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E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo)

Bayonetta 2: Hair is about the biggest change you’ll find

by William Schwartz

bayonetta2-graphics

The coming out party for Bayonetta 2 began early Tuesday morning in Los Angeles during E3 2013.  Platinum Games was on-hand at Nintendo’s Pre-E3 press conference to reveal the sequel to eager journalists looking to see the upcoming title in action.  While it was revealed that Bayonetta got a haircut in the past few years, those who got a chance to get hands-on with the game found that little else has changed.  And that’s a really good thing.

I stopped counting how many times I’ve played the original.  The combination of the completely insane storyline, over-the-top sexualization, and world class combat mechanics kept me coming back for more for quite some time.  My main question was whether Nintendo would let Platinum Games retain their creative freedom in Bayonetta 2.  You don’t have to play the game for more than a couple of minutes to find that this answer is a definitive yes.  But we asked Platinum Games directly, anyway.

A impromptu interview session with Hideki Kamiya left us with only one question about Bayonetta 2.  We simply asked him if Nintendo was putting any restrictions on Platinum Games to make the title more family friendly, given the company’s reputation.  Kamiya told us that Platinum has been able to make the game that they’ve set out to make, with very little oversight from Nintendo.  And like I said, the proof is in the product.

All of what made Bayonetta a stand-out in 2009 will return with the newly sheared protagonist.  Hyper-sexualized with the same fluid combat systems that made the original so fantastic, we got a chance to go hands-on for three verses of Bayonetta 2, and it was one of the games we would’ve stolen from the show floor in a lawless world.

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Massive bosses and various enemies were thrown at us in this twenty minute demo, and Bayonetta was looking better than ever.  It played surprisingly well on the Wii U Game Pad, and incorporated some very interesting commands that could be delivered only from the device’s touchscreen.   Combat in Bayonetta 2 felt awfully familiar to the original.  Weaving in and out of numerous enemies, Bayonetta’s witch time powers were still a joy to explore, racking up combo points until an Umbra attack could be unleashed on your enemies.  The major changes for the GamePad control was in the way that you could choose to unleash this attack via a simple button press or through tapping the GamePad touch screen.

Another mode was explained that would cater to the more novice Bayonetta players that utilizes the touchscreen, but after a brief stint, it didn’t deliver the same rewarding gameplay that traditional controls could.

Walking away from the Bayonetta demo, it was clear that “core” games still had a home on the Wii U.  Unfortunately, Bayonetta 2 was the only one of its kind on the show floor.  Perhaps others will follow Platinum’s lead if Bayonetta 2 becomes a big enough success for the company.  Bold and Beautiful, Bayonetta 2 should arrive on the Wii U exclusively in 2014.

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