I’m going to do my best not to type in all caps and gush here. After all, I am a writer. I am expected to remain critical at all times.
BUT OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I FOUGHT A PRIEST WITH FLAMETHROWERS STRAPPED TO MY ANKLES WHILE HE SUMMONED A GIANT ANGEL DRAGON THAT FOUGHT MY GIANT ANGEL DOG.
I am both an adult and a professional, I swear.
I’ve been waiting for Bayonetta 2 for what felt like a eons. A big fan of the first game, my body was beyond ready for a sequel. I loved the world of Bayonetta—I loved how stupidly over-the-top everything was, how silky smooth the combat was, and how much the game pushed me, not only to beat it, but to master it. I put probably 40 hours into the first one, and barely scratched the surface of what the game had to offer. So, needless to say, Bayonetta 2 was a day one purchase for me. I even pre-ordered it.
I’ll admit, I felt some trepidation about the sequel. I did not think it would be a bad game, but I worried that it would be too similar to the original. I worried that there would be a sense of “Did here, done that” to the game. A more refined game, but lacking a certain Je-ne-sais-quoi that made the first all the more special. The demo reinforced this fact, because while a great glimpse of the game, it did little to convince me that this was going to be more than Bayonetta 1.5.
My fears were entirely unfounded.
I have yet to finish the game (or even get very far as of this writing because real life sucks), but it’s clear to me that Bayonetta 2 knew exactly what it wanted to be. A refined version of the first game, introducing subtle new ideas and taking the action to 10. It takes what I loved from the first (Combat), drops the stuff I didn’t (Angel Attack) and injects plenty of life and personality into everything. With modern gaming constantly striving to appeal to everyone at once (and lose its appeal in the process), it’s refreshing to have a game where simply watching the main character speak drips personality.
Seriously, watching Bayonetta in the cutscenes is a joy, purely because of how much of her character leaks through.
Combat is a joy. It’s similar to the system in the first game, but with some refinements. Firstly, combo inputs are slightly different. Button mashing still works fine, but a few of my old combos are slightly changed. For example, you can know kick four times in a string, as opposed to three. Punch-kick-punch still gets a wicked weave, but now punch-kick-kick does (for most weapons) as well.
Speaking of weapons, the news ones I’ve unlocked so far (which isn’t that many), feel very distinct and useful. Whereas in the first Bayonetta, I didn’t use anything other than her guns and the sword, here I want to play with everything. The only weapon I can’t quite figure out is the bow and arrow, but hey, we all have our favorites.
Bayonetta controls perfectly, with barely a frame rate hiccup. Her instant-dodge is still in full-force, and just as satisfying as ever to pull off. Wicked Weaves feel great as ever, and seeing Bayonetta unleash a fury of attacks in glorious 60FPS is just icing on the cake.
The fact that this isn’t the standard of video gaming is both sad and pathetic.
But, I think what I like most about Bayonetta 2 is how much it feels like a video game. Which is somewhat strange to type. But, many modern games seem more concerned with telling a story, or generating certain emotions from the player. Bayonetta 2 strives to challenge, amaze, and most importantly, create fun. The cool stuff you see Bayonetta do in cutscenes? You can do cooler stuff in gameplay. It’s incredible.
PLUS I FOUGHT SNAKE ANGELS AT THE GATES OF HEAVEN.
I’ll probably write a more thorough write-up of the game once I get further along in it. I really think Bayonetta 2 represents where modern video gaming should be going, rather than where it is. I hope that it succeeds. And, at the very least, is remembered for how brilliant it really is.