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Second article for the Bayonetta franchise, this one is dedicated to the game’s sequel : Bayonetta 2. Bayonetta 2 was released on 2014 on Nintendo Wii U. Following the cancellation of the game development by Sega, Nintendo proposed to PlatinumGames to fund the title as an exclusivity for its slow selling console. Of course, Bayonetta’s fans complained because the first title was multiplaform, but the game producer responded that without Nintendo, the sequel would not have been released. The game’s protagonist, Bayonetta, appeared with a new hairstyle and costume and the game featured a new two-players mode. The rest of the casting was back in the dance, as the development team.
A few months after the events of the first Bayonetta game, the Umbra Witch enjoys some Christmas shopping with Enzo when suddenly, the Angels attack the city. Teaming up with Jeanne, Bayonetta fights the Angels but at the moment of her victory, her demon summon goes wrong, Jeanne is killed while shielding Bayonetta, and the Inferno immediately claimed her soul. After destroying the rogue demon, Bayonetta is now resolved to go directly to the Inferno and bring back her friend’s soul before her transition time from life to death is over. According to Luka, the Inferno entrance would be located in the mountain of Fimbulventr in the Middle East. Meanwhile, a mysterious figure invokes a Lumen Sage from the past and promise him a revenge.
Bayonetta 2 brought back all of the previous game’s gameplay. There has been some visual enhancement like giving the foes more consistent animations and improving Bayonetta’s moves, but the rest is a well-known field for a player of the first one. One of the main new feature is the “Umbran Climax” which can be activated with a full magic gauge and trigger a short period of boost of her Wicked Weaves and Infernal Demon summons with easier combos and more devastating attacks. There are also optional weapons Bayonetta can use from the foes she defeats and fight with it for a little period of time.
The development of Bayonetta 2 was made under the consulting of Sega and supervised by Nintendo who gave freedom to the studio. The game received several improvements from the players feedback of the first one and it’s visual rendering is still excellent. As a fast action game, Bayonetta 2 is still a very fast and smooth game with a quick hit and run combo fight. Fun fact, I tried at a moment the “Off TV Play” Wii U feature on this game… It wasn’t playable at all. If you don’t know how the Nintendo Wii U Gamepad was working, it’s very simple. The console was rendering the two screens at the same time (the TV and the one displayed on the Gamepad). The Gamepad screen is a compressed video streamed to the Gamepad. As Bayonetta 2 is a very fast game, the video compression couldn’t follow properly and it ended-up to a pixel marmelade (and the Wii Up Gamepad screen didn’t had a high resolution too - not helping). Like I’ve said above, the game includes a two player feature but I’ve never tested it. Another feature is to replay the story as Jeanne. There is absolutely no differences because it’s just a model replacement, and it’s also fun because in the cut-scenes where Jeanne appears she has a twin sister.
Bayonetta 2 explore a new main area which is the city of Noatum, inspired by various European cities like Bruges, Brussels, Florence and Venice. The various settings are still beautiful and vary a lot during the exploration. These phases are still the same as the previous game, you explore long corridors and fights Angels in arena places. I think the artistic direction of Bayonetta 2 is quite superior to the previous game because it’s cut-scenes and epic fights got to a higher level. However, I’ve also noticed that the game prologue is exactly the same as the first with also the same sequences : Bayonetta is with Enzo who talks a lot and do its comic relief role. The Angels attacks, Bayonetta is undressed by the attacks of her foes who cut her cloths (and she moans a little), then she switch to her signature outfit and starts to fight with cheap weapons until Rodin appears and supply her. And a heavy object is always falling on Rodin’s head, who comments Bayonetta’s fight with a “Beautiful !”. On the direction plan, the game’s introduction is great and the first level was perfect one to propose the game’s demo. If the previous main fight theme was the cover of Fly me to the Moon, this new title features two main songs : Moon river which is also a cover from an old song, and Tomorrow is mine which was written for the game.
Just like Bayonetta, the musics play a very important part in the game speed and fights chaining. Honestly, you can’t get used to fight with the song Tomorrow is mine, these theme is just perfect. Basically, the first level of the game (the prologue proposed in the demo) throw at the player’s head and ears almost everything the game can do on the epic level.
Like I said in the previous article, Bayonetta 2 is the one I’ve made first. After that, I’ve made the first one and you can feel the improvement between the two titles, like badly placed QTE. The combat design is smooth with an awesome rhythm and despite its ten hours lifetime, the replay value is assured by the various challenges and the scoring is the only way to unlock various rewards in the game.
The game didn’t sold a lot during its first release, crippled by the Wii U itself which was a commercial failure. Its first week saw around 39 000 units sold, much fewer than the previous game, to attain around 50 000 after three weeks in Japan. Thanks to its release on Nintendo Switch in 2018, this version of the game sold 1.04 million copies worldwide.
The game’s sequel has been announced in 2017 but took a very long time to develop and was finally released in 2022. A trailer made fun of the game delay, making Bayonetta says “sorry, I’m terribly late”.