Ever since Bayonetta 2 was announced, I was extremely excited. I followed every shred of news and every tidbit of footage Nintendo would offer because this is a series that has quickly worked its way into being one of my favourite series of all time. Sure, the path to making this game was turbulent, since Sega dropped Bayonetta and other studios wouldn’t pick the game up. Luckily, Nintendo came in and funded the game, thus enabling the sequel to the best action game out there. Fans of the first Bayonetta will not be disappointed, this is a game that knows its audience and doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is: pure, unadulterated fun. The goal of the game is to be zany, over the top and just enjoyable. Nothing in the story mode was tedious to me.
With that in mind, there are a few things that could have been better. I won’t talk about the story, we know it’s going to be silly, not a lot of character development and likely to not make a lot of sense, but who cares! Play something else if you want story. The voice acting was a little iffy at times, but Hellena Taylor does a wicked job as Bayonetta. You can tell she just has a blast. Finally, and this is less of a flaw and more of something I have noticed, is that the game doesn’t have as much humor as the first. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a tongue in cheek outlook to the game, but I feel like the first game had me in stitches whereas this one had me amused for the whole game. I feel like this is in part because of Loki. He’s not as funny as Cereza, the first game had little Cereza calling Bayonetta ‘Mummy’ much to her dismay, and she would just be silly and adorable with her Cheshire car.
The humor is still there but I think a lot of it is when referencing the first game, like when Bayonetta meets the Lumen sage and says “The last one I met rambled on for 20 minutes”, referencing the end battle in the first game where a sage talks and talks and talks, while wearing a peacock. Perhaps since Bayonetta 2 pays so much homage to the first game, it makes me remember the first one being funnier. There are a lot of throw backs, the game starts in a similar way with Bayonetta fighting on crumbling buildings while being blasted from above by giant angels. The ending is reminiscent of the first which is great for fans of the series, everyone gets back together at the end, Jeanne and Bayonetta are back fighting angels together, and they’re just a very campy family that’s being reunited and will get into many more shenanigans in the future.
Despite the homage to the first game, they still improve upon the gameplay, which is important because the combat of Bayonetta is its bread and butter. Quick, responsive actions, making you feel unstoppable. A perfect dodging system that rewards you with a few seconds of free attacks. Many weapons that are just silly. Chainsaw hands? Sure! Better yet, put them on your feet and skate around! The developers never miss an opportunity to make things as zany and fun as possible. Battling on top of a moving jet, check, Mecha Robot fighting, check, awesome boss battles, check! From fighting Demon Dragons, giant Sword Wielding Titans to brilliant battles versus a sage who rivals Bayonetta, so your fight versus him keeps you on your feet because you’re both so quick, which can be very exciting. This game has it all, and does it better than anyone else.
The improvements in the game lie in making things a little more fluid. It’s easier to change weapons in game and in combat, as well as accessories. This just helps make a great game better. Also, the game makes every battle and scene memorable. It’s all crazy, fast paced and over the top. What is a normal battle for Bayonetta could be a boss battle for lesser games. Everything is grand, flashy and exciting. I beat the game recently on Normal and couldn’t wait to go back and beat it on hard. I will likely do everything in the game, it’s all so accessible and doesn’t get old. The game is very replayable, so you can get your money’s worth. With Co-op (a brilliant new addition), bonus missions, many new weapons and characters to unlock, and even trials to complete is you want to test your skills, you will never be left without anything to do. Plus the game comes with the first one, so you are really get a lot of value for your $.
Buy this game. That’s all I can say. It’s brilliant and it should be used as an instructional tool to teach people in the video game industry. There needs to be more games like this. Not everything has to be so serious, gritty and overwrought, sometimes you’re just allowed to have a great time without pondering the bigger questions. Sometimes I like a game that makes me think, and other times I just want to destroy demons and angels with my whip feet or with my hair. The game looks beautiful on the WiiU, I played the first one on the Ps3, so this is a vast improvement. It may not be cutting edge graphically, but everything looks so pleasing and they spent a lot of time on Bayonetta’s model. I enjoy her new look, I like it better than how she looked in the first game (no longer will people compare her to Sarah Palin). This game has it all and then some. It did not disappoint, and the more I play it, the more I consider it to be better than the first. Its few flaws pale in comparison to what it does right. Great music, amazing combat, funny dialogue and just pure blissful fun. I can only hope that there’s another in the future…
– Marty X