Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 31.03.2023

Review for Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon on Nintendo Switch

Announced in 2022, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a spin-off of the mainline Bayonetta series created by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo. This very different title would seek to explore Cereza's life preceding her Bayonetta moniker, giving fans of the witch another avenue with which to experience the world. This time however it's a much more child-friendly entry, how does it hold up to its more mature action siblings?

Cereza is a young and inexperienced witch. She is trying to rescue her mother from prison before she is moved away to somewhere Cereza will no longer be able to reach her. The crime for which she was arrested is her relationship with a Lumen sage, the keepers of light, when she is an Umbran witch, a keeper of darkness. Cereza, being somewhat of an oddity with her heritage, is essentially exiled from the witch hood. She gets taken in by a well meaning but stern master, which is where players come into the fold. They take control of Cereza as she undertakes magical training with the goal of summoning a demon servant. With this failing initially, Cereza ends up with a demon living inside her "Cheshire" doll. This results in a very interesting game to play as will be explained later! The story takes off from here with unusual dreams, faeries and a mysterious forest. The overall atmosphere and presentation of the story is great, with really lovely fairytale and storybook vibes that are super relaxing to experience.

Screenshot for Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon on Nintendo Switch

First of all, the visual design is wonderful, every element of the game is painterly and uses very cool, muted-yet-vibrant colour schemes. Various parts of the game have differing designs that make them stand out against the otherwise watercolour-y looks. Character designs are also stylised in a lovely way with huge eyes and distinct outfits accentuated with thick outlines. This extends to the enemy designs that, while not hugely varied, very clearly show what kind of attacks they will throw the player's way. Magic uses lots of particles and animation work is sublime with Cereza using ballet dancing to cast her spells. When this combines with the sound design, which is also excellent, it creates a very comfortable atmosphere that, while far removed from the mainline Bayonetta series, fits the game perfectly. The music is sublime, every song uses very nice instrumentals and the game's main theme is written in Irish Gaelic, leaning into the whole folklore and fairies feeling.

Screenshot for Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon on Nintendo Switch

Gameplay brings to mind games like Brothers: A tale of two sons. This is because players actually control two characters at a time, both bound to separate control sticks. The left joycon is Cereza and the right is Cheshire, the demon that possesses her stuffed doll. The main gameplay loop is focussed around smaller combat challenges and using a variety of skills to traverse the environment in search of collectables. It takes a while to adjust to using the two analogue sticks in this way but once it clicks the gameplay flows really well, especially when Cheshire and Cereza have their own paths to follow. Traversal has some extra moves that can be used in "hug" mode where Cereza carries Cheshire in its original toy form. She can extend him out to attack objects or throw him up to ledges to circumvent blocked roads.

Screenshot for Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon on Nintendo Switch

Combat is played to each character's strengths. Cereza is not a fighter at this point in her life so her role is to support Cheshire in battle by freezing enemies and interacting with various things. Cheshire, who is controlled via the right joycon, is the brawn of the operation, offering simple combo based fighting that can be extended with some skills. Battles, as with Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, take place in arenas where enemies must be defeated to progress. Some of these are quite difficult and are required to progress in the story.

There is quite a surprising depth to the game with a basic starting skill set that can be expanded as the game progresses, RPG-lite as many call it. Buying skills is achieved by collecting two separate collectibles available during traversal, as battle rewards and for completing challenges. It's a great accompaniment to the action-adventure gameplay.

Screenshot for Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The fairytale trappings, characterful music and wonderful story make Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon an absolute joy to behold. It is an odd partner to its more mature main series but it's very welcome. Its painterly world is a wonderful place to explore. A thoroughly fun and endearing game that is highly recommendable to all Nintendo Switch owners.

Developer

Platinum

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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