If you didn’t hear, the classic action game, Bayonetta 2, strutted onto Nintendo Switch recently (goodness that system has been strong with releases lately). And in case you missed it on Wii U – as so many people did – it’s a masterpiece of a game that should be played by all fans of games like Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden and God of War. If you played it on Wii U and are wondering if it’s worth double-dipping to hang out with the world’s most famous Umbra witch again, the short answer is YES! Bayonetta 2 on Switch is the best version of the amazing, crazy, outlandish and stylish action game you remember. This time, some of the tiny kinks have been ironed out (i.e., more stable frame rates, slightly higher resolutions, etc.), making it the preferred way to slay demons and angels alike.
However, if you’re a Bayonetta virgin and are wondering if this game is worth your time (it absolutely is by the way), we have a list of the biggest reasons why you should drop everything and go pick up this game right now!
While graphics are indeed a big part of the overall gaming experience, most would agree that gameplay reigns supreme when judging the merits of a game. And that is exactly where Bayonetta 2’s strengths are. We’ll get to the graphics and art direction (spoiler alert: they’re great), but for now here is what you need to know: Bayonetta 2 offers what may be the best action gameplay experience ever.
The combat in Bayonetta 2 is so silky smooth and stylish and can be catered to your specific gameplay style. Do you like to keep your distance and pepper enemies with projectiles before rushing in to deal real damage? Well, you can equip Bayonetta with a pair of guns on your hands and feet (you read that right) and perform a bevy of over the top combos while shooting demons in the face with your feet guns. Prefer mid-range combat that allows you to dodge in and out of enemy range? Equip Bayonetta with a scythe or whip, play footsies with your enemies and poke your way to victory. Prefer an up-close, in your face approach? Cool. Equip Bayonetta with some short swords (yes, in-hand and on your feet) and slice and dice up any angry angel that dare crosses your path.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the crown jewel of Bayonetta 2’s combat mechanics: the “Witch Time” dodge. Anytime you dodge an enemy’s attack at just the right time, you enter a purple-hued “Witch Time,” which slows down the action and allows you to wreak havoc on enemies for a few brief seconds. Sounds simple in theory, but it feels so damn good every time you time a dodge correctly and unleash hell!
A VISUAL STUNNER
Take one look at Bayonetta 2 and you’ll see that there is something almost indescribable about the game’s visual identity. The art style present in the game’s over-the-top heaven and hell settings somehow merge the peaceful golden hue of gorgeous sunsets and the crimson tones of gory enemy executions into something that is both beautiful and shocking. Most importantly, it works! Oh boy does it work!
And let’s not forget about the amazing character designs. For context, this is a game about Bayonetta battling it out with endless hordes of Heaven’s angels and Hell’s demons so you can expect plenty of whacky enemies. And what Platinum Games did with their designs for each enemy faction is awe-inspiring. I mean, just look at this. It’s an angel. Have you ever seen an angel that looks like that? Didn’t think so.
The developer carries that unique design sensibility throughout the game. You think you knew what demons were supposed to look like – frankly there is nothing novel about this sort of enemy fodder in video games. But then the game tosses an incredible new take at you and you can’t help but take a few ass kickings because you’re too enthralled with analyzing the intricacies of the character models. Seriously, the first time through this game I died probably 10 times because I was just so blown away by what they did with all the characters!
SPEND TIME WITH BAYONETTA ANYWHERE
While the above points hold true whether you’re playing the game on Switch or Wii U, the one major advantage Switch players have is that they can play Bayonetta 2 on the go. And that is HUGE.
Have a daily commute via bus or train to school/work. Cool, spend some time with Bayonetta while ignoring that one weird guy trying to have a conversation with you. Have a cross-country flight so you can visit family for a holiday? Cool, grab a window seat with Bayonetta and pretend that middle-seat person isn’t trying to tell you about her family drama. Eat some bad sushi and need to spend a few hours in the commode? Bummer, but also cool because you can have Bayonetta keep you company. And that flexibility is really what separates the Wii U and Switch experiences for us.
By and large, there are not a ton of huge differences between the two versions technically (Switch gives you minor performance boosts). But knowing that you can play the game anytime and anywhere is something that should be celebrated. Think about it…Bayonetta 2 joins Super Mario: Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as gaming experiences that can be played on a handheld system. What a time to be alive!
So what do you think? You play the game last gen? Planning on jumping in for the first time with the Switch release? Follow us on social media (@kontrolfreek) and let us know what you think.