struggles with typical trappings of adolescent ennui, even being forced to do chores.
She soon breaks free of her humdrum routine to head out on her first significant adventure, which requires managing Cereza and Cheshire in concert to solve puzzles and dispatch enemies.
While past "Bayonetta" games had occasional emotional payoffs, the coming-of-age tale in "Cereza and the Lost Demon" is particularly stirring, focusing on idealism, destiny and the necessity to evolve in the face of devastating loss.
While not as full-featured or robust as the other "Bayonetta" games, this one is a sweet, engrossing side story that fills out the character and adds further to her intrigue. One of gamedom's most fascinating femme fatales gets her due in this rich dive into her past.
Publisher provided review code.