Bayonetta (Wii U) Review

By Albert Lichi 28.10.2014

Review for Bayonetta on Wii U

When the original Bayonetta came out, Devil May Cry 4 had already set the standard in the fast character-action genre quite high almost two years prior. Hideki Kamiya was in an interesting situation, considering he created both Bayonetta and Devil May Cry, where he was competing with something he started. While Devil May Cry 4 had its strengths, the mark left by Bayonetta was so profound, it cemented Platinum Games and Hideki Kamiya as legends of the industry for their signature style and bravado in game design. The waves that Bayonetta made are still felt today with games that drew inspiration from its intense and over the top action, like Asura's Wrath, Blades of Time, and, amusingly, DmC: Devil May Cry. Why is Bayonetta so hot? Cubed3 reveals all...

When Nintendo announced it was porting Bayonetta to the Wii U and was in fact bundling it with the highly anticipated sequel, every single fan rejoiced. Not since Nintendo ported The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (complete with the Master Quest) to the GameCube as a free pre-order bonus for anyone buying The Wind Waker has there been such an unprecedented act of generosity. How does the Wii U port of Bayonetta stack up against the PS3 and Xbox360 versions, though? While it has none of the weaknesses that affected the PS3 conversion, it does run comparable to the original Xbox 360 version, except with a few minor flourishes and bonuses that make Bayonetta on the Wii U the best version beyond a shadow of a doubt. No screen tearing, an even more stable frame-rate, there are even Touch Screen options for Wii U users so they can play Bayonetta in a completely new way that is almost like playing an iPad game.

On top of the extra fidelity, Bayonetta on Wii U also comes with a few extra Nintendo-themed costumes for Bayonetta to wear - Samus Aran, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, and Link. The best part is that these costumes are more than just cosmetic extras; they also affect the gameplay and come with their own unique quirks. Using the Link costume, for example, will automatically give users the ability to parry without having to purchase the accessory that costs a whopping 20k Halos. Dressing up as Samus makes Bayonetta switch out her Scarborough Fair for the famous hand-cannon, complete with sound effects and it even comes with the morph-ball instead of the panther-form. There are a bunch of other neat little details and bonuses in the Wii U port that illustrate how much Nintendo cared about making sure it pleases everyone, but some should be left as surprises and will not be spoiled in this review.

Screenshot for Bayonetta on Wii U

The gameplay in Bayonetta is still some of the most refined character action in the genre. Being able to switch weapons mid-combo and land wicked weave attacks (giant hair weapons) is still very gratifying and never gets old. This is a game with a high skill ceiling. The dodge offset or "Witch-Time" is still one of the most gratifying moves to pull off in any game. When successfully landed, Witch-Time grants players a brief moment where the surrounding enemies go into a slow motion state, allowing players an opportunity to really pummel an angel. Players could drop over 40 hours into Bayonetta and still be learning the intricacies of the systems and nuances of the combat mechanics. Bayonetta moves very fluidly with very fast punches that feel snappy and weighty kicks that have an appropriate oomph to them. She also gets a wide variety of weapons, such as the fan favourite Shuraba, which is a fast katana with wide melee reach, and the Kulshedra, which is a whip that is great for crowd control. There are many other very interesting weapons to discover and equip.

Other than Bayonetta herself, it must be said that her enemies are the other stars of the show. She fights some of the wildest and most outrageous divine abominations that descend from the heavens. Each one is very distinctive with its own pattern of behaviour and visual tells that indicate the best opportunity to dodge or parry. Some angels are enormous behemoths that fill the screen; others might even be quadrupedal and more animalistic. The main event of Bayonetta is, of course, the bosses. These battles are true tests of skill of the game's systems and will usually have different phases, too. There are so few games out there that can match the intensity of these boss fights, but a special mention must be made for the final boss, which is probably only matched by other releases developed by Platinum Games.

Bayonetta is a masterpiece, but it is not flawless. The few blemishes it does have are some things like a few quick time events that require very precise timing and result in failure if the player is off. Gamers can continue right away and try again but it all feels so unnecessary for a small bonus that is so risky and destroys what could have been a perfect score for the level. There are also a bike riding levels that while visually exhilarating, does not interest that much in terms of gameplay, and they tend to drag on for quite a while - easily the lowest point of Bayonetta.

Screenshot for Bayonetta on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Daring, challenging and balls to the wall outrageous, Bayonetta on Wii U delivers the definitive action extravaganza. Despite a few obnoxious quick time events and one tedious level, Bayonetta still holds up today as it did years ago when it first debuted. Even against its contemporaries like Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge or DmC: Devil May Cry, which came out years after and had the opportunity to improve on what Bayonetta had established, but failed, Bayonetta stands tall and casts a huge shadow on the competition as one of the greatest action games of all time. With such demanding action, it can almost be physically exhausting to keep up with the game and how the few fleeting moments of peace can feel so generous. It is almost unfair how competent and skilled Platinum Games is at developing action games like this. They have set the standard so high, that they ruin other seemingly good action games and make them look quaint.

Developer

PlatinumGames

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Brawler

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop

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