Can Bayonetta 3 capture the magic of Bayonetta 2 – one of Nintendo’s greatest exclusives of all time?
If that’s what most people imagine Wii U, you remember a Fisher-Price-looking disappointment. For action gaming connoisseurs, however, it’s the console that brought Trojan Horse into our lives as the best game of 2014. I’m talking about the breathtakingly bizarre, of course bayonet 2.
A once-delayed sequel to Sega-published Bayonetta, the 91 Metacritic-rated sequel is an insane masterpiece. Now, eight years later, we may be just months away from this year’s Nintendo Switch threesome. With just a single trailer, details about the Umbran Witch’s highly anticipated upcoming adventure are… well, a bit sparse. What we do know, however, is that after returning to the batshit brilliance of the eight-year-old Bayonetta 2 – there’s a very real chance we’ll see another all-timer.
For those who have skipped Nintendo’s Angel-wiping opus, Bayonetta 2 is an experience operating entirely in its own sense-defying stratosphere. From its manic-melodramatic main theme to a whiplash-inducing Christmas shopping prologue in which a festive bayonetta battles angels on a fighter jet, Platinum’s turbocharged jaunt never lets up. It’s an undeniable pinnacle for the character-driven action genre. A serotonin-secreting source of absolutely glorious nonsense. But the best part? This swearing, sexual angel-slaying sim wouldn’t exist without Nintendo.
With the big N struggling to find an audience for its ill-named Wii successor, it needed great games – and fast. Luckily for Nintendo, a slightly skinny Sega had recently gotten cold feet with its new witch, leaving Developer Platinum sitting on the shelf with a finished bayo sequel. The rest, as they say, is Neogaf bait history. Made under the watchful eye of series creator (and notorious Twitter troll) Hideki Kamiya, our heroine’s second appearance impressively manages to feel even less coherent than its predecessor. Make no mistake, this is an experience full of barely-understandable story beats and confusing “jokes”, but it’s hard to care for when they lead to such a dizzying tour de force of combat and endlessly breathtaking spectacle.
It’s the kind of dazzling and dizzying mess that comes only from the most meticulous Japanese games, culminating in an atmosphere so unique and inimitable to Bayonetta that it’s hard to put into sane, grown-up words. And once you’ve experienced the full breadth of Bayonetta 2’s “narrative,” Platinum’s writers also seem to struggle with sensible, grown-up words.
This is a game that dares to ask questions that we’d bet few people would ask. As; What if Bayonetta was actually the mother of a half angel, half squirrel child? And if Bayonetta loses more clothes, will her breasts summon demons that level the city?! The result is a hodgepodge of cutscenes and conversations that would probably give even poor old Psyduck an aneurysm.
Still, this strangely riveting mix of cheeky zingers, proper-named lore, and Poundland Danny Devito impersonation comes together to create one thing – a gallery of glorious set pieces. Whether you’re surfing half a wall through a flooded city, smashing madly at a biblical sea creature, or smacking the ever-loving shit out of the fist of a gigantic 40-foot angel, Bayonetta 2 feels like a bunch of coked-up boys constantly trying to outdo each other at a wildly escalating bachelorette party.
It’s hard to underestimate how joyful the action in this game feels in your hands. No, not like that, you pervert. Perhaps fitting for a game with a witch protagonist tasked with slaying God’s angel, the feel verges on a religious experience as a good combo chain hits its full steam.
Angels tumble, woman-wielded firecrackers blare from the speakers, and blood, gore and torture devices rain from the sky amidst a brutal ballet of balls. And that’s before you even unlock Bayonetta’s many combat techniques or equip them with stat-boosting accessories. From the “Witch Age” to parting the seas – Moses-style – before you gallop across them as a demonic panther – Bayonetta 2 feels like it’s throwing you into constant sensory overload.
If you somehow get out of the first level and feel that Bayonetta 2 is too straight forward, you can choose to make the game even more ridiculous. As? By dressing our anti-heroine in frankly ridiculous Link, Samus, or Fox McCloud outfits. Honestly, the idea of putting a dick on the already sexualized Bayonetta makes me choke, but furries – don’t say Nintendo isn’t doing anything for you.
For the rest of us, there are more innocent motivations to keep coming back to Bayonetta 2. As in its predecessor, your performance in each fight is assessed – a technique series creator Hideki Kamiya has been using since the days of Devil May Cry – and it keeps you surprisingly well motivated and eager to improve. With every fight, I felt compelled to avoid as much damage as possible and coveted that elusive Pure Platinum Achievement Medal.
When it comes to combat feel, pace, and sheer spectacle, it’s hard to consider Bayonetta 2 anything but a masterpiece. Sure, the story is mostly crap nonsense, but it does what it takes to propel the next amazing set piece or the next gargantuan boss fight at a breakneck pace. Quite simply, this is a game that has to be played to be believed. The Nintendo Exclusive is a 10-hour romp of such unrelenting brilliance that it’s hard to know how Platinum can top it for the threequel.
But after 2018’s understated invention of Astral Chain – and the eight-year wait between Bayonetta entries – if anyone can surpass their own eccentric genius, I’m confident it will be the folks at Japan’s most sought-after studio.
https://www.vg247.com/can-bayonetta-3-capture-the-magic-of-bayonetta-2-one-of-nintendos-greatest-ever-exclusives Can Bayonetta 3 capture the magic of Bayonetta 2 – one of Nintendo’s greatest exclusives of all time?