'Bayonetta 2' Takes You To Inferno And Back

October 30, 2014

2009 was a big year for Platinum Games and Sega. It was the year that Platinum released their first games after rising out of the ashes of Capcom's shuttered Clover Studio. First came MadWorld, a highly stylized Wii exclusive that still stands as one of the system's most unique titles, both from a graphical and gameplay perspective. Next up was Infinite Space, an under-appreciated Nintendo DS game that showcased the studio's ability to create interesting games, big or small. Finally, Platinum Games rounded out their year with the release of their best-selling title, Bayonetta, a hack-n-slash game about a sexy witch with magical hair. The gameplay proved to be complex and rewarding, while the game itself was punctuated with an over-the-top story that was worthy of its extraordinary lead character, the titular, Bayonetta. The game developed a huge fan following, who, in 2012, were excited to hear that a sequel was in the works, one that would be released exclusively for the Wii U. It's been over two years since the announcement, but Bayonetta is finally back in all her glory in Bayonetta 2, and she's picking up right where she left off, with all four of her guns blazing.

Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Nintendo

Bayonetta 2 is clearly the culmination of a lengthy development process, that brought one of the last generation's most intriguing new i.p.s to the Wii U. The original Bayonetta helped establish what it means to be a "Platinum" game: fast, frenetic, over-the-top gameplay, where so much is happening on the screen that the experience pushes the boundaries of sensory overload. And, at this point, nobody does that type of game better than Platinum Games, and Bayonetta 2 only raises the bar. On the other side of things, Bayonetta 2 is a unique title for Nintendo to publish for a variety of reason, from it being an "M" rated game, to it not being an original franchise. Whatever their reasons are for getting behind Bayonetta 2, it definitely brings a new flavor to the Wii U's library.

Picking up only a few months after the original game, Bayonetta is faced with the loss of one of her few friends, Jeanne, something she is partially responsible for when one of her summons escapes its portal. Reminiscent of the Greek myth about Orpheus and Eurdice, Bayonetta must hack and slash her way to Inferno, via the mysterious mountain Fimbelventr, and collect her friend's soul to bring her back to life. Obviously, the trip to Inferno isn't as easy as Bayonetta would hope, and things don't go as planned, as some of Bayonetta's past starts to rear its ugly head. Along the way she befriends a strange boy, Loki, who is in need of some assistance on his own journey, and who ends up playing a vital role over the course of Bayonetta 2.

As Bayonetta progresses through the game, he magic and skills grow, as do the monsters that she's grappling with. Players can upgrade their character with halos that are collected throughout the game, and allowing Bayonetta to purchase all kinds of new attacks, or weapons along the way. The stronger that Bayonetta becomes the more ridiculous her magic attacks (Climaxes), and torture attacks become, which make for some interesting on-screen kills. It's this outlandish gameplay and morbid humor that help set Bayonetta 2 aside as one of the system's standout titles.

Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive, so this witch can only be found on Nintendo's latest console. As an added incentive, Nintendo and Platinum Games also re-released Bayonetta for the system, and included some exclusive content that should appeal to both companies' fanbases. If you pick up a retail version of Bayonetta 2, you'll also get the updated Bayonetta in the package, and if you go the download route, you can get both for the same combined price as the retail release.

Bayonetta 2 is easily one of the best games on the Wii U. It lands right up there with Pikmin 3, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8, and the best part is that it's absolutely nothing like any of those games. From start to finish Bayonetta 2 lands on every level: the gameplay is tight, the enemies are huge, the dialog is funny, and the game is simply overall ridiculous (in the best possible way). The only thing that holds Bayonetta 2 back a bit is Bayonetta… and Platinum Games. While most players are not likely to be offended by the sexulization of the game's main character, others may find it a bit off-putting, or offensive, so that's just something to keep in mind when firing up the game. If you can see beyond that, Bayonetta 2 becomes a near perfect dance for the fingers; the dodging, the hacking, the slashing, the shooting, the climaxes, the torture all feel so good. If you already own a Wii U, this is a game you should absolutely have in your library, and if you don't own a Wii U, Bayonetta 2 might be reason enough to go pick one up.