First Impressions of Nintendo Switch’s Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon

Title: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: March 17th, 2023
DEMO Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo announced a demo for the Bayonetta spin-off, Cereza and the Lost Demon which became available Wednesday, March 8th. I have played the entire demo and am here to share my first impressions.

Image Credit: Nintendo


Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a, well, origin story of everyone’s favorite Umber Witch. This “prequel” is an adventure game structured much differently that Bayonetta 1 through 3 where you play as Bayonetta when she was a young girl. It is told like a story book with gorgeous illustrations on pages punctured in between gameplay. Bayonetta is the daughter of a union between a forbidden love. Her father was banished and her mother was imprisoned. Bayonetta resides on the outskirts of town, honing her magic in order to save her mother.

In a dream, she meets a mysterious boy who tells her to find a white wolf in Avalon woods. There, she will find the help she needs.

Image Credit: Nintendo

Bayonetta teams up with a demon that she summons, and it takes form in her stuffed Cheshire cat. The demon is a cantankerous being that wants to return to the Infernal world. Although Bayonetta summoned it, she does not know yet how to return it. So, the demon begrudgingly travels with her until she learns how. This sets up an adorable dynamic between the two. A witch with a demon-possessed stuffed cat? Count me in.

Image Credit: Nintendo

Also, Platinum drops breadcrumbs of Bayonetta lore, like how Umbra Witch powers that flow through their hair. It provides wonderful background for the franchise.

Image Credit: Nintendo


The art style and music stands out. Little Bayonetta is adorable, and the storybook aesthetic with bright watercolor brings a fresh look into the franchise. Bayonetta fans may not be used to it, but it could draw in new fans who are drawn to games with gorgeous art and whimsical sound. I felt like I walked into a fantasy tale.

Platinum takes an interesting approach on gameplay. A large chunk of the demo consists of the “story telling” side of things where an image is painted on a blank canvas while a narrator reads you a story. You simply press A to advance. It does go by slowly, but you can advance the text quickly if you’d like.

You learn the controls during Bayonetta’s dream. You can walk and interact with the environment. The intro extends after she wakes up and runs chores for the witch that watches over her. You can perform magic through a dance with ZR, and that is still something I’m getting used to because you must follow a rhythm with the L stick. It got to the point where I opted to have the game automate that portion.

Image Credit: Nintendo

Gameplay expands as you enter the forest and Cheshire the demon joins you. You can control Cheshire with the right controller and Bayonetta with the left. While Bayonetta can temporarily bind an enemy, Cheshire can attack and slash it. At first, I was hesitant on controlling the pair at the same time, but it worked smoothly, and later you learn to call and recall Cheshire.

There is a strong puzzle element as you proceed through Chapter 2 in the forest. For example, Cheshire cannot pass through rosemary plants, so you must manipulate both characters to cross to the other side. You can also craft potions as you discover them.

Image Credit: Nintendo

The demo ends as you confront a mysterious phenomenon–where it appears the air itself is fractured. In the words of Bayonetta:

Image Credit: Nintendo


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Overall, the demo Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon provides a clear picture of the type of game it is. It is visually stunning, presents with lots of charm, and has solid gameplay, but I’m still uncertain on whether it can maintain my interest. The pacing is slow, but I am taking into consideration that the demo is the beginning of the game. It’s important to know that gameplay is not like the mainline games. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon‘s greatest challenge is standing out in a stellar year of games and capturing the right audience.

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