Bayonettas back and this time, only on the Wii U which is why, as you can see here, she also comes with a number of outfits and accessories that come straight out of Nintendo’s weird and wonderful world.
Once again Platinum Games have provided an experience that not only gives your fingers and thumbs a good pummelling as you attack both angels and demons that materialise to stop you but also seeks to entertain and titillate via the usual surreal Japanese mechanics of nudity and Sega’s arcade-style graphics and presentation.
This time the action takes place around Christmas as Bayonetta and her sister Jeanne are suddenly attacked whilst on a shopping spree and end up fighting on top of a jet to the theme of Moon River. Just a normal day then. Accidentally, though, your blond cohort gets sucked into the netherworld by one of the hair demons you summoned and you have to go back and get her. There is of course a bigger plot involving all sorts of stuff with a Lumen Sage and a boy who can turn into a squirrel but I’m not allowed to tell you or I’ll get into trouble!
If you’ve played the first game you’ll know what to expect. You put together combos of punches and kicks and it’s all in the timing. Pause between your pummelling and you can perform stronger wicked weave attacks and, once you’ve built up enough magic, you can press L to unleash an Umbran Climax on your foes or trigger a torture attack on standard enemies for a guaranteed kill. As you make your way through the game you can also spend halos you harvest on new weapons you can equip and switch between at the touch of a button to trade of speed for power and pull off some devastating combos.
As you progress through the levels you’ll also be able to turn into a panther or a bird to move quickly and access new areas and test your might in the many Muspelheims dotted around the levels which always result in a reward to help with extra health and magic.
Harvest enough rings and you can trade these for all manner of cool things and buy new weapons once they’ve been unlocked in the Gates of Hell. You can then apply these to your hands or heels and switch between two setups to create even more incredible combos you can use in the main game or in one of the many challenges you can play to gain even more rings.
Like in the previous game, there are also some moments that mix the gameplay up a bit, such as riding on a big mechanical beast or flying through the air Space Harrier style, shooting angels and avoiding things flying towards you.
You’ll finish the main game the first time around in about 8 hours but really, that’s when things just start to get good. You can then dive into any of the chapters you’ve played and, now levelled up with new powers and weapons, try them again to achieve a better rating and earn even more points so you can unlock yet more moves, weapons and outfits. It’s this replayability that makes Bayonetta 2 a game that keeps on giving enough to give you blisters.
Presentations is as crazy as you’d expect. The frame rate rarely drops despite there being lots going on for most of the time and the music combined with the sound effects of the monsters and Bayonetta grunting and shouting as she kicks Angels in the face make the whole game a joy to play. It’s just slightly odd that a game as hardcore as this is on the Wii U, especially with the added screen mode where you can play the game on by swiping the touch screen to kill the bad guys as if you’re playing Fruit Ninja.
Bayonetta 2 is a really fun action fighting game along the lines of Devil May Cry, it’s just that I’m not sure how many people will actually get to play it. I know Mario Kart 8 has shifted a few units but Bayonetta being a bit niche franchise in the first place will have really have to go some to do the same. It gets 8 out of 10.
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