Strike a pose, Madonna!
Despite how annoyed and butthurt a lot of Bayonetta fans are about the sequel coming out on the Wii U, I am eternally grateful to Nintendo for publishing it. They went above and beyond, in fact, because for the price of one game, you actually get the first Bayonetta remastered for free! Suddenly, I had a perfectly viable reason for replaying Bayonetta instead of tackling my huge game-to-do list.
Not that I should need a reason, as Bayonetta is one of my favorite games EVER.
Instead of being mad about Bayonetta 2 being only on the Wii U, you should take a moment to worship at Nintendo’s feet for releasing it; and also bow to Platinum Games for remastering the first Bayonetta. Why? Well, see for yourself:
I mean, really, do you need further explanation?
How freakin’ hilarious are these? Special care went into the Link and Princess Peach costumes. When Bayonetta is wearing these, they can also affect battles, item drops, and environmental factors. The Zelda treasure ditty plays whenever she opens treasure, for example. Bayonetta’s halo currency turns into rupees when she’s cosplaying as Link, and Mario coins if she is Peach. But the absolute best thing is when her Weave hands and feet turn into Bowser hands and feet! Bowser growls and all. These Nintendo-themed costumes are available right from the get-go, too! No need to play the game multiple times or grind for currency. It’s the perfect incentive for people like myself who’ve played the game before and want a refresher.
I also wanted to test Bayonetta through my rose-tinted glasses of adoration. The game is a few years old, after all. Has it held up against other action/beat ’em up games released since then?
Well, I can’t say I’ve played very many games fitting those genres lately. There’s the DmC reboot, and God of War: Ascension. I also played Dante’s Inferno, but I don’t recall if that was released before or after Bayonetta. However, none of that matters because I still think Bayonetta reigns supreme.
The character herself is hard to beat. It’s hard to find an over-the-top witch who stylishly kills angels for a living, all the while taking complete ownership of her sexuality and never succumbing to annoying Damsel in Distress gender tropes. She’s always winking or blowing kisses, but it’s in a way that I can’t help but chuckle because it’s like she knows she’s playing with her audience. And Luka… She’s always playing with Luka.
There’s the presentation as well. I absolutely love God of War for the Greek mythology references and monster designs, but they don’t hold a candle to the angels Bayonetta spanks and punishes for her day job. Like most other aspects of this game, their designs are crazy and over-the-top. Some of them are downright freaky; which is impressive, given that they still manage to resemble angels. Twisted, demented angels, anyway. The enemy designs are great, the battle system is familiar yet refreshing, the visuals are sharp, the music always matches the situation (The Fly Me to the Moon cover is quirky and catchy) and really… the entire presentation is fabulous. It’s obvious a lot of thought and care went into this game.
I don’t have a lot of gripes with Bayonetta, but one small one would have to be the character designs. Love the enemies and bosses; hate the character’s clothes and hair. Specifically Bayonetta, Luka, and Cereza. Man, Bayonetta & Cereza have terrible hairstyles, and Luka’s scarf is gag worthy. I’ll admit he rocks the skintight leather pants ALMOST as well as Bayonetta does, but I hate the rest of his outfit. Rodin’s style is fitting (what’s up with the unlaced boots?) and Enzo is, well, Enzo. Bayonetta’s main outfit is fitting. Form-fitting, that is. But some of the expensive alternate costumes are underwhelming. We mostly stuck with the free Nintendo ones. Most offensive is Jeanne’s make-up. In a game saturated with cutesy butterflies, blowing kisses and pole-dancing, nothing bothers me more than this. Take a close look at that clumpy mess!
Seriously, I can’t decide if she let a 3 year old do her make-up or she used mascara from the dollar store.
I also really enjoy the battle system in this game. It’s accessible and not too difficult to reorient yourself with if you haven’t played in a couple of days. This is always a big win for me. Yet it also has a much deeper level of complexity that more skilled and patient gamer can access. There are many abilities and accessories up for purchase that enhance your experience to increase the customization. Tend to be a little slow with the dodge button? Pick up the Bat Within ability. Want to be able to quickly zip across the battlefield to an enemy? Pick up the Stiletto (AKA-Dante’s Stinger ability). The player is able to sample every ability before dedicating the Halos to purchasing it, saving us from the disappointment and frustration of spending 30K on an ability only to hate it or have trouble getting the combo off.
I was so happy to have a chance to replay this game (I owned the 360 version and no longer have that console). Upon replaying it and coming to the realization that it still is just as good, if not better, than newer offerings in the genre, I implore everyone with a Wii U to purchase Bayonetta 2. It’s packaged with this gem, so you really have no excuse not to! Seriously, what’s not to love?
Steve-O and I have a couple of hours into Bayonetta 2 so far (Spoiler: It’s freakin’ amazing) so stay tuned for our review of the sequel!