Sunday, April 19, 2015

Game Review: Bayonetta 2

Hack'n'Slash Action; Wii U; Platinum Games/SEGA/Nintendo; 2014
In recent news, Nintendo still hasn't announce any information on the New Nintendo 3DS, my current 3DS charges like a grandfather with Alzheimer (it stutters, stops, and sometimes forgets what it's doing), and Anita Sarkeesian has made Time Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People, despite the fact that her current approval rating on that poll was only 20%. But hey, Time Magazine also had to apologize because "Feminism" won it's "Banned One Word for 2015" Poll a while back. Anyway, the universe looks bleak right now, so might as well have some fun with a ridiculously over the top action game. Cue Bayonetta 2.

Somethings change, Somethings stay the same.
Some time after the events of the first game, Bayonetta returns to her (mostly) peaceful life, go shopping, get a new hair cut, and maybe slay a few angels to keep her friends down under happy. However, not everything is right with the balance of Earth, Paradiso, and the Inferno, as up-starters from both Heaven and Hell begin to cause a mess on Earth and after Bayonetta lets one of her summons go out of control, her best friend Jeanne was caught in the crossfire and had her soul drag to hell. Now Bayonetta must open the "Gates to Hell" and beat up any demon or angel that crosses her path to retrieve her friend's soul. However, not everything is as easy as that, as there are several mysterious individuals standing between her and the road to the netherworld, including a Lumen Sage, thought to have been all wiped out. What's a girl to do? Do you have to ask?

The plot to Bayonetta 2 is certainly a LOT easier to follow than the plot to the first game, largely because most of the original cast returns and thus no need for new introductions and the story had all of it's groundwork already covered. If it does suffer any, it is because there isn't much that Bayonetta 2 can do that hasn't already been done in the first game. I mean, the first game ends with you punching a god into the sun, it's kind of hard to top that kind of finale. However, if you didn't care for the first game's plot, you'd probably won't care for this game as well, and if you never played the first game then you'd likely be confused about what is going on. But hey, that's why Nintendo included a copy of the first game with Bayonetta 2.

Defeating enemies and looking good while doing it.
For those of you who are unaware of this franchise, Bayonetta is a fast pace, high intensity action game with heavy emphasis on long combo strings and stylish combat. If this sounds a lot like Devil May Cry (or at least before DmC hit the scene) than that is no accident, as Bayonetta was developed by ex-Capcom employees at Platinum Games. But don't think that Bayonetta is just a DMC clone, there is more to this girl than just that. Combat in Bayonetta revolves around a indepth combo system involving punches and kicks utilizing the various weapons Bayonetta can put on her arms and legs (yes, those are feet mounted guns on the cover). But just mashing the two attack buttons will not save you for long, as to open up enemies to vicious counter attacks, Bayonetta must not only dodge incoming attacks, but dodge them with perfect timing to enter Witch Time (slow mo mode basically) and smash enemies with ease. You also have "Torture Attacks" which summon Medieval torture machines to deal massive damage to enemies, so long as you have enough charge on your Magic Gauge. New to Bayonetta 2 is the "Umbra Climax" which is similar to DMC's Devil Trigger as now all of your attacks do massive damage and hit in large areas (as well as slowly regenerates your health) while depleting your magic gauge.

And this is one of the "Tamer" Torture Attacks.
However, there is a lot of changes made to Bayonetta 2 that removes the edge that Bayonetta 1 had, in other words the game is a lot easier than the first, and for a game like this that can turn off a few fans. Now some of these changes I approve of, like the removal of nearly all of the instant death QTEs that plagued the first game. The only QTEs in the game are the ones associated with Torture Attacks, and those have been changed to be a LOT easier to max. Healing Items are also much easier to come across, and unlike the first game you are not penalized for using items (though you do get a bonus if you finish the stage without items). I mean, it's not inherently bad in any way, but it is something that makes Bayonetta 2 feel so much different from the first game.

In the End, did I enjoy Bayonetta 2? HELL YEAH! Is it as good as the first game? Not AS good. See the first game just had this wonderful blend of sheer ridiculousness and ball-busting difficulty that made it a fresh and enjoyable experience from start to finish. Something that felt like it was missing in this era of gaming where everything is taking themselves too seriously and games are often WAY too easy. Bayonetta 2 is STILL harder than most Action games (I'm looking at you DmC) and retains the absurd style the first game had, but the impact is lesser do to the easier difficulty, and the fact that it's really hard to top Bayonetta 1 in terms of outlandishness. Also, Bayonetta 2 does NOT have "Fly Me to the Moon." But it is still a worth while experience and Bayonetta definitely has the potential to be one of the greatest action franchises ever made. Nintendo, DON'T sleep on this series. Bayonetta 2 is Highly Recommended.

Until Next Time.

-CRES, More games need to have THIS kind of balls.

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