Bayonetta 2 (Wii U) Review

By Albert Lichi 29.10.2014

Review for Bayonetta 2 on Wii U

Bayonetta was a cult hit when it first came out on the Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms. Its burlesque hero and over the top action was a huge assault on casual action game enthusiasts. Never the less, Bayonetta found her devoted audience, and over time more people discovered the game. When it was announced that Bayonetta 2 would be published exclusively by Nintendo on its Wii U platform, many people were perplexed by this. The fact of the matter is Nintendo is the only reason why Bayonetta 2 exists today, and because of Nintendo, Platinum Games has crafted what could quite possibly be the heavy weight contender for the 2014 Game of the Year.

Bayonetta 2 is Platinum Games' first sequel ever and this would be the first time that it would have pressure to outdo itself. With the original fan favourite director, Hideki Kamiya, only serving as supervisor, the reigns would be passed on to first-time director, Yusuke Hashimoto. Yusuke Hashimoto and his team had a lot going against them with the ever-present controversy that follows Bayonetta's sexy style, to the fact that Nintendo is the exclusive publisher, and that the director had never directed a game before. Bayonetta 2 is by far the boldest game Nintendo has ever published. It is a very intense and relentless action game that demands much from the player and lives up to the original Bayonetta legacy completely unfiltered. It is so hard to believe that this game even exists.

Screenshot for Bayonetta 2 on Wii U

Like its predecessor, Bayonetta 2 is a third-person character-action game with an emphasis on combat, stringing together combos, dodging and generally being as huge a show-off as possible. What makes Bayonetta 2 stand out from other action games is its depth of its combat mechanics and systems. Bayonetta has a move list that is longer than most fighting games if one combined every fighter together as one character. The fan favourite "Witch-Time" - or dodge offset - makes a glorious return and still proves the genius of the minds that make up the Platinum Games team. The risk-reward dynamics of landing a dodge just at the right moment in the heat of a frantic and furious battle demands a calm mind and spirit. The satisfaction of the feedback when successfully activating Witch-Time is like the feeling of Hideki Kamiya giving the player a brain massage. With Bayonetta now handling even faster and more responsive than before, many of the more complex moves are more fluidly expressed. The various means of cancelling and juggling that more advanced players will look forward to will be right at home in Bayonetta 2 due to the absurd amount of depth.

A very special mention must be made about the enemies of Bayonetta 2. Yusuke Hashimoto previously worked on Bayonetta as the enemy/monster designer, but in Bayonetta 2 he is performing double duty as both director and enemy/monster designer. It cannot be expressed how important it is for these types of games to have interesting opponents to fight. In the first Bayonetta, many of the enemies were mostly humanoid. In Bayonetta 2, however, they run a much wider gamut of shapes and silhouettes, some of which are totally asymmetrical. Stingrays, centaurs, octopus-like angels and even demons will be throwing down in the brawl. Expect a few surprise visits from some classic mainstays, too, like Beloved, and even the much feared Grace and Glory make a surprise visit in Bayonetta 2. Even not counting the few returning enemies from the first game, Bayonetta 2 still has more new than it does old. Yusuke Hashimoto truly does care about his monsters, and that care is very apparent with how varied and interesting each enemy is.

Screenshot for Bayonetta 2 on Wii U

The visuals and art direction are just what fans have come to expect from Platinum Games. Wrought with details and exaggerated animation, the style is consistent with the original, as well as having more natural looking 3D models and effects. The frame rate is very consistently running at 60fps, with not a single instance of screen tearing. With so much activity on screen sometimes it can be challenging for some players to focus, but if the user is diligent, they won't have too much problem earning a pure platinum rank.

For newcomers, the action on screen might be overwhelming but that should not discourage those who dare to be the best. While in some aspects, Bayonetta 2 is a little easier than the first game, like completing side skirmishes in the portals, the team at Platinum Games made the game harder in other ways, such as sneaky enemy tactics, generally having to fight much larger mobs than before, and having human-sized boss fights that are much faster paced and even way more intense.

Screenshot for Bayonetta 2 on Wii U

The story of Bayonetta 2 is very much strongly connected to the first game. It is a gracious and generous move on Nintendo's part to include the original game due to how these titles are intertwined, like how Back to the Future 2 was connected to the original film. The first Bayonetta wasn't planned to have a sequel, so when Hideki Kamiya came up with a story it is a scenario that redefines certain characters and puts them in new light from what is expected from them. Without spoiling too much, it is safe to say that Bayonetta has now become a very fleshed out and three-dimensional character. Rodin gets more screen time, too, in this outing, and even fights with Bayonetta on her excursion to Hell. Just like before, there is a hidden character to play as and does play quite differently from Bayonetta, as well as has the character model appear in cut-scenes!

Bayonetta 2 also has an online co-op mode. It is far more robust than one initially would expect, with various characters to unlock, all of which have their own unique quirks and differences that define them. Challenge can be increased by betting the in-game currency; the higher the bet, the harder the match. The winnings can be used to purchase story mode items or weapons, or even costumes for Bayonetta's expansive wardrobe. There are even more post-game weapons to unlock and discover here, some of which are Bayonetta's classic weapons from her first game! The amount of content in Bayonetta 2 is staggering to say the least. This game definitely has much more content than the original and will be remembered as one of the greatest games that Nintendo has ever published.

Screenshot for Bayonetta 2 on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

10/10
Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

Rated 10 out of 10

Bayonetta 2 is a thin-air miracle. With so much going against this game, like the fact almost every other publisher passed on it (including SEGA), it was pure providence that Nintendo stepped in and saved the project and gave Platinum Games all the creative freedom they wanted. The fact that Bayonetta 2 has all the same strengths that the original game has, has none of its weaknesses (Route 666), and looks fantastic proves the ingenuity of the designers when working with the Wii U hardware. Players will learn what it means to get good in the finely tuned difficulty - a game that dares the player is a game that brings out the best of the player. This is a seriously hardcore action game with the visual fidelity and genius game design that will be a very hard act to follow for many other developers. The nigh endless depth of the combat engine in this game is so full of possibilities and options, it is like staring into the graces of heaven itself. Bayonetta 2 is the nirvana of the character-action game genre and is one of the greatest sequels ever made. It is doubtful that there will be a better game this holiday season. Bayonetta 2 is a Game of the Year contender, which comes extremely recommended.

Developer

PlatinumGames

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Brawler

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (8 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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