Bayonetta 2 Hands-On Preview for Wii U

Bayonetta 2 Hands-On Preview for Wii U

This Probably isn’t News to You, But Bayonetta is a Terrifying Sadist

Even with all of attention paid to Sony and Microsoft at this year’s E3, Nintendo managed to land a couple of well-placed jabs. Actually, even though they didn’t have any official press conference, Nintendo’s showing was incredibly impressive. Titles like Super Mario 3D World , Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze , Pikmin 3 , and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker are definitely making gamers take a second look at the Wii U. But there was one title in particular that was so exceptionally confusing, that, even two weeks later, I still have a dopey look on my face whenever I think about it: Bayonetta 2 .

Normally, it would be impossible to use a word like confused as a compliment, but in this case, it’s completely accurate. Bayonetta 2 is so fast paced and intense that I swear the developers were forced to mainline cocaine and drink pure testosterone while working on the project.

Bayonetta 2 Trailer

And even if you’re not a fan of her newly cropped haircut, Bayonetta 2 is a nearly flawless sequel. Though, I’m still having a hard time believing that a franchise that started out on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is now a Wii U exclusive. I’ll eventually get over it, but I think that there are several fans that are a little more invested in the series and might not be so lenient.

That being said, the folks at Platinum Games game have really done an amazing job keeping the game’s foundation in mind while utilizing the Wii U’s unique interface. The game supports off-screen play, which means that you don’t necessarily need a television to play through the campaign. So, you’ll be able to play Bayonetta 2 and watch Baywatch reruns simultaneously.

Bayonetta 2 also sports a touch-based control scheme. Luckily, it’s an optional feature. The touch-based controls allow you to use the stylus to target enemies or evade attacks by swiping. Sure, this seems like it might be kind of fun, and I’ve heard the developers talking about how the touch-based setup shortens the learning curve for beginners, but I wasn’t sold. They felt gimmicky and cumbersome, so I went back to mashing buttons.

At its core, Bayonetta 2 is meant to be a button-mashing epic in the same vein as God of War . However, even though it’s possible to complete a mission by simply mashing the attack buttons, Platinum Games has implemented a scoring system that adds quite a bit of depth and replay value.

Bayonetta 2 Screenshot

The system, much like other Platinum Games titles, simply rates your performance in a battle, and then awards you a score based on a number of elements (time, power, combos, etc). So, if you really want to start getting a few silver and gold medals, you’re going to have to learn a few combos.

The mission that I got to play at E3 was only about ten minutes long, but I felt like I’d just eaten a huge thanksgiving turkey. The game’s intensity wore me down, and eventually the mission became a test of endurance. I typically hesitate to use any phrase as cliché as high octane to describe anything, but considering the fact that the mission started out with a brawl on the back of a flying fighter jet, high octane seems particularly apt.

Bayonetta 2 Screenshot

We don’t know a whole lot about the story at this point; actually, Nintendo is keeping a tight lid on that side of development. However, we do know that Jeanne will be making another appearance. During the demo, she acted a little bit like Bayonetta’s sidekick, but things got bad for her toward the end of the mission.

Anyone who played the last Bayonetta title knows that Jeanne was more like a rival than a sidekick. So, the fact that she’s been downgraded for Bayonetta 2 probably requires an interesting backstory, but Platinum Games is keeping their lips sealed.

The developer has mentioned, though, that there will be some kind of two-player, co-op component for Bayonetta 2 . So, Jeanne’s willingness to assist Bayonetta might have more to do with her place in the gameplay than her backstory. That being said, we still don’t know anything about the co-op component, so I might be entirely off base.

Bayonetta 2 Screenshot

Aside from her new haircut, Bayonetta has received several other upgrades. In previous titles, her boots doubled as guns, which, I’ll admit, is pretty hot. This time, though, her boots are equipped with whips. I’ll let you decide which is hotter.

Players can also dual wield their swords, but that seems somewhat less newsworthy after the boot/whip stuff.

Most of the controls are relatively similar. Though, now she has a power-up meter in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Once activated, the power-up gives Bayonetta an attack/speed boost. The developers are calling it an Umbran Climax, which sounds sexy, but Bayonetta’s enemies would probably disagree.

Even though I was only able to spend about ten minutes with the game, Bayonetta 2 feels like a really solid sequel to the original. And even though it’s a little out of place in the Wii U’s lineup, Bayonetta 2 does add a particularly mature bent to the Wii U’s family-friendly library.

Game Features:

  • Bayonetta’s longtime friend and fellow Umbra Witch, Jeanne, appears in the game(as a non-playable character) to assist Bayonetta in performing combination attacks and in doling out intense punishment against enemies.
  • Take the action off the big screen and enjoy off-TV play using the Wii U GamePad controller.

  • The Witch Returns

    Another year another preview for Bayonetta 2 . It seems like this is another game that is endlessly in development and yet never comes out. Last year we got to see a small snippet of gameplay of the witch in heels doing her thing on the Wii U. This year, well, we got to see the same thing. Once again the game was on display at the Nintendo booth, with a new stage, and new boss, and a couple of new tricks up its sleeve. But at the end of the day, we are still playing Bayonetta , and that’s not the bad thing.

    The core gameplay of Bayonetta 2 is nearly identical to the original, which is to say it’s largely based on mashing buttons. Bayonetta moves pretty much identical to how she moved on Bayonetta one, with buttons controlling her punches, kicks, jumps, dodges and more. Like before if you dodge at the last possible minute you’ll go into “witch time” which makes time slow down and allows you to completely unload on your opponent. Then, when they hit low health, it’s up to you to do a small quick time event that allows you to dismantle them piece by piece using a finishing move that usually resembles some sort of horrible torture device made out of magical hair.

    There is another new gameplay element, the Umbran Climax, which is basically a super mode. It’s based on a meter that fills as Bayonetta fights, and when she activates it she gets a huge strength boost for a short period of time. It’s a small addition but it’s actually quite welcome. There are plenty of times when you feel like you just need a little bit of an extra push to get through a fight and that’s exactly what the Umbran Climax does.

    Bayonetta 2 Screenshot

    Enemies are still absolutely ludicrous. You’ll still fight angels and giant mechanical enemies and bosses that are as huge as a building and more. Bayonetta will run on walls, fight in midair, plunge into the depths of hell, and more as she takes on huge enemy after huge enemy. As always, there is a lot of this game that just sort of boils down to quick time event. Boss encounters tend to be reduced to “anticipate pattern, whack at it, and don’t fail at a quick time event to finish the boss off.” It’s not exactly a bad thing, as this seems to plague every action game in existence these days, but it’s still a bit disappointing as it’s hard to focus on the gorgeous actions while you are trying to execute a quick time event.

    Bayonetta 2 Screenshot

    Bayonetta will also be able to pick up and use a variety of new weapons. The standards are still here, including swords, guns, shotguns and lots of other things that you probably shouldn’t be strapping to your heels. You’ll also be able to steal weapons from enemies, just as you could in Bayonetta 1 , and beat them to death with them. Another short video shown by Platinum games shows that Bayonetta will, oddly, be able to ride in giant mechs as well. These segments will be mostly scripted, not allowing you to bring the mech into other stages. However, it’s undeniably awesome, as it has mini guns on its hands, a scythe on its back, and shot guns on its feet. Once again, all you need to do is mash buttons and you will be OK.

    Another great reveal at E3 2014, was the fact that you will be getting two games for the price of one. Every single copy of Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U will come with a full copy of Bayonetta 1 for the Wii U as well. Now you can play the entire story from start to finish all in one place.

    Bayonetta 2 Screenshot

    I really wish there was more to say about Bayonetta 2 , but there really isn’t. The game is exactly what fans have been waiting for: more Bayonetta . Platinum Games isn’t reinventing the wheel here, so don’t expect this game to come with a whole bunch of new systems or anything like that. You’ll get new weapons, new combos, and you’ll meet new characters and bosses, but you are still just participating in the same sort of happy, thoughtless, sexified button mashing that you were in the original. You can expect Bayonetta 2 to hit store shelves this October.

    Game Features:

  • Brand new weapons and items to use.
  • Giant demon mechs that you can ride around in.
  • A full copy of Bayonetta 1 is included with every copy of Bayonetta 2.

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