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First Impressions: Bayonetta 2

Posted by Anthony John Agnello

Kiss kiss, bang bang

Really, Bayonetta 2 isn’t that far outside of Nintendo’s wheelhouse. The creators of Nintendogs and Wii Fit may like to play it family-friendly, but come on — there’s always been a playful, almost kinky side to Nintendo, games with just the right amount of dirtiness. Look at ol’ Jimmy T. making it happen in WarioWare, hitting the disco after getting his chest waxed (if that open shirt is anything to go by). How about the GameCube-exclusive Capcom joint from Shinji Mikami, P.N. 03, whose star Vanessa Z. Schneider shakes it like a belly dancer in some crazy chic future? Or perhaps Captain Rainbow? And lest we forget, the faster Samus defeats those space pirates, the more casual her attire. Good! Nintendo fans can deal with a little perversion it would seem, and Bayonetta 2 arrives just in time to kick the kink into the Wii U saddle.

When last we caught up with Hideki Kamiya’s wild witch, she was tearing up angels and doing five minute long dance numbers to celebrate her hard won victory on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. These days, she’s still fighting those angels but a few things have changed, and it’s not just her new Girl, Interrupted haircut. In the little one-level playable demo Nintendo showed at E3, Bayonetta had access to two sets of weapons. Her old guns, Scarborough Fair, are back and fixed to her hands and feet as before. New is a dual-katana and whip combination that lets her strike bad guys in wide, sweeping slashes and arcs. Dodging just before an enemy hits you still sends the action into slow motion, and filling up a meter lets you unleash a series of super moves in quick succession.

Even on Normal Difficulty – offered alongside Easy and Very Easy modes – all of these combos fall into place a little quicker than before. Banging away at the punch and kick buttons with little discipline ended with a combo-finishing killer move, where Bayonetta’s hair forms a giant spectral heel or fist to slam her enemies down. These moves required tight focus and precision in the first Bayonetta, but now the inputs are smoothed out. Dodging is also more forgiving, allowing a wider window for you to slide into slow-mo Witch Time than ever before.

Angel slaughter isn’t the only thing that’s toned down a note. A little kink goes a long way, but developer Platinum Games poured in two more scoops than necessary in the first go round. That game’s camera never missed an opportunity to linger on the main character’s posterior and crotch, and when she did those signature hair attack moves, her cat suit disappeared down to little more than pasties and a thong. Bayonetta 2 doesn’t shy away from showing some skin, but now those manoeuvres leave Bayonetta at least wearing the equivalent of a one-piece bathing suit. The restraint’s appreciated, too: The brazen mugging for the camera was less sexy than it was just tiring. Now, the Bayonetta attitude feels slightly more dignified. Slightly. That helps the action and spectacle of the set pieces shine and draw you in.

And does it ever. If you like that special blend of Platinum Games spices, Bayonetta 2 has it in plenty. Bayonetta crushes angels while standing on the back of a fighter jet as it speeds through a downtown city before meeting up with her erstwhile rival Jean. Then she leaps onto a passing train and fights a monster as it crushes the machine car by car. Some monster knocks Jean’s soul right out of her body then drags it to hell, and Bayonetta sprouts wings to bash the beast as it scales a skyscraper. It’s gaudy, dumb and joyously entrancing in its wash of colour and speed. Take note: Platinum Games is pushing the Wii U hardware to the most interesting visual places. If you want to show a friend that this is a capable machine, show them Bayonetta 2.

Graphics aren't everything, though. All visuals need to do is suit the action and story they’re meant to frame, and Bayonetta 2’s accomplished that masterfully in this fun-size portion of the game.

The question now is whether Platinum Games can keep all these elements in perfect balance and harmony over the course of an entire adventure. Bayonetta was a great title, but it was also too indulgent in its excesses. Too pandering with its sex, too grindingly taxing in combat and just too excessive with its story. Nintendo and Platinum are already promising more, more and more for this game, from multiplayer modes to touch controls and other features.

The sexiest thing about Bayonetta 2 at this point is its comparative restraint. It’s a happy thing that Nintendo’s got its kink back. Now let’s see it stick the landing.

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User Comments (72)

Akira_1975

#1

Akira_1975 said:

Never played the first one. Not sure what to expect. Either way, I'll hate waiting until 2014 to find out.

Ralizah

#2

Ralizah said:

Wasn't a huge fan of the first one, but I'm glad it's still exclusive.

JMC

#3

JMC said:

I loved the first one (played on the PS3) and this is my most anticipated game on the WiiU!

Akira_1975

#6

Akira_1975 said:

As interesting as this game looked, I still got more excited by "X". In either case, these will be launch day purchases for me.

bunnyking

#7

bunnyking said:

Looks like the original Devil May Cry but with a different protagonist, I'm stoked. Gotta wait so long though :P

Sensei_Sendai

#9

Sensei_Sendai said:

Bayonetta 2, Monolith Soft's X and, if what Nintendo says holds us, Legend of Zelda U look set to be the true next-gen titles that show that the Wii U does have some good power behind it, nowhere near what the PS4 and Xbox can muster, but still worthy of being a Next Gen Console.

Looking forward to this sooo...sooo...much. Bayonetta 1 was brilliant and this is just looking to be more of the same, but pumped up to the next degree.

EDIT: Just want to add, when have Platinum ever made a bad game. The Wonderful 101 and this are two of my most anticipated games, especially since I won't be getting a next-gen console/Gaming PC for a long while.

DualWielding

#10

DualWielding said:

Not my type of game, but I think this is one of the few titles announced that can be gamers beyond the core nintendo faithful to the U... It's just bad for Nintendo that it would not be available at the holidays, they really needed it this holiday season

banacheck

#11

banacheck said:

These moves required tight focus and precision in the first Bayonetta, Dodging is also more forgiving,

Hmm so it's been reduced to nothing more than a button basher, and even dodging has been nerfed. I knew Bayonetta would get some changes, luck i still have the original as it looks like i'll be passing.

Actually the PS3 version was patched by capable devs, luckly PG now knows not to let others port for you cough Sega cough...

DiSTANToblivion

#12

DiSTANToblivion said:

So you say SM3DW and DKCTF are more playing it safe and same old same old, yet you say this is promising? Isn't this more of the same? Consistancy please...

digga

#13

digga said:

this is easily the best game to be shown so far for wii u,, by miles ,, mario kart and mario sell consoles but come on,, there always the same,, good but always the same,,, this is the game i wish was coming out asap it looks terrific

Zodiak13

#14

Zodiak13 said:

@digga Super Mario Galaxy is the same as New Super Mario Bros?? Mario Kart Double dash is the same as Mario Kart Wii?? Don't get me wrong I will be getting this game, but most action games feel the same to me. Although I do get kinda what your saying, it is dufferent than standard Nintendo platform fare.

MAN1AC

#15

MAN1AC said:

I expect this to be epic just like the first one.
Waiting until 2014 sucks though.

Ren

#16

Ren said:

Kinky and Nintendo? it's like saying Tetris is super violent and graphic. Nintendo is historically farther from kinky than RuPaul is from straight.

MrWalkieTalkie

#18

MrWalkieTalkie said:

This game makes me ponder why so many developers don't like Wii U's graphical capabilities. It looks good enough for just about anything! But no, just because something else out there can do the same with a little extra power everyone must abandon Wii U and go develop for other, slightly more powerful devices.

Buduski

#19

Buduski said:

Never played the first one, but seeing all the crazy fight scenes this is definatley a day one buy for me as well as X and Smash!

ouroborous

#20

ouroborous said:

awesome, cant wait to try this as it sounds like it might even be better than the first

sinalefa

#22

sinalefa said:

Never bought the PS3 original, so I am not sure I will be getting this one. Watching the gameplay trailer, I found it quite disorienting with so many things on screen at once. But hey, I am still supporting PG by getting 101.

Emblem

#23

Emblem said:

First one was great and very innovative, those boss fights were just crazy! Honestly you can't go wrong with platinum games. I still think they should have released Anarchy Reigns as a Wii U launch title, the sales bombed on X-box and PS3 because it just wasn't generic enough (For the X-Box/PS3 crowd) and was released against stiff competition. I'm just hoping they haven't written off the Mad World/Anarchy Reigns series because of it.

Official Mad World 2 Wii U exclusive, make it happen!!!

ScorpionMG

#24

ScorpionMG said:

@digga Never Say Mario Games Are The Same, Never Say Mario Kart Games Are The same, and don't tell me Mario Kart 8 didnt Blew Your Mind When You Saw It.

smashbrolink

#25

smashbrolink said:

@banacheck Being more forgiving doesn't automatically mean easy mode. You're putting the cart before the horse merely for the sake of being a harsh critic.>_>

Melkaticox

#27

Melkaticox said:

"Bayonetta crushes angels while standing on the back of a fighter jet as it speeds through a downtown city before meeting up with her erstwhile rival Jean"

>Jeanne

Melkaticox

#28

Melkaticox said:

Also...

Awww, Bayonetta isn't completely naked anymore when she uses her magic? That's sad. I wanted to see more boobies...

rjejr

#31

rjejr said:

Im not a great videogame player and I dont recall the first game being that difficult. Not a cakewalk, and some of the bosses were a pain, but thats why they're the bosses.
Played on the PS3 after the patch and it was fine. Not fine before the patch though.
I liked the story much more than the DMC games, though it was a bit confusing at least they tried.

Very excited for this one.

Shambo

#32

Shambo said:

@MrWalkieTalkie i don't think power is a point here. both others are almost equal, and need no extra programming for special controls/off-tv, just porting... it's simply semi-understandable laziness and wanting the most money for the least work. that's two systems covered for the price of one-and-a-half.
semi- understandable, since i believe that if i were a developer, i'd love experimenting with nintendo's unique capabilities.
so let's hope wii u sales pick up a lot more, so they can't simply ignore the fact that there's three next-gen systems. i believe exclusivity over games like this can help that cause.
then again, wii had quite a few exclusive hidden classics, and i hope wii u will get that same treatment in that perspective.

WaveWarlock

#33

WaveWarlock said:

I love everything about this game but the gameplay. :p It looks like a bug nuts amplified Devil May cry on anime acid without the prestine, tight and kinetic skill. Instead, it looks like it's gravitating towards being a giant hack & Slash button masher... I also found the original Bayoneta demo a little overwhelming with her abilities and movesets...It seemed, i don't know, too accessible, do as you please? i don't know. i had a hard time finding it's groovey-man groove!

NMH-TRI

#34

NMH-TRI said:

This game looks amazing! Day 1 for me. Enjoyed the heck out of the 1st DMC and enjoyed the heck out of every Platinum game that I've played. Keep sprinkling in variety like this Ninty. It suits the system well.

Araknie

#35

Araknie said:

@DiSTANToblivion With your statement all games must be new IPs because there's no space even for a 2nd installment in any series.
And in any case this is done on a new platform with a different style of gameplay and a classic, SNES improved, button system, not on a Dualshock 4 that it's only an add-on version of the first or the Xbox One Controller that isn't even worth consideration because of the console. (and also because is specifically bulit for shooters, they admitted that during the E3 conference with a proving video)
Think before you speak.

Kirk

#38

Kirk said:

I dunno, maybe it's me but this game just looks like a mess of stuff happening all at once, both visually and in terms of gameplay.

It also looks like you're just doing the same thing over and over; bashing some attack buttons repeatedly and killing wave after wave of enemy with no real time to explore, mess around, take a break, think or basically do anything else other than bash buttons and kill enemies.

I might just not quite "get" the game or something but I'm just not sure I'd enjoy playing it in the slightest.

Also, the main character looked better with longer hair.

I guess it's just not my kind of game.

Varia01

#39

Varia01 said:

I would play this if I could, because it looks FUN, but Bayonetta will never replace Samus.

Varia01

#40

Varia01 said:

Partially surprised to see that Nintendo published this, due to the nature of the game. :O

Nintendo4Lyfe

#41

Nintendo4Lyfe said:

Bayonetta 2 is ultimately a MEGATON of fun on the Wii U. Full HD, 60 fps, two different gameplay methods, and 2-player co-op! Nintendo and PlatinumGames have ultimately pushed the envelope in more ways than one. When this game launches next year, I'm gonna buy it!

Pikachupwnage

#44

Pikachupwnage said:

Bayonetta 2 is running at 1080p 60FPS and looks gorgeous. I think itmcould handle MGSV just fine.

Rod64

#48

Rod64 said:

I would only buy this if they release Bayonetta 1 as a $20 eShop download first.

DiSTANToblivion

#49

DiSTANToblivion said:

@Araknie Actually I don't mind sequels at all. I really like the look of both Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. What I was talking about was that the writer of these impressions seemed to dismiss SM3DW and DKCTF for not being any different, which they actually are. He then says that Bayonetta 2 looks promising, yet when I looked at the footage, it looked no different to the first Bayonetta. I thought he sounded sort of hypocritical.

I wasn't aware that the game actually played different though, thanks for letting me know that. I'm liking the looks of most the games Nintendo showed off, but just dislike that people are still picking apart things like Mario and Donkey Kong as it's not what they wanted to see, instead of seeing the games for their strengths. Tropical Freeze may look to be a little similar to Returns, but is that really a bad thing? Not at all. But the writer here made it seem like it was the worst possible thing ever.

Dvazquez5138

#51

Dvazquez5138 said:

@DiSTANToblivion After trying out DCK:TF and SM3DW at the Best Buy events, I'd say that they're sure-fire hits. Both looked beautiful and colorful in person, with DK providing a great challenge and Mario was super fun in the 4-player co-op. They're super polished and I dunno how this dude could think Nintendo is trying to play anything safe.

DiSTANToblivion

#52

DiSTANToblivion said:

@Dvazquez5138 Oh I wish I could've been over there to play the demos. Here in Australia we have little to no Nintendo exposure, it's pretty sad. In fact they are really pushing the XBone in shopping centres everywhere here over everything else.

dumedum

#53

dumedum said:

"why this game not on playstation and xbox, not faaaiiir, bwwwwaaaaa". LOL. Very happy with this game.

Peach64

#55

Peach64 said:

@Dumedum Do you even realise the irony of your comment? I'd say 75% of all NLife comments these days are crying that a game isn't coming to Wii U.

I picked up Bayonetta because of the Edge 10, and while I could see it a great game, it's just not for me. I find the whole demonic thing boring. I enjoyed Metal Gear Rising a lot more despite it not being as well made as Bayonetta.

MAN1AC

#56

MAN1AC said:

I just hope this and TW101 sell decently and this isn't one of those situations where Nintendo fans are happy its an exclusive but don't support. Platinum is one of my favorite developers and I'd love to see them make more Wii U games.

Haywired

#57

Haywired said:

It'd cool if they released a special edition package with the first game, for those Nintendo gamers who missed out on it.

Blue-Thunder

#58

Blue-Thunder said:

For me to part with 60euro for this game, I would first have to get a serious bump on the head.

CasuallyDressedStaff

#60

CasuallyDressed said:

This is one of those games that I'd probably love, but would die of embarrassment if one of my non-gamer friends saw me playing it.

BlackStar9000

#63

BlackStar9000 said:

@Sensei_Sendai you already have a Next Gen Console, its called Wii U, if we treat it as next gen and respect it for what it is then it wont matter that it cant do what a PC or PS4 can do.

B3ND3R

#64

B3ND3R said:

@CasuallyDressed Don't worry about non-gaming friends! It can't get much worse than being asked if Shin Megami Tensei IV is the "next Pokemon game"... Plus, the only thing I'd be concerned about is if my girlfriend walked in during the.. er... nudity-inducing "climax" attacks.....

krunchykhaos

#66

krunchykhaos said:

@Retro_on_theGo says the guy that doesn't even know what the wiiu can do. MgsV looked awesome but it didn't look that much better than current gen. I'm fairly certain the WiiU can handle it. Look at the deus ex directors cut. That's not far off.

krunchykhaos

#67

krunchykhaos said:

@Varia01 do you remember any of nintendo's earlier games? Namely the Super Nintendo, n64 and GameCube. Nintendo before the wii was definitely in the mature market

Ren

#69

Ren said:

@krunchykhaos
Nintendo has never been anything like part of a 'mature' market, it barely exists with consoles at all and if it does Nintendo is the last machine to be part of it (as in sexual content). Golgo 13, Conker, 007games? Hardly a watershed of content in gaming. If you're over 8 years old you've never looked to Nintendo for sexual content.

Pod

#71

Pod said:

Didn't ever play the first one. Didn't have any platform that ran it, and I didn't hurry over to a friend as I never was a fan of the art style or its heritage, the Devil May Cry series.

I hope it finds an audience on Wii U. I heard many people complain with Monster Hunter that they didn't want to buy the console for "just one game." I'm expecting to hear lots complaints along the same lines when Bayonetta 2 hits.

Varia01

#72

Varia01 said:

This game has incredible artwork ideas! Bayonetta's suit and the creatures she fights all look nifty and well-detailed. :O

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