After I watched the anime adaptation and played the first Bayonetta game I got myself more interested into the Bayonetta series.
Bayonetta 2 is a Nintendo exclusive as they were the ones who came forward to Platinum to make a sequel to the game as the first game was not a best seller for SEGA, who published the original Bayonetta. Bayonetta 2 is the first game I played on the switch and I was not disappointed. I had a lot of fun and was pleasantly surprised how great the gameplay was and how smooth the graphics were given that it was a remaster from the 2014 WII U version. The main voice cast from the previous game return and they all once again do a great job in their respective roles.
The story takes place a few months after the first game and in a new location, the holy mountain Fimbulventr and its nearby town Noatun somewhere around the middle east. It focuses on Bayonetta once again hunting down angels. She and her friend Jeanne are being targeted by Angels. During a battle, Jeanne’s soul is kidnapped by demons and Bayonetta must go through the realms of Paradiso (Heaven) and Inferno (hell) to rescue her soul. As the game story progresses, Bayonetta finds out there is something related to her past is at stake.
Like in the first game, Bayonetta 2 has a lot of entertaining moments and there are a lot of sexually stylized close ups of Bayonetta in combat. The story narrative and atmosphere are stylized and charming. This sequel expands upon more into the world from the first game and it explains many details that were left out in the original. While fans of the original will definitely enjoy the game, newcomers will also be able to follow the story as events from the original are recapped. Journals that are scattered around the levels gives more backstory to certain characters and historical events relating to the world.
The game takes place during 16 chapters and each chapter is broken down through multiple missions called “verses”, each with its own way of progressing through like in the first game. It has a fairly long campaign with plenty of stuff to do like finding collectibles. Bayonetta remains true to her character with numerous funny quips and lots of sarcasm, especially in the heat of battle. Generally, the dialogue is witty and humorous.
New interesting characters are introduced. Loki is a mysterious young boy who has a sarcastic sense of humor and he helps Bayonetta on her quest to save Jeanne.
The graphics in the game look really well done on the switch. It has really nice-looking higher resolution visuals and all of the low-quality textures and somewhat bland visual design from the original game have been completely removed. The world looks very colorful and it feels quite vibrant. The A.I is very responsive to your actions. The art direction is really well done and the new setting looks really good. The game has a highly detailed and a much larger environment design. Each level in the game has its own unique environment that feels different.Because of the more open-ended environment you can explore however you see fit during missions.
Enemies for both demons and angels looks really well made and unique.The new character designs look really great. It has well-paced story and its fast-paced action works quite well. Combat is similar to the first game but with many improvements to it. Witch time returns from the first game and its function remains the same as once you dodge after nearly being hit you can fight enemies in slow motion. Torture attacks and punishing enemies return as well and they function just the same as in the original. Once you get a full magic gauge, you can do BDSM styled QTE events where you kill an enemy in a humorous yet sadistic way.
You can pick up and use enemies’ weapons after you torture attack and defeat them. You can use whatever weapon they have for a limited time only. Each enemy has their own different weapon depending on If they are either a demon or angel. There is wider variety of enemies in the game to fight. The new enemies you fight are demons. Demons and Angels have their own form of fighting style and abilities. Boss fights are highly challenging and are bigger than ever. Each of them has their own climax attack whenever they are low on health. Bayonetta uses her hair as a weapon to summon demons to brutally kill the bosses in various over the top ways. However, because you fight the same bosses over and over, they become repetitive.
There are no reused enemies from the previous game. The new angelic enemies also use designs that were removed from the first game. You get Gems when you defeat a demon and Halos when you defeat an angel. These are currencies you can use to purchase equipment, enchantments, and new abilities in Hells Gate.
Umbran climax is a new ability you can use after you fully charge your magic gauge. This restores health while in combat and permits you to deal even more damage to enemies. Similar to DMC, there are hidden secret levels scattered all over the level called Muspelheim. You are given different challenges and succeeding each secret mission, you are given permanent rewards like Witch Heart or Moon Pearls.
Bayonetta has also brand-new abilities to unlock like transforming into a serpent in the water to traverse faster in any direction. She also has many of her returning moves from the previous game coming back as well so that you have a variety of abilities to use in combat. There is a brand-new feature in the game called tag-team climax. This is a local or online co-op mode where you can play with a friend.
You can play as other characters from the game besides Jeanne and Bayonetta. They all have their own move sets and abilities depending on which character you play as. This mode is more of a time waster where you and your friend can have fun messing around.
The animation of the game has improved from the first game and enemies now move in many different directions instead of one set direction. The control scheme is accessible to those who are new to Nintendo consoles and its similar to the previous Bayonetta game. You are able to play this on the go through the touchscreen and the game looks just as good as it does on the tv and the controls work out pretty well even in a portable format.
I also appreciated the lack of instant fail mandatory QTE sequences and it’s not intrusive.
Similar to Devil May Cry, you find Witches Hearts and collecting 4 pieces of them provides you with increased health. Another similar object you can find are MoonPearls that are used to increase your magic gauge. By collecting two Moonpearls, you unlock a full Moonpearl.
I like the new camera style for the game and it has a very smooth 60 frame per second rate. The frame rate never drops at all and even on the portable version there was not a single frame drop. The camera was comfortable and easy to use.
The musical score is pretty good and the quality of the sound effects and audio in the game provide a superior gaming experience. There is a lot more variety of songs in this game then in Bayonetta 1 so you have plenty of fun tracks to hear. It uses the same style as well to as upbeat and cheery in contrast to the black comedy and stylized violence of the story. Loading times in the game are very quick now and the menu system doesn’t have a loading screen every few seconds and its completely seamless. The fast paced and challenging combat is the game’s biggest highlight.
The game has many different exciting action set pieces for you to fight in.
One set piece you get to ride a demonic horse chasing after another character to rescue while avoiding obstacles and making jumps at certain moments. Its almost like the motorcycle level Route 666 in the first game. You get to be riding on a heavy-duty vehicle called Umbran Armor that deals heavy damage and use your magic abilities to crush enemies before you. There is this one part in the game where you are riding on top of a fighter jet fighting off demonic and angelic enemies in order to reach to the mountain. In fact, this particular sequence was what led Platinum Games to be the co-developers of Star Fox Zero. In each combat sequence, you are graded from stone to pure platinum depending on how good you are. The higher the combo, the more halos you earn as currency and the higher your medal will be. There are tons of replay value and unlockable content to find in the game like new costumes, artwork and replaying levels to get a higher score.
You are able to play as Jeanne instead of Bayonetta once you beat the game in any difficulty. She has her own abilities and playstyle. Costumes are also unlockable for her as well. Since the game is a Nintendo exclusive, you can use the Amiibo feature to instantly unlock new costumes based of famous Nintendo characters like Samus, Link, Princess Peach or Fox Mcloud. This feature is only if you have the Nintendo Switch version.
The new costumes come with their own weapons and sound effects from the respective games. If you use a weapon that is based off the Star Fox series, sound effects from the Star Fox games are used in combat.
Speaking of finding new weapons, LP HYMNS make a return and collecting a full set gives you a brand new weapon to purchase. A lot of Easter eggs and pop culture references spread throughout the game for you to uncover as well, from anime to games Platinum and Nintendo have made. You even get a downloadable code of the remastered version of Bayonetta 1 for the switch if you own a copy of Bayonetta 2.
Concoctions also make a return where you find certain ingredients for recipies to make recovery or power up items that are quite useful. I never encountered any form of bug or glitch in the game. It was smooth from start to finish.
Bayonetta 2 is one of the best action games I have played as it builds upon what Bayonetta 1 made and improves on every aspect of the original.
This is going to get 5 stars.
If you are into the Bayonetta series and also a Nintendo owner either on the WII U or Switch, you are really going to like this game.