The Ninjabot

Bayonetta 2 Review: Absolute Climactic Action

Posted on October 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm by Victor Chaves

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Bayonetta 2. Explaining how excellent Bayonetta 2 is a disservice to the game, as I doubt my vocabulary can truly bring to light exactly how fantastic the game is. The pleasure of playing Bayonetta 2 is tantamount to the juiciest steak, no fat, just pure delicious.

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Character Action To The Absolute Limit

Bayonetta 2 thrives in the veins of Devil May Cry, God of War, and other character action games, as well as being the sequel to the pinnacle of character action games, Bayonetta. As the hero, Bayonetta, you smack angels and demons around with crazy weapons while using well-timed dodges to activate a slow-mo power (Witch Time) in order to have some free time to lay even more smack on the denizens of heaven and hell. The dodging mechanic is paramount to succeeding, as enemies will attack you out of turn and at the same time, which is wildly different from nearly every other game like Assassin’s Creed where enemies take turns and there is no need to pay attention to anyone else besides who you are attacking.

Each of the wild weapons you will use are incredibly fun to play with. The five I unlocked (eight total, but I’m not sure) each have different properties that fit with whatever situation you find yourself in. Although I used the dual-swords for most of the game, the whip I unlocked proved incredibly useful when I was outnumbered and against flying enemies. Holding the attack buttons down offer interesting mechanics such as shooting your pistols after attacking, grabbing and slamming enemies in the distance with your whip, and the swords offer a charge slash a la Ninja Gaiden Black.

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The incredibly useful dodge mechanic Witch Time is your main method of defense, but is also incredibly risky! The only way to activate the slow-motion is to timely dodge an enemy’s strike right when it’s about to hit you. The window to dodge can be generous at times, but just small enough to require the player to know what they’re doing. What this results in is an absolute requirement to not only know Bayonetta’s moves, but the enemies as well. You need to know the visual cues of each enemy to know when to hit that dodge and turn that attack against them.

Then and only then, will the chaos that appears on the screen become decipherable. You’ll start noticing the glint of an angel’s axe just before it comes down, a giant reaching up before punching the earth, and a simple posture a devil poses will clue you in when to slip past an attack and in turn put a thorny squeeze on their behinds.

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Satisfaction From Skill

And suddenly, this understanding of the chaos makes Bayonetta 2 become a purely euphoric experience. Much like how Bayonetta herself imposes a gleeful tone of a dominatrix, so will you as enemies that you once felt as unfair start to squirm under your heel a stage later. But don’t get it wrong, it’s not like Bayonetta leveled up or her weapons got stronger; no, what Bayonetta 2 makes you realize is that you are getting better with each dust-up you participate in, and you start to attune your visual filter to watch for actions that cue you in to what’s about to happen. The items you can buy certainly help, but only serve to expand how many ways you can destroy enemies. What it all comes down to is the skill required to take down the holy and evil hordes, which all comes from you. That is the essence of why Bayonetta 2 is so incredibly satisfying to play.

Although the main idea behind Bayonetta 2 is all about dropping knuckles into a gods’ cheek, there is actually a lot of exploration involved as well. You’ll find currency, health and magic upgrades, as well as optional fights to participate in. It sounds like a small thing, but in actuality, exploring is a huge and very fun part of the Bayonetta series. Finding health upgrades and completing challenges keeps the game feeling really fresh, and the fact that the developer Platinum Games is rewarding you for exploring the environment shows a developer that really appreciates the time and effort their players put in to their games.

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The main story in Bayonetta 2 is a bit overwritten, as the overarching story involves a god who overlooked the Earth and gave humans his two eyes that have some power blah blah blah, it makes my eyes rollover. Luckily the characters are a lot of fun to watch as they interact with each other, as well as having some pretty fun side-stories involving Jeanne’s rescue. One of my favorite lines is from Rodin when he goes to hell to fight and make a demon into a weapon. “This motherf***** DID NOT want to listen to reason. But it’s all good, cuz neither did I. Put him to work.” It’s a perfect line delivery from Rodin, and almost every character is fantastically voiced (the exception being Loki having some of the worst written dialogue ever). It goes to show how even though I’m not fighting, the antics that each character has and the charm that oozes from the game always keeps me smiling.

Moon River

The musical choice for Bayonetta 2 is a mind-blowing set of epic tracks that highlight the enormity of the battles and the joy of slamming enemies. One wouldn’t think a remix of the classic song Moon River would translate so well, but here I am in 2014, 53 years after its first appearance in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, telling you that the track epitomizes the joy of blasting demons. I am buying this soundtrack, and nobody can stop me.

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To explain the visual experience in Bayonetta 2 would be to equate it with watching a dazzling fireworks display; it’s a chaos that arrests your eyes to an exploding powerhouse of colors. When the fighting ends though, there is still much to view. Hellish landscapes make appearance as well as a beautiful mountain-side city that is a prime example of what someone thinks of when the word “paradise” comes to mind. There are a few gray corridors, but you can skip that by easily tapping ZR twice to run away from the dreary, and right into another blast of dazzling prisms.

There is also a Tag Battle mode where you can connect with another player online to cooperatively pulverize enemies. The twist is that you bet halos (the game’s currency) on who will do better in the battle. So when your friend gets knocked out, you can let your opponent wait a few more seconds while you slam a demon into an Iron Maiden before resurrecting your partner in order to guarantee your victory. It’s a fun wrinkle in the battle system, and will guarantee a speedy gain in halo earnings if you need it.

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Final Thoughts

I love Bayonetta 2. I had high-hopes when I started, and it was blasted away. This is the perfect action game, with a mostly fun story with fantastic characters, and a soundtrack that will knock your socks off. This is not a reason to own a Wii U, it is THE reason to own a Wii U. I truly feel bad for whatever game I play next, as it is impossible to follow-up what is more than likely my game of the year.

Presentation: 10

Gameplay: 10

Replay: 10

LEGACY SCORE: 10

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him realizing his Wii U Pro Controller hasn’t needed a recharge since August.

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