October 16, 2014

8-Bit Minute: Bayonetta 2

I've been inspired to invent a new blog: 8-Bit Minutes will (hopefully) be short, simple and sweet as their namesake's era. I was motivated to create this after playing the criminally short demo of Bayonetta 2 for the WiiU. I just feel like I have a few things to say, and while I can pretty much assure you there will be a "Wrap" article on Bayo2 in the future, for now, I just want to lay down my first impressions on the game (demo). In the future, these will not necessarily always be based on demos, but just any game or topics that I've acquired an impression of, that warrants more than a few sentences to convey (see "Game Binge"), or perhaps anything in the industry I want to briefly comment on. I promise to keep this as to-the-point as I am able.

So the game in question for this inaugural event is Bayonetta 2. If you've read my article on the first installment, you'll know that I have a love/hate relationship with Bayonetta, and sometimes need to muster the energy to play it. That said, the game is raging good fun! Emphasis on the rage. And with that, I justify my excitement for the sequel.

Upon launching the demo, I'm overwhelmed with feelings of familiarity. It already looks and feels like the first game, and a quick look at the controller map proves that the game will indeed be familiar to me. The demo begins with a quick tutorial on the controls and combo-making, which is virtually identical to the original game. That said, and I don't know if it's because I haven't played Bayo in a while or if it's the WiiU's controller, but I found the controls a little difficult to adjust to. I know I'll sink right into them with regular gameplay, but off the bat, the controller feels large in my hands and I frequently had to look at the gamepad to remember where the buttons were. I'll also mention that - for what I can only attribute to the "rumble" effect - my game would frequently pause or bring up the control map out of the blue, and this annoyed me quite a bit. I also struggled for some reason to nail down the L shoulder button attack. Beyond that, it felt like good ol' Bayo button mashing! My hands hurt after just the demo, but I love this about Bayo... if it didn't cause me some pain I think that would tell that the game was rather boring. Not so!
For the record, I chose to switch to the WiiU pro controller for the demo, and have not yet explored the touch controls for the gamepad. I did notice the gamepad usually mimicked what was my on telly though!

Regarding gameplay, I noticed a few upgrades and changes from the original title, but only a few. For starters, the camera is INFINITELY more tolerable in Bayo2, which is a great help. I read on twitter recently: someone (I'm sorry I can't find who it was!) mentioned that they felt that "witch time" seemed easier to acquire, but didn't last as long as before, and so far I agree with this statement. The rest of the mechanics are virtually identical; the game over screen; tutorial, etc.. This is very much a SEQUEL and not an attempt to redo the game. I love that. A game I enjoy the shit out of, and they didn't try to change everything. I can't express how important that is to me; in a world where series' are often ruined by the developer's attempt to attract new players, Platinum simply gave us a slightly improved version of the original, beloved game, using other changes to reflect the sequel.

Of course, the game looks amazing in HD. It is bright and colorful, a small contrast against Bayo1, which really capitalized on a dark setting with pops of color. For a moment there, Bayo2 almost reminded me of Mirror's Edge. I love B's haircut; it seems she and Jeanne sort of switched styles. I really look forward to unfolding the story of Bayo 2, and having a few laughs and rages along the way.

Bayonetta 2 launches in North America on October 24th, exclusively for the WiiU. This is a game I will almost certainly pick up at release.


  1. I didn't play the original game. I'm not really into these types of games, but all the buzz and hype has me seriously considering gettin Bayo 2. Including Bayonetta in the package makes it that much more enticing.

    I'm glad they didn't mess with your game!

  2. First let me say thank you for giving us something new to read! It has been too long since we shared our special time in the bathroom together. Secondly, I loved B1 and I am very much looking forward to B2 (I pre-ordered it as soon as I was able). Being a Platinum game chances are it'll have miserable sales figures but maybe the masses have learned the error of their ways.

  3. Haven't had the chance to play the demo yet but it sounds like I'm in for a good time when I do.

  4. I like what you said about sequels. I'm so tired of reboots in games and movies. And am I right that there's just a 2 after the title? No overly dramatic, corney subtitle? That is also welcome and refreshing.