If swearing, sacrilege, and skin is not your thing, then you need to make sure you don’t even enter a store selling Bayonetta 2, as it may corrupt your innocent soul. If these things do appeal to your twisted sensibilities, then read on about how great Bayonetta 2 is.
There is always a lot of discussion about Bayonetta’s sexuality, and to be fair, it’s because it’s on display from the first frames of the game. The game opens with crutch shots which move up Bayonetta’s body. I don’t feel like the right person to discuss if it’s pro feminist, or if it’s anti-feminist (both sides have been discussed, well, online), but instead I took it as nothing more than satire.
Bayonetta’s jokes, comments, and body humour, are so on the nose I couldn’t take it seriously if I tried. But that’s kind of what makes her as a character great, she owns it. It’s over the top and it’s funny. But if sexuality scares you, don’t pick up this game. It’s everywhere.
Bayonetta 2 tells the story of the witch, Bayonetta, who while in a fight loses her friend Jeanne. Placing Jeanne’s boy in a limbo state, she makes her way to Hell to grab her soul. On the way she meets a boy named Loki, who she works with, as they are both hunted by angels and the villain, Masked Lumen. As they progress, the story gets so strange, but just coherent enough to be entertaining.
The plot beats themselves are fine, but it’s the humour, and aesthetics that make the story enjoyable. Bayonetta is always calm and collected, making suggestive jokes. But the world design, form the actual scenery, to its inhabitants, that really makes the plot an entertaining ride.
As far as inhabitants go, the angels and demons stand out. They start off as creepy looking dolls, with their faces in weird places, and graduate to giant machines with wings. At a certain point they are only recognisable as angels because they exist in a golden aura, otherwise they are just terrifying.
At its most violent, Bayonetta is gory hack n slash game. Throwing angels into elaborate death contraptions, like a treadmill that is moving towards spikey rollers, through to iron maidens, isn’t the half of it. These violent deaths, or climaxes where Bayonetta’s hair creates a giant toothy demon that eats a boss, is offset with its humour. Such as when one climax created a giant toad that pulls the angel into its mouth.
The game is broken up into chapters, with varying lengths. Some are as short as a long boss battle, and others can involve a lot of exploring areas and many enemy encounters. Every enemy encounter is graded and determines how many halos -the game currency- you get. Searching levels is also useful to find loot and more importantly, portals.
Portals can be found around the levels, which either offer to take you to the gates of hell for upgrades, or offer to enter Muspellheim, where you are tasked with a challenge. It will be something along the lines of kill the enemies without being hit, or with a certain weapon, and doing so rewards you, generally with an upgrade piece.
Every chapter is graded depending on your scores in each of these encounters. This includes the portals, so if you don’t find hidden portals or encounters, your score is marked down. This scoring system has been a commonly used card up Platinum’s sleeve giving crazy amounts of replay value to the game.
Tag Climax is a real missed opportunity. This is the games multiplayer which can use local or online co-op, but not two people on the same Switch. This would have been the icing on the cake, because while the mode is an OK way to kill some time, it’s just some more battles.
What really sets in the games polarising vibe is its music. A gorgeous soundtrack with a very high tempo usually sits under a fight. Instead of making the fights more intense, it gives a high energy yet laid-back feel. And when the game drops that for silent scenes, it really makes a stage uneasy. The music being good because the voice acting can jump from great, to mediocre.
The game isn’t always sunshine and roses, it does have the odd flaw. Underwater action, especially when you aren’t running on the ground, can be a chore. The other annoyance is that angels speak a foreign language, so you need to read subtitles, which isn’t easy when you are a boss fight with them. Regularly Bayonetta would respond to a comment, and it irked me not knowing what she responded to.
The reality is, I need to nit-pick on a game as good as Bayonetta 2 because it’s amazing. The action is wonderful, enemy design is outstanding, the soundtrack is glorious, and the humour is as funny as it is absurd. Any fans of Platinum, or action games like this, would do themselves a disservice not checking it out.
Blair reviewed Bayonetta 2 on a copy he bought