Never before in all my life have I had the misfortune to witness such thread bare third party support on a Nintendo home console. Never before has the Wii U needed a game to release like Bayonetta 2, one of the most highly anticipated titles to release on any console in the run up to Christmas. The Wii U is far from dead with a bunch of exclusive titles coming out by the end of the year and into 2015 but right around the corner (and already out in Japan) Bayonetta 2 will be releasing in North America and Europe on October 24th. The game promises a boat load of content, addictive gameplay and will have you plug dozens and dozens of hours into it. A true core gamers gaming masterpiece.
For those of you who were not aware, Nintendo has been steadily losing 3rd party support since the days of the N64 so when Nintendo gamers such as myself hear about a mature 3rd party exclusive coming out for Nintendo’s current home console, we celebrate like it’s 1999. We can all safely assume that other than such casual titles like the Just Dance franchise, 3rd party multiplats will stop releasing on the Wii U after Watch Dogs releases next month. Nintendo has a lot to do if they want to turn things around in the way of 3rd party support going forward into the 9th generation of consoles but they will need to make do with their own IP’s, Amiibos and any other surprises they might have to push as many Wii U’s out the door as possible. The 9th generation of consoles is still years away, so there is a good few years left that Nintendo can hopefully use wisely to make a U turn with the Wii U. However, check out my previous article on what I think Nintendo needs to do to ensure their 9th generation home console is a success.
Of course, 3rd party support is a different subject altogether, we are here to celebrate the fact that Bayonetta 2 will be released in all regions soon and not only is it going to be a fantastic game but it is just the kind of game the Wii U needs right now. The original Bayonetta on the Xbox 360 and the shoddy port on the PS3 remains to be a cult classic among dedicated gamers alike, a game that Nintendo gamers never got to experience unless they owned one of the two consoles. It was only inevitable then that the sequel to the game would cause such an uproar among fans that bought the original after discovering that the sequel would be a Wii U exclusive. The fact of the matter is that if it wasn’t for Nintendo picking up the publishing rights to the game, Bayonetta 2 would not be releasing at all. “fans” of the original Bayonetta need to remember this and pick up a Wii U so that they can play the game, if they were that much of a fan they would.
While the original Bayonetta did not go down as a globally renowned phenomenon of a game, overall it received great reviews from many reviewers including “EDGE” who gave it a score of 10/10 praising the game’s combat system for being both “deep and based around clear rules which are immediately accessible and well-taught to the player.” We have recently discovered that “EDGE” has also given Bayonetta 2 the same score of 10/10 describing the game as “a riotous, spectacular work of the highest order of camp” and concluded “This is a game that you can complete in ten hours, but play and replay forever. … It is a masterclass in combat design, in videogame variety, in the balance between accessibility and depth.”
As a Wii only owner last generation, sadly I never got the chance to experience Bayonetta but it didn’t bother me too much at the time as I was quite content spending my hours on Madworld, another Platinum Games cult classic. Of course, Wii only owners of last generation including me need not worry anymore as Bayonetta is included in every purchase of Bayonetta 2 in the US. Even the standard edition of Bayonetta 2 will come with the original Bayonetta packed in for free, although it is a little different here in Europe. The standard edition does not come with Bayonetta packed in at all, you have to purchase either the first print edition (sold out everywhere as far as I know) which is a European exclusive edition, or the special edition which costs a little more than the standard edition. So it seems that Europeans have to pay a bit extra to get Bayonetta packed in with Bayonetta 2 which is a little disappointing. Unless you happen to stumble across the same deal I did over at shopto.net where I find the special edition for £39.99 which is the same price for a brand new game. A bargain to say the least, you will want to hurry though as the special edition Bayonetta 2 is the top pre order on shopto.net so is sure to be sold out soon.
I for one as a dedicated gamer am chuffed to bits thinking about how many hours of gaming gold I am going to be getting out of this package and I advise everyone who is even remotely on the fence about getting this game to go get it and pledge your support to #OperationPlatinum. The inclusion of packing in the original Bayonetta turned a potential sale into a definite sale out of me and cannot wait until October 24t to experience Bayonetta for the first time. The original Bayonetta that comes with Bayonetta 2 will have some new additions in the Wii U version which include being able to wear exclusive Nintendo costumes such as a Samus Aran costume, a Fox Mcloud costume and a Princess Peach costume among others. The Wii U version will also include dual audio voice tracks and touch controls.
Let’s go over some of the gameplay mechanics and story elements in Bayonetta 2 just in case like me, you never got the chance to play the original and only half know what to expect from the game. So just like it’s predecessor, Bayonetta 2 is a very action orientated game that will have you chaining combos into demonic enemies using a variation of melee weapons and guns. You play as the witch known as “Bayonetta” and while I am not prepared to spoil any of the story of the game, I will just say that Bayonetta 2 takes place just a few months after the events of the original.
As well as chaining combos together you will also have to be mindful of enemy attacks which if you dodge right at the last second you will activate “Witch Time” which slows down enemies around “Bayonetta” and allowing players to easily retaliate and solve certain environmental puzzles. Players can also activate special moves called “Torture Attacks” which trap enemies in torturous devices such as a guillotine for extra points, adding to the overall addictiveness of the combat in the game. During combat, players earn grades with the highest being “Pure Platinum” which is achieved by performing a high number of combos without taking damage. Fans of the original Bayonetta will be pleased to know that weapon customization makes a return allowing players to equip combinations of new weapons on both “Bayonetta’s” hands and feet. A new gameplay element called “Urban Climax” has been added to Bayonetta 2 which can be activated when the player has a full magic gauge. This element strengthens “Bayonetta’s” attacks, combos and demon summons for a short period of time, it also improves her attack range and replenishes her health when in use.
Bayonetta 2 comes with an all new online multiplayer mode called “Tag Climax” which can be played with a friend, a random stranger or a computer controlled partner. In your team of two, you fight against either hordes of demonic enemies or a boss in levels that feature in the single player campaign. Players play through six verses in battles that are determined by the use of “Verse Cards” which are obtained through progression of the single player campaign. Players can wager halos before the battle starts and can retrieve a much greater sum of halos if they score a higher rank than their partner, halos can be used to purchase new techniques, accessories and weapon variations in the single player shop. The winner is determined by whoever wins the majority of the six verses and the higher the difficulty of each battle, the more halos you will earn. If one player loses all their health, they will be rendered unmovable and the other player has a short amount of time to revive them. If at least one player dies, the battle is over and they must start the six verses over again.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wii U exclusive without a bit of doom and gloom surrounding it, as you are already aware the game is out in Japan and has already inherited articles from major gaming sites like “Kotaku” and “IGN”. They describe how the game has sold poorly on it’s opening week in Japan and expected it to do so much better, while I admit that 38,000 sales in it’s opening week (tracked I think after 1 day) isn’t brilliant it certainly doesn’t seem right to make articles about it when you consider the following: Although being a Japanese developer, Platinum Games primarily develop games that are more suited to western gamers so the sales of Bayonetta 2 were always going to be much stronger in the US and Europe.
I do not want to get into a rant here but I feel as though I should mention that Bayonetta 2’s opening weeks sales in Japan although were not great, were certainly stronger than a lot of PS4 week 1 game releases. Correct me if I am wrong but I do not recall any of these major gaming sites making articles about those PS4 titles having poor sales in Japan. Also if you remember that Super Mario 3D World suffered the same fate as Bayonetta 2 did in regards to these articles when it was released in Japan. It sold just under 100,000 units in week 1 in Japan and was also considered to be low sales by some of these major gaming sites. The reason I’m bringing it up is because Mario is a big deal in Japan and these major sites decided to take a jab at it’s sales and ignore the fact that Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, another big deal franchise in Japan sold around 95,000 units in it’s first week in Japan but for some reason did not receive the same poor sales articles from the media. Without trying to sound like too much of a fanboy, I would just like to know why it always seems to be games on Nintendo’s consoles that get these bashings from the media far more than any other. Either treat every game fairly or keep your mindless bashing articles to yourselves, the gaming industry is made worse every time you do it and you lose respect from dedicated gamers!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article but above all else, I hope you will enjoy Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 on Wii U! I for one cannot wait to try the game out for the first time and cannot wait to put an unholy amount of hours into both games! Hopefully I might bump into some of you in “Tag Climax” mode. Are you excited for Bayonetta 2’s release this month? Do you think the media has been fair or unfair on its reception in Japan? I would love to know all your thoughts so please let me know in the comments section below. Please also take a few minutes to get even more hyped for Bayonetta 2 with the following gameplay trailer. Enjoy!
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Written by Sammy J on 04 October 2014