Bayonetta 2 is now available on the Nintendo Switch, as part of a mega week of releases on the platform, that seen as many as 16 new titles. Now its time for the review. The game first arrived way back in 2010 on the Wii and thanks to the graphics capabilities now afforded by the Switch, the leather-clad, bad-ass witch, Bayonetta looks amazing in equally impressive 3D environments.
Now let me make something clear from the outset, this isn’t a game for kids, it’s violent, really violent, but if you’re big enough to ride the rollercoaster (read 15 years or older), it’s well worth the price of admission.
When you first fire up the game, you rapidly come to the realisation that most of the time, you’ll be undersized against your opponents. This means you need to leverage all your skills and combination of said skills, to have any chance of succeeding against enemies and especially bosses.
Bayonetta wields an arsenal of weaponry and deadly (like the Umbran Climax to summon demonic assistance) to battle the enemies. From pistols to whips, hammers, flamethrowers, and poison bows, the weapons attached to all limbs means this spinning, jumping (and flying) character at your disposal is incredibly capable. What you need to decide is if you are the style of player that diligently plans their attack combinations to get the job done, or if you’re a have fun, button masher-type.
The default difficulty is Normal and at that level, you’ll definitely still come off second best in a lot of battles and die. Thankfully you can adjust the difficulty up or down, depending on how much of a challenge you’re after.
Along with the single player campaign, Bayonetta 2 offers the ability to team up with other players. The Switch is a great console when playing on your own, but really does express its true potential when playing with (or against) others. In 2-player Tag Climax co-op mode, you can connect to your friend in the same location via wireless or if your friends are further abroad, you can find them online to battle through the levels of enemies.
The graphics in Bayonetta 2 is an assault on the senses in the very best way. As you enter this world of relentless action, the diverse range of battle arenas (often on top of moving objects) means you’re constantly visually stimulated. Environments set the stage, but its your character (Bayonetta) and her seemingly endless array of moves and weapons that layer on animation and effects that look fantastic on the switch.
There’s the occasional rough edge here or there, but for the most part, this game looks great and is a testiment to the power of the portable console. I think there are better-looking games on the platform, but they’re usually attempting cartoon graphics, whereas this title goes for more realistic textures and objects, even if the environments and bosses are unreal.
In the shot above you see a smart, sophisticated, capable Bayonetta and to be honest, its a shame the whole outfit doesn’t match the brain. The character is an absolute bad-ass, but unfortunately, the Japanese-design aesthetic expends far too much energy making the character sexy, when a strong female lead, great gameplay mechanic, weapon and level progression system makes for a great game. Its almost as if at the outset of the series, the developers weren’t confident enough in their, like a Netflix show that throws a sex scene in your face in the first 5 minutes.
Other than that, the games biggest issue was a ridiculously long, I mean close to 20 minutes, introductory cutscene before you get to start playing. Some kind of intro sequence is definitely necessary, given the background is lost to many (myself included) who hadn’t played the original Bayonetta. That said, a more efficient way to get started in battles would be much appreciated.
Price and Availability
When you purchase Bayonetta 2, it includes a code for Bayonetta 1, so if you’re new to the series, you have a choice, play through them sequentially, or to start with the latest, then fill in the blanks. This fundamentally changes the value proposition for the game.
The game is available from the Nintendo eShop directly on the Switch, or from retailers like JB Hi-Fi, EB Games, BigW and more. There are two editions to choose from. The first is the standard Bayonetta 2 and Bayonetta original. This will set you back A$69.00 while a special edition costs A$119.00 and for the extra money SteelBook, 22 Verse Cards, 3 Sticker Sheets and Poster.
All things considered, Bayonetta 2 is a great addition to the Switch platform, one that goes from strength-to-strength. The game is certainly challenging and has plenty of content to make the value for money appealing. In terms of a target audience, this one’s pretty narrow, as you’ve gotta be old enough to play it, but young enough to be interested in it.
If you do land in the magic sweet spot of the audience for this game, then pick it up and you’ll have a great time with it. There’s some really endeering ideas here, like guns for shoes and butterfly wings when you multi-press the jump button, but you need to invest some serious time to learn the attack combos and sequences that’ll have you coming up trumps against the oversized bosses.
- Japanese-style main character