Quick post today because of upcoming holiday. The Bayonetta 2 demo was released for the Wii U on Thursday, and I, like many others, have had a chance to see if Platinum’s latest outing matches up to the high standards put in place by their original game. The original Bayonetta, is, in my opinion, the greatest action game ever made, nudging out Devil May Cry 3, but a narrow margin. But that was awhile ago, and we all know how sequels can completely ruin things – just look at Devil May Cry 2. The jury is still out on whether Bayonetta 2 manages to hold its quality all the way through, while throwing in lots of good ideas, but the demo does fill me with a certain amount of confidence.
To start, despite the new controller and the potential to actually use the Gamepad, Platinum has seemingly declined to involve Nintendo’s unique input device into core gameplay. This is a good thing. The original Bayonetta had extremely tight gameplay, which has not been tampered at all here. To some, this may be seen as stagnation, but, in reality, the real innovation in gameplay will come from the different unique weapons Bayonetta will find and employ. From Japanese previews and reviews I’ve seen, it seems like the various weapons are more balanced this time around, which is a definite plus. Though it’s been a while since I’ve played Bayonetta, it didn’t take long into the demo before I was able to regrasp the system. There’s still the amazing witch time, slowing down combat when you preform a perfect dodge. And executing a successful combo will end with a satisfying giant boot or glove beating down the enemies. All of the old trappings like torture attacks still work, and provide a battle system that makes most other games drool.
Graphically, the game looks great. I have a hard time judging how much an improvement it is, since I played the PS3 version of the original, which suffered from muted colours and bad textures. But it overall looks great. It’s clearly superior to the version I played, and the scope and scale of the game has been greatly enhanced. The demo takes place in the opening portions of the game, and already you’re fighting on a fighter jet while monsters fly around and try to destroy the city. The scale is utterly impressive. Though I doubt the intensity will be kept up the entire game, the intro was a complete joy to play through, even if I ended up with a dismal silver ranking.
For those wondering if Bayonetta’s story was going to de-crazy itself. Well, there’s absolutely no risk of that. It’s hard to tell whether Bayonetta’s amazingly awful story is a plus or a minus. It makes no sense, the characters don’t develop in any way that is logical, and there are huge exposition spews all over the place. On the other hand, the insane writing meshes so well with the insane combat, character designs and environments. The whole thing is just insane fun, which makes the story seem charming in that B movie kind of way.
Anyway, Bayonetta 2 looks like it will deliver on the promise of the original. I’ve been fooled by demos in the past, but the buzz out of Japan seems good even if nobody’s buying it over there. In all, it looks like Nintendo will have yet another exclusive that will put the majority of games on either other current gen system to shame. Will it help Nintendo move Wii Us? Unlikely. But it’s another feather in their cap, and that has to mean something.