Umbra Witches, Luman Sages, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and sexual poses… Bayonetta has it all. I’ll be doing something a little different with this review, because I played Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 at the same time, back to back from one another, I’m gonna do a joint review and review them both at once…
Let’s get started after the break.
So, I’m gonna start with the first Bayonetta. I never had the chance to play the first one when it originally released on Xbox 360 and PS3, the Wii U version was my first go at the series. Let me tell you, Bayonetta was awesome.
Bayonetta puts you in control of a witch named Bayonetta (that’s actually one of her names, but I’ll let you play the game to find out what I mean). Bayonetta’s main form of attack is her pistols, but she is able to get swords and other different weapons though out the game. There is a mechanic in Bayonetta called, Witch Time… What that does is, if you dodge at the right time, Bayonetta will slow down time and make it easy for the player to land combos. At the end of every stage you get ranked based on the time it took to complete said stage, damage taken, and your combo count… Stone is the lowest rating, Pure Platinum is the highest. The game play of Bayonetta is very fluid and solid, not once did I get sick of fighting one of the games numerous bosses because of how well Bayonetta controls. The bosses themselves are very well designed and very challenging, they all felt very unique and each of them added to the game making it feel complete.
My issue with Bayonetta though, even though I enjoyed it a lot, was all the cutscenes. A lot of the first Bayonetta is plagued with cutscenes that get a bit annoying after a while… The first 45 minutes of Bayonetta is 42 minutes of cutscenes with 3 minutes of gameplay, you have to admit, that is ridiculous. It does get better as the game goes on however, less cutscenes, though they’re still prevalent throughout the game. Too many cutscenes take away from a game in my opinion, and unfortunately Bayonetta is no different.
The story of Bayonetta is well told though, as I was playing through the game I wanted to know more… Why Bayonetta is going on this journey and what she has to accomplish. Along with it’s gameplay, Bayonetta’s next strong point is it’s story. The story it’s self is a little on the short side, about 8 to 9 hours… But, there’s a lot of replay value to Bayonetta. Between getting all the best ranks in stages, purchasing all the items, equipment, etc. and finding all the hidden fights within stages make Bayonetta a game worth having. On a numerical scale, 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest, I would give the first Bayonetta a 7.5. It would’ve scored higher, but the over abundance of cutscenes really detracted from the game for me…Other then the cutscenes though, it was an amazing game, one I feel everyone should give a shot at some point.
Bayonetta 2 literally takes everything wrong with the first Bayonetta and improves it in every aspect. There aren’t as many cutscenes, even though you will still watch your fair share of them. Bayonetta 2 takes place right after the first Bayonetta. You see Bayonetta, in the opening cutscene, getting stuff together for a party, then the heavens come down upon her and she is fighting a horde of angels on the back of a jet.
Bayonetta 2’s storytelling is much better than what it was in the first. It also got rid of the lame freeze frame, old school looking, film cutscenes that took me out of the mood while playing through the first one. I felt more of a connection with Bayonetta as a character, she would actually show emotion where in the first game she came off as a sex crazed narcissist. The cast of characters are well developed, and everything about the second game far exceeds what the first game accomplished.
The gameplay itself feels very similar to the first iteration, with minor tweeks to make it feel more fluid (which was surprising, I didn’t think that the gameplay itself could feel any better then what it did in the first Bayonetta… But it did). You still have Witch Time, a set of pistols or swords, etc. Again, like the first game, each weapon offers a different style of play. For example, the swords are a little slower then the pistols but they are great for up close melee where the pistols are more of an all around weapon.
What I didn’t like about Bayonetta 2 though is how short it was… I thought Platinum would have made a longer game story-wise do to the game being on newer hardware with more potential, but sadly it is almost as long as the first game, if not a little shorter. Short games are a downside in my eyes, but the game does have a lot of replay value. Between trying to get the best rank on every stage, getting every weapon, every item hidden through out the game, etc. It should keep you busy for quite some time. I do want to point out that the Gamepad intergration for both Bayonetta games was very poor. You had the option to control Bayonetta via stylus controls in the same vein as The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, which doesn’t quite work in a game like Bayonetta. I wish Platinum would’ve thought of something more intuitive to use the Gamepad for, but it is what it is… at least there are button controls.
All in all, I would give Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U an 8.3. It definitely does improve on it’s predecessor in nearly every aspect, but it’s too short story-wise. Its gameplay is very solid and it’s short story will be able to keep you intrigued throughout the game, it does have a lot of replay value as well. If I were you, I’d get Bayonetta if you have a Wii U. I wouldn’t say it’s worth running out and buying the console for though. Be sure to keep this game in mind if any of you readers without a Wii U get one soon, you won’t be disappointed by this game. I hope you enjoyed the joint review of Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, let me know what you think about the game in the comments below.