Nintendo of America and Platinum Games will release Bayonetta 2 for Wii U on Oct. 24, and this game is one of the strongest reasons to buy a Wii U this holiday season. While in New York City on a warm Sept. morning in 2012, we sat in attendance at a conference dedicated to the Nintendo Wii U to learn of its launch date, price, and software lineup. What awaited us was something no one expected. At this event, Nintendo announced that Platinum Games’ Bayonetta 2 would be a Wii U exclusive, and gamers worldwide were stunned.
Now, after two years of waiting, Platinum Games’ Wii U masterpiece is ready to amaze and excite gamers with its lavish visuals and wonderful gameplay. Action fans rejoice; your 2014 ‘Game of the Year’ has arrived from the heavens.
Considering every version of Bayonetta 2 comes with a copy of Bayonetta, all players will be able to start the game with a clear understanding of the storyline and its main characters. The beginning of Bayonetta 2 takes place soon after the proceedings of the first game, with Bayonetta and Jeanne enjoy a crisp winter day in the city atop a jet, train, and skyscraper battling angels. In an attempt to finish off a powerful angelic deity, Bayonetta summons a demon, but expectantly loses control of the beast. With the creature beyond her control, it looks to attack its former master, but Jeanne sacrifices herself to save Bayonetta. As a result, Jeanne’s soul is dragged to Hell, thus leading Bayonetta to vow to retrieve Jeanne’s soul before it is consumed and sentenced to eternal damnation.
In order to save her friend, Bayonetta embarks on an epic journey that takes her to the celestial land of Paradiso all the way into the abyss of Inferno. During her adventure to find the entrance to the Gates of Hell in the consecrated Fimbulvinter Mountain, Bayonetta partners with the mysterious newcomer Loki, a little boy with the power to alter and shift time. In addition to Loki, returning fan favorites like Rodin, Enzo, and Luka make appearances to provide comic relief and to aid Bayonetta in her journey.
Unlike in the first game where Bayonetta strictly fought foes from Paradiso, Bayonetta 2 introduces powerful and frightening new foes from Inferno. At any given moment in any environment, enemies from these two factions will attack Bayonetta and frequently present stronger adversaries for the player to combat. The ever-changing enemy roster keeps battles interesting and always exciting. Mid-tier bosses quickly become standard enemies, consequently making battles challenging but amazingly rewarding. The game has impressive set-pieces and epic battles in which Bayonetta will combat a strong opponent while flying in the sky with massive summons battling in the background. It is an amazing display to witness.
Luckily, Bayonetta is well equipped with the necessary weapons to dispatch her resilient new adversaries. By visiting Rodin’s Gates of Hell Bar & Weapon Shop, players will be able to purchase new weapons, items, skills, and accessories. With a number of chic skills available, players can kick the ass of opponents with flashy style. Prior to purchasing a new skill, players have the option to practice with it and to get a general feel of how the move will work while in combat scenarios. We strongly advise players to practice prior to acquiring a new skill so that you may get a good idea of how to be successful with the new technique.
While new skills and techniques will make combat a stylish affair, the weapons are the driving force behind the impressive combos you will perform. Players may equip Bayonetta with two weapons – like a sword and then guns designated to her feet. Rodin will offer alternative forms of a primary weapon for purchase, which allows the player to equip a pair of swords, whips, chainsaws, or scythes to Bayonetta. It is encouraged to experiment with different weapons sets and combinations to find the set that suits your style of play best. You are allowed two-sets of weapons and may swap between them at any time during the game.
The world of Bayonetta 2 is vast, beautiful, and packed with secrets to uncover. Whether you are in the skies of Paradiso or exploring the disturbing land of Inferno, the amount of detail put into the environments and characters is striking. With such lavish environments featured in the game, you will want to explore every available area. Doing so will prove to be beneficial and rewarding. Many environments have hidden Umbran Crows – which unlock Miiverse stamps – hidden chests, and additional challenges waiting for you to find.
Platinum Games created action-game perfection with the original Bayonetta, but the development team sought out ways to make the experience even better when it came time to make Bayonetta 2. In most ways, the game feels identical to Bayonetta but with refinements that make for a smoother player experience. However, there are a number of new additions for fans to be excited about. The most notable gameplay addition is the inclusion of a new attack – the Umbran Climax. This powerful attack summons forth demons to inflict substantial damage. The nature of the Umbran Climax will vary depending on the weapon you have equipped at the time of use, so there are a variety of Umbran Climax attacks possible.
There is one new game mode available in Bayonetta 2, and that is the game’s online co-op mode, Tag Climax. Tag Climax is an interesting addition as it combines cooperative play with competition. Players work together to vanquish opponents in a range of different scenarios. Additional stages – or Verses – are unlocked by completing campaign chapters. This game mode is a lot of fun and works remarkably well online. Unfortunately, there is no local co-op option available, but you can play against a computer AI opponent if you so choose to.
Also, new to the game are touch-screen controls. Just as we said in our Bayonetta review, the touch-screen controls work well and are well-suited for newcomers and beginners just looking to enjoy the game. Seasoned players will want to use the GamePad or a Wii U Pro Controller as you unleash extravagant attacks and combos. Off-TV Play is fully featured and is a great secondary means of playing the game.
Bayonetta 2 is an exciting, action-packed title that gamers will love. Fans of the original should definitely consider buying a Wii U just to play this excellent sequel. This title will be in discussion for not only ‘Action Game of the Year’ but for the overall ‘Game of the Year’ when 2014 concludes.
(Editor’s Note: A game code was provided by Nintendo for review purposes.)