Bayonetta 2 Is Like Eating All Your Halloween Candy At Once

Bayonetta 2 Is Like Eating All Your Halloween Candy At Once

The original Bayonetta was touted as “non-stop climax action”. But that tag line fits the sequel even better, as Bayonetta 2 starts with what would be any other game’s climax and attempts to continue on at that level for the next 11 hours — even when it probably shouldn’t.

Good — Bayonetta Goes to Hell

Bayonetta 2 Is Like Eating All Your Halloween Candy At Once

The plot of Bayonetta 2 is that after Jeanne’s soul is dragged to Hell, Bayonetta must find an ancient, physical doorway to Hell, bust her way in, and then kick copious amounts of demon butt to rescue her friend’s soul before it is devoured. Frankly, it’s a rather straightforward and enjoyable plot told in a very “Bayonetta” (read: insanely over-the-top) way.

What’s interesting is that this plot is constantly being derailed by a secondary plot involving a masked Lumin sage and a scrappy young boy who can turn into a squirrel. While initially seeming completely unrelated to the main story, this secondary plot turns out to not only flesh out the Bayonetta world but also tie in to the first Bayonetta in an intricate and personal way. All in all, both are grand fun.

Good — Fast and Fluid Combat

Bayonetta 2 Is Like Eating All Your Halloween Candy At Once

The real highlight of Bayonetta 2 is the combat. It’s fast and fluid; and the different enemies you face and their various combinations make for gameplay that never gets stale. There are also many new, crazy weapons you can strap to Bayonetta’s arms and legs including a bow, scythe, flame/ice thrower, and pair of thorny whip boots.

However, as with the last game, the key to combat is not attacking but rather dodging — as doing so activates the slow-mo “witch time” for a few seconds. The game provides a great balance when it comes to enemy attacks as they telegraph their moves just enough that you’ll have time to dodge into witch time while still allowing for a real possibility of failure for the inattentive player.

Mixed — The Co-op

As I’ve talked about at length, I love the co-op in Bayonetta 2. It is easily my favourite part of the game. While you can’t co-op the main story, there is a large series of co-opable challenge rooms that pit you and a partner against various combinations of the game’s enemies and bosses. This mode is also the best way to make money in the game and unlock its abundance of moves and costumes.

Unfortunately, the hardest thing about the co-op is actually being able to play it. This is because of the terrible matchmaking system that requires you to manually accept anyone who wants to join your game. If a player is playing with a computer partner and doesn’t want a real one, there is no way for him or her to communicate this — other than to let you wait 180 seconds until the connection times out. Honestly, I spent more time trying to join people’s co-op games than I did actually playing co-op. And for a mode that is so fun, that’s unfortunate.

Mixed — Halloween Candy

Bayonetta 2 is wonderfully over-the-top in everything it does. Every set-piece battle and boss fight tries desperately to one up all those before (and after) it. And, impossibly, it manages to do this most of the time. The first chapter of the game — which involves Bayonetta fighting a horde of angels on a fighter jet streaking through a major metropolis then beating down an enormous dragon-like demon perched on top of a skyscraper — does a great job of setting the stage for the game to come. It could have easily been the final climax for any other game; but in Bayonetta 2 it is the opening overture of many similarly epic battles to come.

However, this is also a bit of a problem. When every boss fight and set-piece battle is a climatic struggle, the “epic” becomes less so. Moreover, after a while, you just want some serious downtime to catch your breath. It’s a lot like Halloween as a kid if you were one of those kids who came back with a bag full of candy and proceeded to binge eat it — only to get really sick soon after. It’s not that the candy tastes bad, it’s just that too much of it at once isn’t nearly as enjoyable as spreading out your Halloween loot over a week or so as occasional treats.

Bad — All the Little Things That Make No Sense

Bayonetta 2 Is Like Eating All Your Halloween Candy At Once

While I enjoyed the plot of Bayonetta 2, I’ll be the first to point out that there are a ton of things that don’t make sense (or at the very least are never properly explained). Heck, the entire main plot is Bayonetta going to an ancient portal so she can go to Hell to get Jeanne’s soul back. Of course, why Bayonetta — a witch who regularly opens portals to Hell to either let demons out or drag angels in — would need to walk to the physical door to Hell is a mystery. Moreover, the plot seems to totally forget she has a friend who regularly opens a portal to Hell and beats up demons to make weapons out of them for her — I mean, Rodin even pops up to help her after she arrives in Hell!

But the list of things that don’t make sense aren’t confined to the plot. In game, Bayonetta can strap swords to the heels of her boots to fight with — swords that clearly stab her in the butt with each running step and clip through her legs when she walks. Even the existence of the collectible diaries (which flesh out the backstory) seems impossible as Bayonetta finding them means that Luka has already been to every place that Bayonetta goes — up to and including Hell itself.

And while none of these little issues are deal breakers when it comes to enjoying the game, they do pile up a bit.

Final Thoughts

Bayonetta 2 Is Like Eating All Your Halloween Candy At Once

I really enjoyed my time with Bayonetta 2 and was basically in a constant state of bemusement over the very over-the-top nature of the game, even as it left me more than a bit mentally exhausted. It plays well and looks great, but suffers from a lot of little polish problems and plot holes — though I suspect fans will easily be able to overlook them. Simply put, Bayonetta 2 is Bayonetta dialled up to 11; so if that sounds great to you, don’t hesitate to pick this one up.

Bayonetta 2 was released for the Nintendo Wii U in Japan on September 20, 2014. It will be released in the US and Europe on October 24, 2014, and in Australia and New Zealand on October 25, 2014.


        • What would be the point of releasing a Mona Lisa II that could only be viewed by 100 eyes? Ridiculousness personified, as a ridiculous “this will sell Wii U’s”.

          • Because that is the be all and end all! Extremely barely noticeable frame-rate differences trump market exposure and install base…… ?

          • Most Nintendo franchises use an aesthetic which is trivial to render on modern hardware. We’re not typically in the territory of hair physics and high-res textures here. As such 60FPS for such games is not inherently hard to do. Of course, Bayonetta does not fit that (simplified) mold, but my point is that trumpeting that most Wii U games run at 60fps is not doing the console any favours.

            That said…

            By all accounts development was essentially financed by Nintendo and the game would not have been made without their involvement. If your choice was whether to have the Mona Lisa viewed by only 100 people or not to have it made at all, I would probably side with those happy to see it made. Not being a fan of most Nintendo franchises, it’s one of the few games that tempts me to buy the console.

          • If Sony and Microsoft hadn’t said “No, we don’t want your game”, then it would be on their consoles. Nintendo didn’t make it exclusive, it was the other companies that refused to accept it that meant it isn’t available on the platform.

          • Depends on how you define inferior – I assume you mean the fan-boy definition. I’ll be picking this up on my Wii U. And I’ll enjoy it on my Wii U.

        • @raichuss And they paid for the development of the whole game. Platinum games is a Nintendo second party developer at this stage.

    • What would you prefer?

      Bayonetta 2 on the WiiU?
      No Bayonetta 2 at all?

      Those are the only options.

  • I don’t understand why people don’t see the basic maths involved … 1.35 million sales+ (figure from Oct, 2010) for Bayonetta (PS3/Xbox360). 40,000+ for Bayonetta 2 so far – admittedly that is only 2 days of data. But, seriously! In a world of mono console ownership, how is this even going to come close?! (Cue posts stating they own every console).

    • Seriously dude, this argument got old the month this game got announced. Especially since the reasons for Bayo2’s exclusivity has been fully explained from day dot. Also if major publishers are to be believed, 1.35 million sales is terrible (their opinion not mine) and it appears that Sega definitely think so and decided to turf Platinum at contracts end. 40K sales right now may be piss poor, but since this is bankrolled by Nintendo, exclusive to Nintendo, a company that makes entire consoles, relies on exclusive titles to sell them and in no way or form would desire selling a game they paid for on their competitors machines; every single one of those 40,000 sales is fantastic.

      Look at it this way, Bayonetta 2 is now like Mario and Zelda, where every one sold is already 100% of potential sales.

      • However, if it doesn’t at the very least break even, then there’s not much chance of a Bayonetta 3. Nintendo have a lot of cash but they’re not Scrooge McDuck any more.

        I hope it does do well though, even if I can’t play it, the first game was 3-tabs-of-acid amazing. (that gif of the swordboots though – eugh)

        • The animation might have problems, but combat with sword boots more than makes up for it.

          SWORD BOOTS!

        • If you care so much about the poor sales, buy the game and a WiiU. Nintendo are just filling holes in their lineup they would love an extra sale.
          I know the wiiu is soooooooooo much inferior to the other gen 8 platfoorms, but who knows, you might have some fun with it.

          • Bayonetta 2 is literally the only game on the Wii U that has my attention (and I don’t currently have a PS4/XB1). It’s not worth getting a console for 1 game.

            Yes, I know that Mario/MK/Zelda are good games, but they’re not for me so unless there’s some “Buy Bayonetta 2, get a free Wii U” promotion somewhere, I’m resigning myself to missing out 😉

    • If every publisher and and developer treated it as basic math, then video gaming would be a bland and repetitive pastime.

      I own a Wii U and I’m glad to be playing Bayo 2.

      Anyone whinging about console exclusivity should STFU and get a Wii U, or STFU and go back to whatever console they did buy and be happy with it.

  • No matter what rationale you can come up with – it is still an abomination. Loved the first, can’t play the second … as it’s locked into an inferior console. It would be like saying …. “Oh, we’re not making anymore Mario games guys” then PlayStation somehow picks up the rights to a final Mario game and makes it exclusive to PS4. Would you be pissed? (As absurd as this scenario may be, it is provided for hypothetical comparison)

    • If you keep thinking ‘damn bayonetta 2 would be so much better on ps4’ then why dont you think ‘damn the last of us would be so much better onPC I can’t enjoy it as its on an inferior console’.
      I still play and enjoy TLOU on ps3 and I never once thought damn this game is an abomination as theres a ps4 version.

    • Have you *actually* tried out a demo? Or are you just splashing salty tears at the exclusivity and feel the need to lash out at the franchise? Hence the need to call it an “abomination” about 3 times in the same blog post

      Just played the demo at an expo and it’s just as damn fun and exciting as the first one. Exclusivity has been around since the dawn of time and for once it’s allowed an abandoned franchise to continue w/ a damn excellent sequal. It’s a great game and being bitter because you can’t play it doesn’t make the game any “worse”. Any more so that Last of Us was diminished because it never came out on 360 or Gears of War being an excellent cover shooter because you can’t play it on a PS3.

      Finally your comparison is rubbish. First because Platinum was a 3rd Party Studio that was never attached to any specific console and was told no on Bayonetta 2 by their previous publishers. Practically leaving the series dead until it was bought up by Nintendo. Which is a very different scenario from a 1st party studio being let go (which has happened such as RARE and Bungee but they stayed 3rd party) and bought by another console. And why would I get annoyed? If Ninty was dumb enough to let go of Mario and he moves to Sony then I just grab a Sony console for Mario games. I don’t get salty because a game is exclusive and on a console I don’t care for =/

    • Of course I would be pissed; I’d be pissed off at Nintendo for quitting, not Sony for starting.

      • I take it you’ve played it and finished it on your beloved WiiU then Not timed exclusive. Nintendo fund the Franchise and help Platinum Games on it. Nintendo and Platinum Games much and much and much closer relationship. Also Platinum Games help one of Nintendo’s developers for new game in future too. 🙂

  • I’m just happy this game even exists, Bayonetta is the best thing since sliced bread and proof that no one makes games like the Japanese, so pumped!

  • Am still wondering if Bayonetta will appear in the Wii U version of Smash Bros.

    Will probably get this game when I can, still haven’t finished the first one though.

    • Thats ok, it comes with the first one remastered and at 60fps 1080p 🙂 as with regards to her appearing in smash bros I’d say *cough* *cough* DLC *cough*

      • I’ve still got my 360 version with save files.

        & wouldn’t doubt some Bayonetta DLC & wouldn’t doubt many people buying her as well (or just getting a season pass like with the MK8 DLC).

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