Platinum’s Bewitching Game

Sam shares some thoughts on his most anticipated title of 2014– Bayonetta 2.

By Sam Stewart. Posted 01/17/2014 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

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Bayonetta was a game that I never saw coming. I was a big fan of Devil May Cry, but at the time it was the only action series I was aware of so I never kept tabs on upcoming games in the genre. After being disappointed by Devil May Cry 4 I had my eyes peeled for something else to scratch my action game itch, but I never expected Bayonetta to fill that role. In the days leading up to its release there was a lot of skepticism, and some were even poking fun at the premise and over-the-top action. But the cynicism didn’t stop me from picking the game up, and it only took a few fights for all my doubts to fade away. Bayonetta was a new era of action games. The combat was fast and stylish, the enemies were varied and fun to fight, and the bosses were bigger and crazier than anything I had seen before. Then there was Witch Time, a simple dodge mechanic that adds a whole new layer of strategy to the combat. It was the perfect action game and I savored every moment, playing through it multiple times, trying out different difficulties. I wanted more, but Platinum isn’t known for making sequels. Years passed and it seemed we might never get a sequel to Bayonetta.

Then magic happened. In one of the most unexpected reveals in recent memory, Nintendo announced that it was teaming with Platinum to bring Bayonetta 2 exclusively to its new system, Wii U. When the first trailer was shown at E3 Bayonetta was sporting a new shorter haircut, but the gameplay looked as good as ever. I have no doubt that Bayonetta 2 will be a worthy successor, but I do wonder how Platinum will handle the sequel. As I stated before, Platinum has never made a sequel to any of its games, instead focusing on creating a library of very different action games. Play Metal Gear Rising, Bayonetta, and Wonderful 101 and you will see how different action games can be.

So what does this mean for Bayonetta 2? The gameplay trailer makes me think we are in for more of the same, but after watching the trailer again recently there are a few tiny details that give me faith in Platinum’s ability to innovate. Although the combat does look similar, I noticed a lot more area of effect-style attacks. These are really flashy, and maybe hint at bigger, more hectic battles. It also makes me wonder what new kinds of weapons we can expect, and of course I’m excited to use gun stilettos once again. The trailer showed off some interesting new enemies and torture attacks, but one interesting new feature was her wings. While these wings weren’t explained, they seem to be similar to Dante’s Devil Trigger. Their activation seems to be some kind of buff, and I wonder what exactly it will affect. But of course the thing I was most excited to see was the return of Witch Time, the risk/reward dodge mechanic that defined Bayonetta for me. While there was little doubt that the mechanic would return, I am very interested to see if Witch Time will be any different in the sequel. I would speculate, but I trust Platinum to do what is best.

There are some amazing games coming in 2014, but Bayonetta 2 is certainly one of my most highly anticipated titles. Nintendo has always been my favorite game company and seeing it step up to help make Bayonetta 2 happen has shown me that it knows quality games, even when those games are a little different than its norm. I’ll be content with more Bayonetta regardless, but I believe that Platinum can hit it out of the park all over again with Bayonetta 2.

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