Originally posted by Ninja_Kn1ght:
In gameplay terms, it's fantastic. The director, Hideki Kamiya, invented the modern action game with Devil May Cry then went on to work on the awesome Viewtiful Joe. Bayonetta takes the best of both of these and raises everything to the next level. The mechanics are well-refined and Platinum Games' experience with the genre shines through. It's what DMC4 should have been.
The plot is mostly perfunctory, some silliness about witches and alternate worlds. I'm more interested in the little flourishes of detail PG have hidden in every corner. It's full of subtle references to hardcore gaming memes and Platinum's back catalogue that never fail to make me crack a knowing smile.
As for the art style:
Bayonetta's design is certainly extremely sexualised but not necessarily in an exploitative way. She might not look like a real woman but then neither do male characters like Marcus Phoenix or even Dante. Bayonetta is empowered by her sexuality and she she wields it with confidence. If you look at the women that are traditionally called out as examples of positive female role models in games, Alyx, Heather, Jade,they all tend to be a little tomboyish and thats fine, but there's room for more.
Bayonetta's a very strong female lead character, which is still a rarity in games and by being so unashamed of her femininity she may be one of the best.