Review Bayonetta 2

Written by Twisted Ideas

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Our favorite Sarah Palin look-alike makes her triumphant return as a Wii U exclusive. The over-the-top action brawler with one of most unique characters from the last generations is ready to take down even more angels and demons. Is was the long wait worth it?.

Bayonetta2boxart  Bayyonetta 2

 Developer: Platinum Games

 Publishers: Nintendo, Sega

 Platform: Wii U

 

What is it?

Ceraza, better known as Bayonetta is an Umbra Witch. She recently regained her memories of the past after having fought wars against the angels and demons.

On what seemed like a normal day for Bayonetta dragging Enzo around shopping, the city it attacked by angels. Unimpressed she fights back and Jeanne fight all across the city. Unexpectedly one of her demons goes out of control, taking Jeanne’s life. Jeanne’s soul is dragged to hell and Bayonetta heads to Inferno to save her. Along the way meets a young boy with mysterious powers who is being hunted by angels and a Lumen Sage.

How does it play?

Bayonetta 2 is a third person hack and slash action game comparable with the Devil May Cry series. Bayonetta has an over the top design and visuals with Bayonetta having guns on her feet and summons monsters with her hair.

Bayonetta starts only with her guns on her arms and legs but you unlock new weapons throughout the story. You have two weapons sets where you can mix and match weapon combinations and can switch between on the fly. You fight with a series of punch and kicks combo strings plus specific analog inputs. Many combo strings end with a Wicked Weave, giant fists, feet and demons created by Bayonetta’s hair. The game has a fairly lenient combo system; Each attack gives a certain amount of points and the longer and more varied your attacks are the faster the combo multiplier increases.

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Pew, pew, bang, bang.

Dodging attacks before being hit triggers Witch Time; Times slows down allowing for free hits. Fighting increases your magic which is used to cast accessories spells, trigger Umbran Climax which amplifies attacks with Wicked Weaves and to perform Torture Attacks, a cinematic technique that deals heavy damage.

Halos are rewarded through fighting, breaking chests and debris. Rodin will take Halo to sell you consumable items, accessories, fighting techniques and making certain weapons useable for your legs.

The game is divided into chapters. Levels are mostly filled with fighting but there are hidden upgrades and challenges to search for. Most chests only give Halos and consumable items but some have upgrades that involves rebuilding the chest within a time limit. Challenge rooms is a single fight with a specific condition, rewarding you with a upgarde. The room can be retried without penalty if failed. Each fight is ranks your combo, time and damage taken. Platinum is the highest rank and earning a Platinum in all three categories earns a Pure Platinum. The average rank is calculated at the end of the level.

Tag Climax is an online mode that you to play with friends and strangers in a series of fights that you unlock through out the game. Players can wager Halos to see whose performance was better in the battle.

How does it look?

Bayonetta 2 is a feast for the eyes, in more ways than one. The animations and cinematics look great. Bayonetta’s sex appeal shines through her personality and fighting style and stands out from any other action game. The Torture and Climax Attacks are absurd and too much fun to watch.

I’m a fan of Bayonetta’s new look. Her hairstyle is looks much better than her crazy hair do from the first. Her outfit is more stylish and the Wicked Weaves leave her with some clothes on this time. The Nintendo cameo costumes are great. They really don’t fit in but they’re hilarious. They even have unique combat abilities with is nice attention to detail.

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Don’t call me a Fox.

Levels have several set pieces that change the setting. The ground will warp and shift around you, you’ll run across walls and slow down time to run on water and lava and even riding pieces of a building across the ocean or free-falling while fighting angels and demons. You never know where a level will take you next.

Light shines off of metal which makes enemies stand out even in dark areas. This also makes them very bright in bright levels which can be distracting. I’m not too crazy about the enemy design though; Some are cool, like a giant angel with his face on his sword but many are over designed and unremarkable.

Usually there aren’t too many enemies on-screen at once but they can fill it up. Enemies do go transparent if they block your view of Bayonetta but it’s hard to notice if they attack because of how hectic the combat is..

How does it sound?

The voice acting isn’t the greatest but parts of the writing is intentionally silly so it’s forgivable. Most of the cast act like cartoon characters who are aware of how crazy their world is and embracing that. The game’s serious when it needs to be. Bayonetta surprisingly can make serious and softer scenes work. Not having gone through the first game I don’t know if it’s as cringe worthy as the first but it wasn’t so bad here. I’m just not a fan of Loki; He’s bratty and pushes the word “mate” a lot to remind you he has an Australian accent.

The soundtrack is a mix of upbeat pop music for the main themes and orchestral songs with religious choir chanting, organ pianos and violins prominent. The main theme is wisely used during the loading screens. This breaks up what would have been a very downbeat soundtrack with a constant reminder of the fun tone of the game.

What do I think?

Bayonetta is an awesome action game complete with tight controls and over-the-top satisfying visuals. Bayonetta is a badass. She hits with a satisfying amount of power and style. The invincibility on the dodging is perfect. You rarely will get hit from attacks if you pull off a dodge, even if you physically move through the attack. It make the game feel more fair especially with how harsh the ranking system is.

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Bayonetta’s just helping him lose weight.

The weapon system allows for personalization. There isn’t a clear best weapon and all of them are functional so you can really play to what feels good. Practicing during the loading screens is genius. You can even stay in the loading screen to get a little more practice in. It’s a testament to the combat that you would want to delay the actual game just to relax and play.

The game is deceptively tough, especially if you don’t use items. The game doesn’t make it clear that you can access your item menu during levels and only bothered to mention the shortcut buttons.

I don’t know about anyone else but this wasn’t obvious. The + button only brings up the pause menu. I didn’t have a reason to think the – button would bring up a much more useful menu which let me heal and change equipment. I found this out accidentally and was annoyed because this is the second Platinum game in a row (Legend of Korra) that didn’t bother to tell you this incredibly useful utility that I only thought you could use in the chapter menu.

Fights are hectic. You don’t take much damage from hits but you might take a lot. It’s harder than it looks to dodge in the Witch Time window, even against blatantly telegraphed attacks. When you’re surrounded it’s hard to notice any projectiles or attacks when your focus is on something else. Tougher enemies and bosses don’t stagger for very long. They can punish your over eagerness to finish an attack string. Some attacks are too fast to realistically avoid unless you’re expecting it.

The most difficult part about the combat are boss fights where you’re flying or swimming. It feels very different and can through off your dodging. They are the most frustrating fights because you have to move in close. When you get your hits, you get pushed away and have to move in again.

By far, the most difficult part of the game is the ranking. Platinum Games traditionally has very strict grading systems.While the ranks don’t reward you with anything but Halos, it’s disheartening if you repeatedly get low ranks fight after fight. However there’s replay value for players willing to playthrough the levels over to improve their ranks.

I’m not a fan of the level design. I played Devil May Cry 3 a lot which is a similar game but better level design. DMC3’s levels were tight and contained; Levels were memorable because you would see certain rooms throughout a level and even in multiple levels. The movement was slow encouraging explorations for secrets. Bayonetta 2’s levels try to keep you moving. The setting keeps changing so the levels are forgettable despite being more visually interesting. The layout and camera twists and turns and your abilities encourage you to run past hidden areas. Some areas are  visual confusing making it tough to notice an offbeat path even if you look for it.

Bayonetta is a polarizing character. She has been a topic of debate in the past and has resurfaced as to whether Bayonetta’s a good female role model or not. I fall on the side of the former, despite all the ass and crotch shots.

Only speaking on behalf of the second installment, Bayonetta isn’t a shallow character despite her personality. Her appearance is of a person whose self-confident in her look. She’s a tease in the way she fights. She wants you to look but definitely not touch. Any compromising poses is of her own doing rather than the typically bumbling of girls in anime. Bayonetta also isn’t afraid to show her fangs and put down anyone who frustrates her and views her as anything less than a woman.

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Clearly someone whose isn’t shy.

Bayonetta’s also caring in her own way. She’s willing to face heaven and hell to save Jeanne and protect Loki, a complete stranger who only brings more trouble their way. She trusts Enzo and Luka despite looking down on them. She never leaves them in anything they couldn’t at least survive. The brief moments the last couple of chapters shows glimpses of innocence, something that doesn’t feel forced or too out of line for her character. Platinum manages to show off several sides of Bayonetta without resorting to putting through waves of despair (unlike some other popular gaming heroine).

Should you get it?

Bayonetta 2 is the game that stands out the most on the entire console, plus you get Bayonetta 1 for free. As fun as Nintendo first party games are strong third-party support and they have a massive hit on their hands. While the game isn’t too long and some gameplay variety this is a visual spectacle and a blast to play. A must get for Wii U owners.

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