Game Reviews

Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle Review

Two of Platinum's best circa 2010.

by William Schwartz

The year-long time period between the Fall of 2009 and 2010 was a big one for Platinum Games.  The newly formed studio that consisted of industry veterans from Capcom released two games that fans consider to be some of the best work done by the studio.  The success of Platinum Games and their early offerings shouldn’t have taken anyone by surprise.  Those industry veterans were Hideki Kamiya and Shinji Mikami (developers on Resident Evil & Devil May Cry respectively).  Platinum Games had the minds responsible for two of the most beloved game franchises of all-time cooking up something new.  Better yet, they had a partnership with SEGA that allowed them to develop what, at the time, would be considered risky games from a business standpoint in Bayonetta and Vanquish.

Those risks did work out.  10 years later and they’re still selling copies of these two games, and most recently, this 10-year anniversary bundle that we’ve recently taken for a test spin.  You can find our thoughts on both Bayonetta and Vanquish in their original forms as we reviewed these games when they launched.  Not much has been changed when it comes to mechanics in Bayonetta or Vanquish.  What was 10 years ago, still is, though both games have been touched-up for modern consoles with higher framerates and resolution.

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Bayonetta remains one of my favorite games of all-time.  It’s one of the first games that I reviewed when starting Attack of the Fanboy way back when.  The original Bayonetta is an action beat-em up with an undeniably weird, overly sexualized main character and equally odd story.  While at the same having some of the best combat and gameplay the genre has ever seen.  I’ve played a ton of these types of games in the 10 years since Bayonetta came, including the sequel to the original on Wii U. To this day I still think Bayonetta is the best game in this genre.  It will remain in my Pantheon of all-time favorite games, and sits at the top of the action, beat-em genre up for me.  It’s got the insane scope of something like God of War 3 whose spectacle is only outshone by the flawless execution on the gameplay front.  I cannot say enough about how good I think Bayonetta is, and having a reason to go back and play it is never a chore.

There’s really not much new to see here though.  If you played through either the original game or the 2017 remaster of Bayonetta you’re really not missing much.  That remaster was for the PC though, so if you’ve been waiting for the remastered Bayonetta to come to consoles this is a good spot to see it in all its upscaled glory.  10 years later, Bayonetta is still an absolute must-play if you’ve never done so before.  On the Xbox One X, where we took the 10th Anniversary Bundle out for a spin the game played about as well as it did on PC.  If you’re doing a side by side test you might find some improvements on the PC version of the game, but it’ll pass the eye test.

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When it comes to Vanquish, I looked at this opportunity to play it again in this 10th anniversary bundle as a spot where perhaps I could re-evaluate the game.  I didn’t like it in 2010.  Turns out I still don’t really like Vanquish.  I get what people do like about it, but it didn’t resonate with me a decade ago and my tastes haven’t changed enough for me to have a change of heart.  Just about everything I said in my original review is precisely how I still feel about the game.  It’s awfully short, with a frantic pace to the cover shooter gameplay that was prevalent circa 2010.  Though with replaying Vanquish there is the added bonus of it being a remaster.

Vanquish has been brought up modern standards when it comes to frame rate and resolution, but Vanquish doesn’t feel quite as timeless as the other part of this combo.  Unlike Bayonetta, which feels like a flawless upgrade, Vanquish doesn’t come off so cleanly.  Vanquish doesn’t necessarily have timeless art direction, like Bayonetta.  Instead, it looks a lot like many cover shooters looked during this period.  They kind of all looked like Gears of War and Vanquish will still remind you of its inspiration 10 years later.

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Like Bayonetta, Vanquish was also remastered on the PC in 2017.  We didn’t play that version there, so it’s hard to say if it stacks up to that version of the game.  Regardless, both Vanquish and Bayonetta are probably best played on the PC, but these new Xbox and PlayStation versions are a close second.  You will pay a bit of a premium, however.  The two new games in the 10th anniversary bundle are more expensive than their PC counterparts coming in at either $39.99 for the bundle or $24.99 a piece.  Both Bayonetta and Vanquish are available on PC for $19.99 each.  So should you buy it and are the new console versions of the game worth the price of admission?  I would say yes.

There are some downsides to the collection though.  For one, you can’t go on to play Bayonetta 2 unless you also have either a Wii U or Switch.  So there’s that.  With both games there’s not much replay value either.  You’re getting about 15-16 hours worth of old school game here, meaning there’s far less fluff or busy work to do that you’ll find in modern games.  They’re both straight forward experiences without downloadable content or grindy progression that artificially inflates the length.  Depending on what your personal level of game time for dollars means will determine whether this is a good value or not.  Still you are adding what many consider to be modern classics to your library, and the origin story of Platinum Games if you will.

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The Verdict

Whether you’re looking to add a couple of classics that you’ve already had the pleasure of playing to your library, or if you’ve missed out on either one of these titles, they’re definitely still worth playing.   My personal opinion is that Bayonetta holds up a little better than Vanquish, but both are pretty much still timeless modern classics.  With the whole package you’ll get a diverse gameplay offering with the unique combination of style and substance that Platinum Games has become known for.

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Bayonetta & Vanquish 10th Anniversary Bundle

  • Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Published By: SEGA
  • Developed By: Platinum Games
  • Genre: Action
  • US Release Date: February 18th, 2020
  • Reviewed On: Xbox One
  • Quote: "With the 10th Anniversary Package for Bayonetta and Vanquish you'll get a diverse gameplay offering with the unique combination of style and substance that Platinum Games has become known for.  "
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