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Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Dougie Wythe

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Bayonetta 2 – Review

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For all you beat ‘em up fans, rejoice! Bayonetta is finally back in all her glory, rocking a new console to dominate angels and demons alike on, a new story and most importantly, a  stylish new haircut. When all other companies not putting Bayonetta 2 on their console, Nintendo was the only one to give the witch a chance, and it surely has paid off. Not only does the game still look good and maintain the feel that the original Bayonetta is known for, it’s taken liberties of being on a Nintendo console, by including game changing skins and weapons of familiar Nintendo characters for Bayonetta. Yet, for fans of the original, it may be slightly underwhelming when it comes to the awe it inspires in veteran players. As for all you new comers, good news! Bayonetta 2 will crush your expectations and leave you speechless. Even better, it comes with a copy of the original to see what you missed!

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Old pet, new enemies, big challenges.

All those who were afraid Bayonetta would be dumbed or toned down due to Nintendo and the Wii U, your worries can be silenced now. It still has the vulgar mouthed Enzo, Bayonetta still uses her revealing wicked weave attacks and my god does the game look good. Thanks to Nintendo, we can see Bayonetta dressed up as our favorite bounty hunter, princess or hero of time without having resort to deviant art and clearing your search history after. In game unlockable lets Bayonetta wear Link’s Green Tunic with the Master Sword in hand, Samus’s power armour alongside her arm canon and Princess Peach’s dress, turning her wicked weave into Bowers fists and feet to crush angels. Not only is this a refreshing aesthetic change, the gameplay will be altered. Halos, the game’s currency, will now be rupees. The double jump is now a screw attack. A jet is now an Arwing, completely changing how a section of the game plays. All thanks to Nintendo and their willingness to let Bayonetta’s developers have some fun.

Yet, Bayonetta 2 still feels very safe when directly compared to its predecessor. It treads some familiar ground and clears up the story issues from the first game, meaning it doesn’t feel like the creators extended themselves as much as they could have. The scale of the first was jaw-dropping, especially for a brand new IP. I went in expecting the sequel to top it and more, much like Platinum Games are known for, but I was left feeling awe inspired, but my mind was far from being blown. It does use familiar bosses and aspects but in new ways, such as an airborne fight with the antagonist, the Lumen Sage, with a huge boss from the first game duking it out with Madama Butterfly, Bayonetta’s demoness fighting partner. This was one of the moments where I wish I was watching the game so I could watch these towering tyrants beat each other to a pulp but I’m more than happen to teach the Lumen Sage a thing or two.

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This may be a boss of the first game, but he isn’t you enemy this time! You got bigger things to deal with!

One huge improvement from the first game is the combat and combos. Originally, Bayoneta saved her wicked weave combos for bosses, to really lay down the pain for those towering angels. Now, her wicked weave is part of normal combos and needs simple button inputs to summon the likes of Madama Butterfly to deliver a collosal fist and it’s always exciting to see. This is a brilliant way of making feel more powerful and a force to be reckoned with, especially as she has to face off against the newly introduced mechanical looking demons. The combo’s and fighting seem easier than before, meaning I plowed my way through Second Climax, or medium difficulty. Whilst Third Climax was certainly more difficult, there are still accessories Bayonetta can wear to ramp up the difficulty. Such as the Gaze of Despair, that ensures all enemies are in rage mode all the time. Hope your dodging and combos are perfect, or prepare for some serious pain!

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Like these ridiculous situations? Bayonetta is the game for you

The biggest problem with Bayonetta 2 is that it’s only amazing. I would always describe the first Bayonetta as being “mind-blowingly awesome with battles of a ridiculous scale”, but Bayonetta 2 doesn’t quite reach these lofty heights of impressiveness. Bayonetta 2 still as amazing set pieces to fight fearsome and gargantuan angels. Whether you’re fighting angels atop a jet, flying around New York, to surfing the inside of a typhoon all the way up to Heaven’s gate, you can guarantee that Bayonetta will look good doing it and your jaw will be dropped. For those who have played and finished the original Bayonetta, without spoiling anything, you’ll be expecting an ending and final level that leaves you speechless and giddy. Again, without spoilers, Bayonetta ‘s final act is momentous. Yet just not the same level of amazement was inspired.

If there’s one thing that still sparks a sense of excitement, it has to be the amazing music. Gone is the previous superb fighting track ‘Fly Me to the Moon (Climax Remix)’ and now it’s been replaced with ‘Tomorrow is mine.’  This song may sound peaceful when you first hear it and you’ll ask why they chose this song for the fight music. It took me a little while to realise this song makes my fighting style a little bit more arrogant than it should be. I taunted more, enraging my foes and ensured each kill wasn’t finished with just a normal hit, but an absolutely crushing blow with my favourite weapon. That may be just me, but it sure did enrich my gaming experience and inspire me to have more fun with each fight. This is exactly what I expect from the Bayonetta soundtrack. Jazzy and smooth songs for Bayonetta to strut her stuff to and climactic orchestral pieces for when it gets serious.

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The Lumen Sage is no slouch and will give a true battle to test your mettle

All in all, it doesn’t seem as if I truly enjoyed Bayonetta 2. Well, compared to the first, it’s a bit easier, a bit safer and not as impressive in scale. Compared to many other games of the same genre on the market, it’s absolutely superb, outstanding and certainly stands out. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely a title I will return to and play in the future, to achieve those higher mission ranks or just to punish some angels. If you’ve never played a Bayonetta title and enjoyed other similar character action games, such as Devil May Cry, Wonderful 101 or Metal Gear Rising Revengence, then I urge you to pick up this title. It even comes with the full copy of both games, well worth the price tag and your time! Although, perhaps it’s best not to play them back to back, cleanse your pallet or you’ll be left wanting more than what was given.

Dougie Wythe
Dougie Wythe

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