The notoriously tough Famitsu has reviewed Bayonetta and awarded it a rare perfect 40/40 score.
Bayonetta joins the prestigious category with 11 other games Famitsu has deemed perfect throughout its’ publication history. Whilst this might have little effect on Western gamers, Japanese gamers are known for taking note of what Famitsu says when it comes to its reviews and you can be sure Sega are going to emblazon that score on the case.
However, I find it hard to believe Bayonetta is really a ‘perfect’ game. It has been gathering praise in previews but nothing near granting the idea of a 10/10 score. A quick look at the previous games Famitsu deemed worthy of the rare 40/40 mark shows something interesting:
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
2. Soulcalibur (1999)
3. Vagrant Story (2000)
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003)
5. Nintendogs (2005)
6. Final Fantasy XII (2006)
7. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)
8. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
9. 428 (2008)
10. Dragon Quest IX (2009)
11. Monster Hunter Tri (2009)
12. Bayonetta (2009)
The last six games to receive the top score were all released in 2008/2009. Either games are suddenly becoming amazingly better than anything the previous 20 years has produced (doubtful) or something has changed within Famitsu itself.
Perhaps they have just become more lenient or had a change in reviewers who tend to score higher than their predecessors. The cynical part of me suggests that really Famitsu have some sort of the marketing/financial deal with some of the publishers of the games.
That’s not to say the games aren’t very good, because they are excellent games. But, the gaming magazine business has been suffering for a while now and they are finding it harder to turn a profit. What business minded CEO wouldn’t grant a top score in exchange for a bucket load of a cash? Of course, there may be nothing to it but it’s certainly an interesting point.