Of course this is pretty late but I've been getting back into Bayonetta to try and find all the remaining secrets and try to get Platinum awards in more of the chapters. Here are a few thoughts.
This game relies too much on the dodging mechanic and there are too many moves. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all for move variety and all that sweet stuff but I'm having trouble, in the heat of the game actually figuring out how to do each move. Sometimes, a move will just start by mistake and its animation would keep playing for too long, leaving in the wrong place at the wrong time and forcing me to cancel the move or getting hit.
A perfect example of how the dodging mechanic and the too-great number of moves conflict with each other. Bayonetta has a move in which she turns into a panther of some kind. It's used to move super fast around the environment. The problem is that this move is activated by pressing the dodge button twice. And since there is so much chaos going on on-screen at the same time, to make sure I dodge an attack correctly, I end up tapping the dodge button multiple times. Often, I end up turning into a panther and running away from the enemies. Bayonetta then ends up too far from the action to retaliate, even if the dodge was timed correctly.
Speaking of having too much chaos on-screen, sometimes there is so much stuff going on - be it special effects, weird camera angles, etc... - that it becomes difficult for me to see an attack coming so that I can dodge it. Often, I just step in, deal a few hits or dodge, step back and repeat. Just jumping in to the fray and perform dodges while fighting at the same time is out of the question. Every time I attempt this, I get hit.
It seems to me they tried all they could to avoid confusion - because there are special effects to warn you, there are sound cues and all of that - but to me, it still end ups being kinda confusing.
Now in Devil May Cry 3 - 4 it was fine. Because the dodging/blocking mechanic was not part of the mandatory set of moves. You could get through the whole game without using Royal Guard at all. But even so, in DMC3-4 it was much easier to read the enemy attacks since there wasn't as much stuff going on on the screen.
One other thing I still prefer about DMC3-4 is that the missions are quite short and that makes them less frustrating to attempt to beat your score or get a S ranking. If you fail, trying again isn't so bad since you don't spend that much time playing through the mission itself. In Bayonetta, the chapters are huge! So when you get to the end with a disappointing ranking, re-attempting the missions is discouraging because it takes forever to get to the end of the chapter. Also, correct me if I'm wrong but when playing through the chapters to get a high ranking, you NEED to re-attempt the Secret Missions (Alfheim) too to secure a high ranking. This makes the whole process even longer and more discouraging to re-attempt since they take time and sometimes they are really tough to complete or perform well in.
Also, I find that the point system is confusing. In DMC, you have a big bright D, C, B, A, S, SS or SSS appearing in the corner that lets you know you are fighting with style and that you get more points. In Bayonetta, not only do I never get the time to take a look at the combo meter, but I'm not sure I really understand it. It's too complex to actually read how good you are doing in the heat of the battle. (The battle itself is already over-crowded with effects and stuff)
Anyway, I still think that Bayonetta is a great game. It's just that, for the reasons mentioned above, I don't think it tops Devil May Cry 3 or 4. DMC's challenge is still more clear and consistent to tackle and it's less frustrating. Bayonetta's presentation of its battle is sometimes confusing and makes it hard for the player to master it and attempt to perform for a high ranking. Again, don't get me wrong. I see the depth. I see the mechanic. It's there. It's awesome. But it's too crowded for me to keep up sometimes. : P
I'm still playing though ( :