Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bayonetta 2

Post-Launch Review
Bayonetta 2
Developer: PlatinumGames
Released: October 2014
Played: complete in 9h:16min 


Bayonetta is on a shopping trip when she's attacked by angels. Her summoning goes wrong - something's up between the worlds - and Jeanne is dragged to hell. At the same time, a mystery man with great power pulls a Lumen Sage from the past with the promise of revenge. Bayonetta sets out to the sacred mountain Fimbulventr to find a way to go to hell and save Jeanne, and along the way, meets an amnesiac boy with great power who seems tied to the trouble between the worlds...

At Launch

Bayonetta 2 received average review scores of 91%. Critics were very impressed, writing that the sequel kept or improved the good qualities of the original while resolving its problem areas and adding a ton of new content. The primary complaint was of inconsistent frame rate.

Post Launch

A lazy Googling didn't turn up any patches.

As it turns out I don't actually have that much to say about Bayonetta 2, so I'll just make a couple of quick points and leave a link to my review of the original.

I appreciate that Bayonetta 2 doesn't find an excuse to depower the hero like a lot of sequels do in order to allow for progression again. You keep a bunch of the unlocked abilities from the last game - panther form, wings, etc - and not having the weapons you unlocked makes sense because Bayonetta has been on relative downtime rather than another epic crusade so there's no need to carry everything with her. Health and magic meters start out lower than they would have been at the end of the first game, but that's fine, because the enemies you fight look and feel stronger than the ones at the beginning of the first game, so it feels like you're stronger than you were. 

The boss battle with the masked Lumen sage was ludicrous - in a great way. The combat felt so fast and busy and loud, and the insane backdrop helped emphasize the power levels of the combatants while distracting a little but that's all right because it was crazy. The whole fight felt speedy and hectic and great. It was even more fun than the endgame boss battles.

The story seems unrelated to the first game until about halfway through, and then ends up fleshing out a lot of the events of the original story: gives you a better look at the Witch Trials, reveals who killed a certain character, and shows why the villain was a bad guy. This was the good stuff. The bad stuff included getting knocked back from your goal every chapter of two for the first half of the game, and also that annoying cocky kid.

Bayonetta 2 had pretty much the exact same positives and negatives as its predecessor: exciting over-the-top action cutscenes with gameplay that doesn't quite live up to the movies, and a story that was strong but would have been stronger if some of the annoying side characters were toned down a bit. Again I got the sense that this would have made a better movie than game, though there is a lot more post-story content this time around for those who do enjoy it as a game.

Recommendation: play it if you liked the original.

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