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"Bayonetta 2" Review: Why Haven't You Played This Game Yet?

Alexandria has been playing video games since the days of the Sega Genesis. She's been writing about video games going on four years.

Bayonetta's Main Character

For those not already familiar with the concept of Bayonetta, the game centers around a titular main character who is an ancient, monster-fighting witch. She possesses magical hair that she can use to summon demons to fight for her, lash out at her enemies, and, oh yeah—clothe her. This means she becomes momentarily naked while performing some of these special moves. She also has an arsenal of weapons including her trademark pistols strapped to her heels. She's certainly a formidable lady—at least that’s how she feels when the controller is in your hands.

Rating and Controversy

Bayonetta 2 has been on the receiving end of some controversy due to its mature nature. In fact, the game is rated M for blood and gore, intense violence, partial nudity, strong language, and suggestive themes by the ESRB. Gory violence is nothing new to gamers, but Bayonetta 2 earns its M rating with its use of swear words, revealing clothing, and special attacks that make the main character briefly nude.

M-rated games can often seem like they are overeager to be gritty or pornographic. Bayonetta 2 however, seems truly mature. A combination of confident female sexuality and playful perversion give the game a very enjoyable adult tone. For some, the inclusion of partial nudity and bloody violence may be a turn off, so this game may not be for them—just as Pulp Fiction probably isn’t on their to-watch list.

Gameplay, Story, and Combat

Suggestive themes aside, the game is a smooth and interesting spectacle-action/fighting game. Bayonetta 2 has great combat that makes the player feel powerful, awesome, and challenged. The ergonomic Wii U gamepad works well with the combo-based combat, although the touch controls are a bit clunky unless you’re browsing menus.

There is a wide variety of enemies that keep escalating as you progress through the game. Unlocking new weapons, abilities, and items also helps to keep the gameplay fresh. When it comes to the combat, there’s little else you could want in an action-fighting game.

While the combat is what makes Bayonetta 2 shine, the story isn’t bad either. The rather generic action-fantasy plot follows Bayonetta as she uncovers the mystery of her past, time travels, dimension shifts, and races against time and supernatural beings to save her friend. Some may say the cut scenes are a bit too much, but with the exception of the long opening cinematic, the game is paced well. There are touching moments, and the cast is well characterized. Even characters that were a bit annoying at first find a way of endearing themselves to you by the end.

Some of the non-essential gameplay elements (like time challenges, speed challenges, and a jarring jet-fighter sequence) may be less polished, but they are over quickly and not so distasteful as to ruin a player's palate for the rest of the game. An improved and polished sequel to the original Bayonetta, it has the same beautiful visual design that’s just as bonkers as everything else in the game (such as angels with heads in the middle of their chests). There are many little details that really push Bayonetta 2 from an excellent spectacle-fighter to a top game of the year.

Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2

The Verdict

Bayonetta 2 does a lot of little things that make the game an enjoyable experience. The original intro cinematic is playable, as well as some dialogue sequences throughout the game where you can play the game or at least walk around collecting items while the story is being delivered to you.

A practice mode loading screen and the ability to try out techniques and items in the store before you purchase them are nice touches kept from the original game. There are also fun elements like dynamically changing gravity which allows you to walk on walls at times.

Bayonetta 2 may not be a big enough draw for gamers to go out and purchase a Wii U, but it is a great addition to the Wii U library of available games. Nintendo’s support of the developer Platinum Games' successful endeavor to make a sequel seems a promising move in the right direction. Nintendo fans will always love Mario and Zelda, yet clearly, to top the console charts, Nintendo needs more variety to incentivize their customers to invest in their product.

The Wii U seems a good fit for the game and it’s a standout game deserving of all of its praise. Fans will want to play this game multiple times, as it has some serious replay value. Visit a friend with a Wii U, patronize your local game shop, download the demo, or do whatever you need to do to give Bayonetta 2 a try, because it’s definitely worth seeing what all the hype is about.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.