In this admittedly quiet patch for the Nintendo Switch, it's up to Bayonetta and sequel Bayonetta 2 to fill the void. Given that the Wii U didn't sell gangbusters during its tenure, there's a big chance you have no idea what Bayonetta is.
So we're going to give you the lowdown on this interesting action franchise to bring you up to speed ahead of the launch. Here's everything you need to know about Bayonetta and its Wii U exclusive sequel.
What is Bayonetta exactly?
Bayonetta is an action franchise by PlatinumGames, the folks behind MadWorld, Vanquish, and The Wonderful 101. The franchise that it borrows most from though is Devil May Cry, who director Hideki Kamiya created.
If you've played Devil May Cry, Bayonetta is a very similar experience. You battle hordes of foes using a variety of weapons, and pull off outrageous moves using an even more outrageous combo of buttons.
The skill ceiling is just as high as well. Though you can have fun right away by hammering buttons, those who master the various combos and systems will leave bystanders awestruck with their skills.
Who is Bayonetta?
Bayonetta is the eponymous hero. She's an Umbran Witch that draws power from her hair to pull off some extraordinary abilities. Unfortunately, her clothes are made of her hair too, and they tend to fall off as she uses these powers.
She commonly fights with four pistols – two she fires with her hands, and a further two attached to her boots. This allows her to fire bullets at enemies as she kicks them, and to continue combos at range.
What's Bayonetta about?
At risk of providing too many spoilers, Bayonetta takes place in the fictional European city of Vigrid, and follows our eponymous hero as she tries to recover one of the Eyes of the World – two gemstones that help preserve the balance between light and darkness, Bayonetta already has one – and her lost memory, after waking up from a 500 year slumber.
This journey takes you through various realms, from the gorgeous vistas of Paradiso to the fiery pits of Inferno. You'll battle demons and angels alike, as well as a familiar face, on your quest to figure out just what the hell is going on.
How many Bayonetta games are there?
Two Bayonetta games have launched so far, with a third currently in development as a Switch exclusive. The original launched on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back in 2009, and then later on the Wii U alongside the Wii U exclusive sequel Bayonetta 2.
When are Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 coming to Switch?
Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 will launch on Nintendo Switch on February 16th, both on the eShop and as a physical release in stores.
The physical release contains Bayonetta 2 on the game card, and provides a code to download the original Bayonetta from the eShop. This costs £49.99 ($59.99), though you can buy both Bayonetta (£24.99 / $29.99) and Bayonetta 2 (£39.99 / $49.99) separately.
Should I play Bayonetta or skip it and play Bayonetta 2?
Well, there are arguments for both, and it really boils down to how much you value a game's story.
If you're the sort of person that skips cutscenes in favour of action, and are only really interested in playing the best game in the franchise, shame on you. We're just kidding, you can probably skip straight over to Bayonetta 2 then because it's a lot tighter than the original.
However, if story is your jam you would be doing yourself an injustice by skipping the first. Start there if that's you.
It's also worth noting that the original Bayonetta is a bit trickier than Bayonetta 2, so it might actually work in your favour to play the second first.
If you're asking our opinion, we'd recommend you play them in order because that's how the developers envisioned it.
How long are Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 and how replayable are they?
Bayonetta clocks in at around 11 hours, while the sequel ends after just shy of 10 hours. That's a pretty decent length for a single player adventure.
However, both of these games are immensely replayable. Not only is there a bunch of secret stuff to collect, like Hidden Verses, but the combat is designed to be replayable thanks to the score system.
When you first start playing, you'll happily hammer your way through hordes of enemies and pick up a bunch of stone awards. As the game progresses, you'll start getting better and your scores will pick up.
Once you've completed it, you can play the game all over again and try and get better awards than you did on your first run through.
Is it worth getting Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 on Switch if I have them on Wii U?
The only new piece of content is a local and online multiplayer mode called Tag Climax. It's kind of like horde mode, and you can choose to play as a variety of characters from the games.
According to Digital Foundry, there are some minor visual improvements as well, while the performance has been drastically improved. It hits 60 frames a lot more often and doesn't drop quite so much during more intensive scenes.
How much storage space will Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 use up if I grab the digital versions?
Bayonetta is 8.5GB while Bayonetta 2 is 12.4 GB.
Is HD Rumble supported?
HD Rumble is supported in both Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 and, according to reviewer Dom, it helps with your timing of dodges and ups the intensity of the action.
Are any amiibo supported?
Yes, you can use amiibo to instantly unlock costumes based on a few Nintendo characters. These include costumes based on Link, Princess Peach, Daisy, Samus, and Fox McCloud. We assume that all amiibo of these characters are supported but we'll have to wait until the final release to confirm.
What's in the Bayonetta Special Edition and how much does it cost?
The Bayonetta Special Edition is a real treat. It still includes the physical Bayonetta 2 game card and the download code for Bayonetta, but in a gorgeous steelbook no less. It also comes with a bunch of themed stickers and verse cards. All of it comes packaged in a lovely box too.
The Special Edition costs £69.99 and is, rather sadly, exclusive to Europe at this time.
Japan, however, is getting an even better version of this called "Non-Stop Climax". This includes the same stuff as the European version but, rather oddly, also includes a physical copy of Bayonetta. This will set you back 9,980 Yen (£63 / $88 approx.)
When is Bayonetta 3 coming to Nintendo Switch?
We don't know. All that's been announced so far is that its currently in development as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. It was announced at the Game Awards 2017, along with a teaser trailer.