Bayonetta 2 is getting increasingly close to its arrival on Wii U, and when you throw in the inclusion / release of an updated Bayonetta, albeit in different deals per region, it could be enough to keep Nintendo gamers busy for a good while from October onwards. It's easy to forget, too, how big an impact the announcement of the sequel's Wii U exclusivity had back in 2012, and both Platinum Games and Nintendo will be hoping that the hype and buzz will help the new game to strong sales.
Speaking to CVG during E3, Bayonetta 2 director Yusuke Hashimoto explained a little more about the project and the working relationship between Platinum and Nintendo. Perhaps unsurprisingly he was positive about the experience, explaining that his team has worked with a degree of freedom but also learned from feedback and assistance.
I feel that it's important to let your creativity flow and Nintendo has been able to provide us with the freedom to do what we had originally envisioned. We were able to have a lot of back-and-forth between Platinum Games and Nintendo and they were able to provide objective feedback; 'Maybe that's a little too much', or, 'maybe you should try this'. I feel that was really good and helped push Bayonetta 2 to even higher quality.
We started out with a fundamental freedom, with Nintendo telling us to go and create the game as we saw fit. But as the game started to take shape and we were starting to put all the pieces together, they were able to point out some things that we didn't realise ourselves. That was really helpful for us.
The release of an updated version of the original Bayonetta was one of the most pleasing reveals of the LA event, meanwhile, as it'll allow Nintendo gamers to enjoy both titles in the correct order. It has Nintendo-themed outfits for Samus Aran, Princess Peach and Link included — by the request of Hideki Kamiya — and Hashimoto-san has also teased that more outfits will be included that are yet to be announced. The goal was clearly to take advantage of the system rather than do a rough port, as seen with the inclusion of touch screen controls and, intriguingly, gyroscope controls.
During the development of Bayonetta 2 we had a discussion with Nintendo about how great it would be to offer the ability to play Bayonetta 1 on the same console, which is how it happened. Of course it had to be a perfect port, but on top of that we wanted to add some additional, fun features that we wanted to see such as new costumes.
We added the new costumes that I mentioned, as well as touch screen controls. We also added support for gyro sensors - I can't really divulge where we use them, but they're in there. As far as the port work is concerned, it's never easy to port to any system, but as we were developing Bayonetta 2 we became very familiar with the features of the Wii U so it worked out OK.
Once you ship a game for a piece of hardware, you get to know it very, very well. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to do so with Wii U.
As this sequel had to be 'saved' by Nintendo, it's likely that the fate of the franchise will necessitate strong sales, though Hashimoto-san is eager for the series — going beyond one game per IP is relatively rare for Platinum — to continue further. He's also keen that it remains a partnership with Nintendo.
Whenever we create a new IP it's always very challenging, and so as a game developer I feel that whenever we are able to successfully do that it's really important to be able to nurture it. That's what the company wanted to do with Bayonetta and also there were a lot of people who wanted to see a sequel to the original game.
I personally also wanted to create a second game as well. It's because these expectations for a sequel matched that this game came about. Should the opportunity arise I'd definitely like to keep nurturing this franchise. It might not be me [directing], but should somebody else take over I would definitely be there to support and help just as Mr. Kamiya has for me. Though there's a chance I could direct in future as well!
...In terms of nurturing the content of this game, there's a lot that we learned from Nintendo and if possible we would love to do it again and keep nurturing our child.
Are you excited about the Bayonetta games coming to Wii U? Is it a series you'd like to see continue into the future on Nintendo hardware? Let us know.