The sequel Nintendo saved pays off in spades and provides a torrent of action that is as bonkers as it is wonderful.

The original Bayonetta was an enjoyably boisterous action game and brawler, but for me, it didn’t reach the heights of other character action games like God of War or DmC. This lead me to be floored by Bayonetta 2 over and over while I gleefully blasted through the sequel, an exclusive for the Wii U. “Was the original this good? Did I miss something?” These were questions I posed to myself, over and over as I had a ridiculous amount of fun playing Bayonetta 2.

Punch dancing on top of a jet is decidedly bad ass.

Punch dancing on top of a jet is decidedly bad ass.

The way Bayonetta 2 is structured isn’t much different from the original, but it doesn’t need to be. In lieu of mixing things up, Platinum Games have instead ratcheted up the options available to players during combat and made it feel even tighter than before. Each brutal melee is a visceral, lightening fast flurry of combo strings and dodges. The heart of the combat rests with the Witch Time system, which rewards evade moves executed at the last second by briefly decreasing the speed of time. This mechanic allows you to really bring the pain to the enemy, because they won’t be able to defend themselves. The higher levels of difficulty in Bayonetta 2 essentially require you to become incredibly adept at utilizing Witch Time to make any sort of headway at all.

Buying new weapons and moves gives you the options to mold the way Bayonetta attacks to suit the way you play. This is done with the ability to swap between configurations on the fly with the press of a button. I will forever be a fan of dual wielding blades, so I had a pair of those in hand and demonic whips shackled to my feet, I was a whirling dervish of destruction. Watching Bayonetta dance around the battlefield as she slashed and whipped everything around with her flamboyant flips and spins was a real treat to behold.

While the mind boggling array of moves and weapons at Bayonetta’s disposal is enough to keep things varied enough by themselves, the diverse range of enemies meant brouhahas never got stale. A regular encounter contained several sorts of demons, all of which have their own styles and ways of telegraphing what they’re about to do. A chapter isn’t complete without some sort of crazy boss battle, usually against some gargantuan demon that fills the entire screen and then some. Pattern recognition becomes key on higher difficulties and players will have to work at perfecting their dodges to make it out of these hectic battles alive. In what have to be some of the most spectacularly ridiculous scenes in video games today, Bayonetta’s hair will usually transform into an equally large monster, like a frog that finishes off the boss.

Bayonetta’s wealth of combat abilities would be squandered if the game controlled like garbage. I spent most of my time playing Bayonetta 2 with the Wii U game pad and everything felt tight, snappy, and responsive, and off screen play on the Wii U game pad works great. The first Bayonetta‘s Automatic mode makes a return in the form of the touch control capabilities of the game pad. This function allows players to perform devastating combos with a simple tap, and while I found it much more fulfilling to execute them myself, I am glad the option exists for those with less time to hone their skills. I managed to get my hands on a Wii U pro controller, and it didn’t miss a beat either; both offered great ways to play, but my inclination to perform combos myself meant the pro was the perfect choice for me.

The story is insane and manages to place Bayonetta at the furthest corners of space-time and on regular city streets with the exact same candour. It’s hard to know where, or who, Bayonetta 2‘s missions will throw at you next. I’m not sure I know any super serious Bayonetta narrative buffs, and for good reason. It’s silly, ridiculous, and entirely wonderful the whole damn time, just like the original.

The monster designs in Bayonetta 2 are stellar.

The monster designs in Bayonetta 2 are stellar.

There’s powerful old gods, whatever Umbra witches are, other junk, and of course, time travel. It’s a fantastic vehicle to get Bayonetta from place to place to put the hurt on increasingly crazy demons. If the Easter egg curve balls the first Bayonetta contained we’re up your alley, like the crazy Space Harrier call back, you will no doubt dig the scenarios loaded into the follow up.

If you have kept up with the news coming out about Bayonetta 2 then you almost undoubtedly have seen some of the ultra nifty Nintendo flavoured unlockables nestled within, and I won’t do any more to spoil the surprises here. What I will say is that I thoroughly enjoyed all of the unlockables and messing about with them as they became available to me. Bayonetta 2 is a game that vehemently enables numerous successive play-throughs, so there’s ample opportunity to fool around with the stuff you unlock. The first Bayonetta was a one and done game for me, but I’ve been drawn to play the sequel through again and again on each of the difficulty levels. This isn’t a standard practice for me; it is an act I reserve for games I have a ludicrously good time with. As an added bonus, if you never picked up the first game, it is included as a freebie.

The Tag Climax mode is a new addition that behooves players to bet their hard earned halos, which happen to be the currency in Bayonetta 2, against friends to see who’s better at dispatching foes. I didn’t find it to be very engrossing and despite there being AI opponents to go up against to earn more halos, you’re better off doing that in the game proper. That aside, it proved to be a neat little distraction from the main campaign of Bayonetta 2.

The already bonkers formula that made up the first Bayonetta hasn’t changed severely, but serves to be more of what made it great, just tighter and more grandiose. If you’ve ever been drawn to brawlers stuffed with over the top action and reliant on lightning fast reflexes, Bayonetta 2 is a must buy, even at full price. It’s probably the best game of its particular genre to be released in years.

Bayonetta 2 Review
Bayonetta 2 unapologetically heaps on more of the same beautifully ludicrous action as the first game, just much grander and more nuanced. Each chapter is a raucous spectacle of intense thrills and equally intense particle effects.
THE GOOD
  • Incredibly tight, nuanced combat
  • One of the most badass female characters in video games
  • Great visuals
THE BAD
  • Hectic fights might cause some to lose track of what’s going on
  • More people won`t get to play it
10Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Evan T
Editorial/Reviews Writer

Evan is a super serious, real life production assistant, video editor, and current review and editorial writer for Gamer Assault Weekly. A failed knife salesman and former member of a prestigious World of Warcraft guild, renowned for his voice and childlike enthusiasm for video games. Has never broken a bone. Hates possums. Mumble-sings.