Bayonetta 2 Preview
Bayonetta 2

Nintendo and Platinum Games caught the ire of Bayonetta fans back in September 2012 when Bayonetta 2 was announced as an exclusive for Wii U. It has been close to a year since the announcement and we finally were able to get our hands on a short taste thanks to Nintendo. Is Bayonetta 2 the hardcore hack-and-slash game that will convince gamers that the Wii U can compete with the PS4 and Xbox One, or is it too little to late?

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The segment Nintendo allowed me to play was very short, but gave me a good taste of what to expect from the final product. Platinum Games is doing what they do best, which is delivering crazy combat against crazy enemies on the craziest set-pieces possible. This was all true with the original Bayonetta, and it is also true with Bayonetta 2.

I was quickly thrown into a large-scale battle against multiple angelic centaurs on top of a flying jetplane. The action was intense and insanely fast, and Bayonetta fans will be happy to know that bring the high-octane gameplay of Bayonetta to the Wii U has not compromised the game in any way based on the demo. All of the controls have been airlifted from the PS3/Xbox 360 control scheme and been made to work on the Wii U Gamepad, which actually feels really good when playing. Playing on the Gamepad is not as awkward here like it was with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, a very good thing considering Nintendo would not confirm whether players could use their Wii U Pro Controller with Bayonetta 2.

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Nintendo and Platinum Games are also taking some strides to make it easy for anybody to play. An Easy Mode has been included that allows gamers to play with the Stylus and touchscreen. Moving the stylus around causes Bayonetta to move and swiping across and enemy has Bayonetta attack. It is intuitive and younger gamers might get a kick out of it, but core gamers will easily skip over it. The Gamepad isn’t used for anything else. It will just display whatever is going on the TV at the time.

It is hard to judge the game on its visual merits due to how short and fast the demo was. The game looks fine, though I’m not quite sure how it stacks up to the original game on PS3 and Xbox 360. However, the game’s art style is absolutely amazing. The angelic centaurs that Bayonetta tore apart with crazy, bloody finishers are beautifully designed and contain that fetish aesthetic that the original so lovingly displayed. Watching Bayonetta’s suit become giant fists, feet or monsters is still an impressive sight. It all makes for a game that is very fun to watch and play.

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There were a few things that Nintendo and Platinum Games would not talk to me about. As stated above, Nintendo’s people would not talk about Wii U Pro Controller support. When asked for a possible release window both representatives wouldn’t comment either. I wasn’t really expecting them to tell me a date, but with the PS4 and Xbox One releasing this Fall Nintendo needs all of the exclusives they can get to convince people to jump on the Wii U rather than the competitor’s consoles.

My time with Bayonetta 2 was enjoyable with more visual flair than most other games at the show had. However, the demo was far too short for me to say that I feel positive that the final product will be as good as the original.

Bayonetta 2 is out sometime in the future exclusively on the Wii U.