There was much controversy when Platinum games made a deal with Nintendo to release Bayonetta 2 as an exclusive, even though the predecessor never saw a release on any of Nintendo’s consoles. Fans went crazy and the petitions started, but director Yusuke Hashimoto never flinched at the death threats and kept the game an exclusive. The time has come for the game to make its debut and all I can say is that I am very sorry for fans that don’t own a Wii U, as they will be missing out on the best thing to happen on the Wii U, ever.
Much like its predecessor, Bayonetta 2 revolves around the struggle between the Umbra Witches and the Lumen Sages. Disaster strikes Jeanne and her soul has been dragged into Hell. Bayonetta, who does what any Umbra sister would do, sets off on a quest to revive her before her Umbra Clock runs out of time. Along the way Bayonetta meets a young peculiar new “little one” named Loki. Loki doesn’t know much but he knows he needs to make his way to the top of the mountain of Fimbulventr. At its peak is said to be the place where the Gates of Heaven – Paradiso, and the Gates of Hell meet. Bayonetta, now headed to Hell to rescue Jeanne grows a liking to Little One and decides to team up and travel together. Loki has the power of Remembrance, meaning he can see the past in an area and turn it into an identical scenario in the present. Obviously there is more to the story than a simple rescue mission; throw in a masked Lumen Sage who is trying to kill Loki, and a very fabulous glittered man, and you have a gripping story that ties in the events of the first Bayonetta.
If you are used to the original Bayonetta then you will feel right at home with the sequel, the supporting characters are back with all their charm and the weapons and just as crazy as Rocket Launcher Chanel boots. You have most of Bayonetta’s ability from the get go like the Panther Run and the Crow Fly, which speed things up given that the environments and levels are nearly double the size of the first game. Traversing these are a breeze thanks to Bayonetta’s beautiful transition from a heroine to a leaping panther instantly, stopping every now and then to destroy a barrel, table or anything else that might seem to hold an item for concocting.
The world is full of little secrets that are easily missed, these range from portals to the Witch Trials, battle levels similar to the first game where you need to meet the requirement to unlock a heart piece or a pearl, to invisible chests that require you to collect fragments of it within a time limit to form a full chest and earn another treasure. Searching through each area is a must because before you know it you are at the end of the level and have only collected three out of four Angelic Hymns – missing that new epic weapon unlock.
Enemies are just as well thought out as the first title; this time around you have your demonic enemies too, given that half of the game is set in Hell. These enemies are tough and are all designed with a darker, shaper, and more evil look compared to the angels. Your boss fight are on biblical proportions with Bayonetta summoning her beasts to fight in the background while you are taking on the Lumen Sage and his beasts. Overall they all feel authentic and fits into the games lore perfectly.
The combat is the shining star in the Bayonetta franchise and the team at Team Ninja have sculpted Bayonetta 2 into a masterpiece of fast paced, button mashing, intense combat. The combat is just as addictive as the first game, chaining together combos and jumps to result in major damage and a higher score. Taking damage, taking your time, and using items during a combat sequence will lower your score drastically. This time around you are able to climax during combat when your meter is full, resulting in devastating attacks which cripple your enemy, stopping them from attacking you. At the end of a Climax combo you will summon your beast attached to your weapon equipped to deal one last lethal blow. This gives you the advantage at times when the enemies become too overwhelming, and it is nice to see what different types of beasts you will summon with what weapons, like a giant Toad, and a unicorn with a sword as a horn. You don’t lose magic when you take damage this time around also easing the combat.
The executions are also back, triggering major damage to the enemy you decide to execute. The executions are great to watch and all depend on the enemy type and environment you are in. Mounting enemies is also a first in the series, you can get on top of certain enemies and use their weapons and charges to help you in the battle.You can also concoct items at any time in game helping you out in battle, using these items in battle with bring down your grade, but after doing badly for a while you really could not care any less, I mean you grade cannot go lower than stone anyway.
For the first time in the series the game features an online mode called Tag Climax, this mode allows you to replay combat scenarios and boss battles with a friend online. You can only replay them once you have finished them in game, and you can also choose from different characters, each with their own play style. Tag Climax is a new spin on a game with combat this fast and feels like it should have been done in the first place.
The Nintendo touch has also been added to game with new costumes, each changing little features like halos become rupees, and the StarFox costume changes the sequence in the game to resemble a Star Fox aircraft. These are minor touches but they are all executed with perfection.
Bayonetta 2 looks spectacular, it’s not what we are used to on other consoles on the market but it works. The environments and enemies are highly detailed and you will feel like there should always be more to an area given the amount of effort that was put into it. Not one piece of the game was half-heartedly executed. I played through the entire campaign in about 15 hours and I only scraped the surface of things, there are a ton of weapons to find and characters to play with once the game is done, and the Tag Climax will need some attention too.
The Umbra Witch is back and she is better than ever, everything in Bayonetta 2 is twice as fun, sexy, addictive, and polished as its predecessor, the game is just perfect in every way. Wii U owners best pick this up, and if you don’t own a Wii U I think it is time to get one.
Lasting Appeal: 10/10
From age 12 Marco has spent every waking moment playing games, or thinking about playing games. Marco also suffers with gaming FOMO, and so now he is a gaming journalist as an excuse to play everything. He writes for a number of local and international publications.