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10/24/14 Nintendo
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Bayonetta 2 (WiiU)

By Jake Weston 21st Nov 2014 | 8,667 views 

As long as you know what you’re getting into, Bayonetta 2 is a must-play.

Conceptually, 2010’s Bayonetta is a very difficult character to describe. She’s a centuries old witch with the demeanor of a sexy librarian, wears guns on her feet as high heels, and dons a skintight suit made out of her own hair, which itself leaves her body to become giant hair monsters that fight angels and demons. So yeah, overall pretty bizarre. Even more bizarrely, Bayonetta was successful enough to warrant a sequel, this time with Nintendo of all companies picking up publishing duties and bringing it exclusively to Wii U. Bayonetta 2 is seemingly at odds with the family friendly image that the Wii brand has cultivated over the last several years, but that doesn’t stop Bayonetta 2 from being a tour de force, and one of the best games for the Wii U.

It’s hard to discuss Bayonetta 2 without bringing up the potentially troublesome sexual and gender politics of its titular character. The camera takes extra care to linger on Bayonetta’s crotch and posterior; she uses BDSM torture devices to punish her enemies; she pole dances to solve environmental puzzles. Granted, she does all of this of her own agency, and spends the entire game kicking ass. Many have argued this empowers Bayonetta, but many others have argued this only further objectifies her. 

Regardless of how you feel about Bayonetta, it’s almost impossible to get too caught up on it just because of how completely absurd and ridiculous Bayonetta 2 is. One moment you’ll be fighting enemies on top of a flying jet, the next you’ll be leveling cities in a kaiju fight. There doesn’t seem to be an internal logic to Bayonetta 2’s universe, just stream-of-conscious sequences of never-ending insanity.

Bayonetta 2’s gameplay remains virtually unchanged from its predecessor. Bayonetta still uses a combination of punches and kicks to juggle enemies, and can use the guns both in her hands and on her feet to attack enemies from afar. Dodge just before an enemy’s attack, and the game goes into a slow-motion “witch time” where Bayonetta can further unleash a flurry of strikes on her foes. Bayonetta 2’s gameplay is extremely polished and absurdly fun, with the only real complaint being that this is because it’s the exact same fun, polished gameplay that we received back in 2010. Bayonetta’s core gameplay remains some of the best in the genre, it’s just a shame the developers didn’t strive to expand upon it. 

What is improved over the original Bayonetta is pacing and variety. Almost the entirety of the first game took place in Vigrid, a fictional European city whose cobbled streets and Victorian buildings all began to blend together after a while. Bayonetta 2 takes place in a similar setting, but switches up environments much more frequently, keeping the visual palette of the game unique and refreshing. On top of that, nearly every chapter either introduces a new over-the-top boss or a new twist on gameplay mechanics. Bayonetta 2 is about the same length as its predecessor (around 8-10 hours), but whereas Bayonetta sometimes felt like a slog, Bayonetta 2 is constantly throwing something new your way. 

Another area that I wished Platinum Games had improved upon are the cutscenes. Both Bayonetta games are known for their over the top ridiculousness and fast-paced gameplay, so it is baffling that cutscenes remain relegated to still images with voiceovers. They are just so absolutely boring compared to the gameplay, and without a compelling (albeit still absurd) story to carry them, sitting through Bayonetta 2’s cutscenes is a chore. 

Thankfully, they don’t intrude on gameplay very long, and appear at a seemingly lower frequency than the first Bayonetta. For players looking to compare the two games directly themselves, Platinum has actually bundled the first Bayonetta with Bayonetta 2, packaging two games for the price of one, and giving Wii U owners access to the previously PS3 and Xbox 360 exclusive first game. So now, what was already a great value prospect in the form of the best action game of the year is now a staggeringly good deal, especially for those who missed out on Bayonetta the first time around. 

In addition to both games’ main campaigns, players can also partake in a multiplayer mode added for Bayonetta 2. Rather than pit two players directly against each other, players choose from a selection of characters then fight together against an onslaught of enemies, competing with each other to get the most points. It’s a fun addition, but it’s too bad this feature is only available online. Granted, this is understandable considering the game’s reliance on a fast-pace and high framerate, which would likely take a dip if forced to render twice. 

Even if offered on its own, Bayonetta 2 could be easily considered the best action of the year, as well as one of the best games of the year period. When grouped with the first game, the whole package is almost too good to be true. Its risque content may be justifiably off-putting to some, and its similarities to the first game are somewhat disappointing, but as long as you know what you’re getting into, Bayonetta 2 is a must-play.

VGChartz Verdict


This review is based on a retail copy of Bayonetta 2 for the WiiU

Read more about our Review Methodology here

Shipping Total

280,000 Units
As of: March 31st, 2018

Opinion (231)

Nautilus posted 08/12/2017, 10:34
Mission accomplished Nintendo and Platinum.Mission accomplished.
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NoirSon posted 20/08/2017, 07:46
@Kyuu, I don't know, given its platform and the fact that stylish action games like this aren't doing that well these days, it seems to done a good job. I mean it has easily outsold DmC and outside of licensed games like Batman or Shadow of Mordor, I can't think of a stylish action game not named Assassin's Creed that has sold better on any current gen console.
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curl-6 posted 27/01/2017, 02:45
Still similar sales to the 360 version of the original
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Rogerioandrade posted 22/11/2016, 01:35
Oh my goodness... what a dumbass I am. LOL. Only now I saw that it´s actually 100k in Japan.
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Rogerioandrade posted 22/11/2016, 01:33
There´s definetely something off about those adjustments... why there is a figure of only 10k sold in Japan if MC numbers for the 3rd week of this game were a total of 50k? Was the game tracked after its re-release? ( Weird.
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Goodnightmoon posted 18/11/2016, 03:15
For a niche game on a 13m installbase 750k is a pretty good number, specially for a game so different from what Nintendo fans usually buy, the original one only sold a little more than 1 million on X360 after all.
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