It’s the 2014 Game of the Year according to Destructoid, EDGE Magazine, and even AbleGamers. It received a rare perfect score from GameSpot and Guardian. Its lead character is a hyper-sexualized female who moans, cusses and literally rips her enemies into pieces through the entire game. Still, it was so desired by Nintendo that they funded its entire development to make it an exclusive for their then-fledgling Wii U console.
And then they advertised it in Playboy Magazine. Did I mention that this was Nintendo? No, I can’t believe it either.
It received the highest acclaim from every video game website, every magazine, and every review. So, dare the question be asked: Is Bayonetta 2 the best video game ever made?
Let’s look at why.
Jumps You Right Into the Action
If you play any of the big-budget titles today, starting a new game rarely drops you right into a thrilling Level 1. Sometimes you have to choose and customize your character’s appearance. Sometimes you’re forced to sit through a long, introductory story. In most Zelda games, you start off as an innocent child and the story doesn’t really develop until you learn some rudimentary jumping skills and acquire a sword which could take 10-20 minutes. Most times you have a wordy side character who serves as your tutorial system throughout the rest of the game.
In Bayonetta 2, your beginning is rather unique. You’re dropped into the finale of the first game of the series while the backstory is explained to you. (This was important because the original Bayonetta was not on Nintendo systems.) And this introduction is fully playable! What you’re getting is a small playground where you can mash buttons and figure out the controls without any worry about a health bar or losing a life. If don’t care about the story, you can just play. If you really care about the story, you can just read and listen. Go ahead and get your feet wet. (Also, spoiler alert, you also get to play like this during the ending credits!)
Following this, you get the one extended cut scene of the entire game…all of the key characters are revealed, including your own. It’s a fair bit campy, and a lot bit awesome, and their personalities burst off the screen! This will be the only time in the game where you’ve got nothing to do but watch, but you’ll love it. It’s funny, engaging, and there’s not a wasted second of dialogue.
Just watch the introduction chapter below if you haven’t decided if you want to own this game yet. This is literally the first 14 minutes of your game experience.
By 6:00, you not only know the entire story of the first game. but you’ve gotten to experience the combat system first hand.
By 7:30, you’ve already fallen in love with the lead protagonist, Bayonetta.
At 10:00, you’re starting to gear up for a fight and, finally, at 12:00 the shit is hitting the fan, you’re locked in, and the game does not stop until it’s over!
The Perfect Amount of Dialogue and Cutscenes
Last week I discussed the problem with many games being too boring. Bayonetta 2 definitely does not have a dialogue problem, however. There’s no wasted lines, no endless paging through text, and even when you’re taken away from the action for a cut scene the music is still pumping and it’s still keeping up an exciting pace and still keeping you thirsty for what’s next.
I wish so many other games adopted this pacing style. (It’s similar to God of War.)
Bayonetta, to start, is equipped with a gun in each hand and on each Stiletto. She can acquire more weapons later that you can not only mix-and-match between hands and feet, but you can have two separate configurations that you switch between in an instant by pressing L. If that’s not enough, she has dozens of combos you can either memorize and execute or discover while you mash the buttons. You don’t just defeat your enemies, you often tear them in two. If you’re quick, you can kick off torture events which entail enemies being caught in medieval torture devices, such as spiked gears, that you shove them through with your legs! Parrying is necessary in this game, and if you parry an attack at the last available moment it’ll spark Witch Time, a slow-motion sequence where you can get multiple attacks in quickly. It’s addicting and fun and I never got tired of hearing Bayonetta’s sarcastically remarks. Oh, and your attacks build up a magic meter that frequently reaches Umbran Climax. This kicks off about 10 seconds of massive attacks that are so, so satisfying.
Oh, and there’s one chapter you get to play as a Mech. Freaking sweet!
One of the Great Soundtracks in a Game
The music in this game is top rate. It’s epic when it needs to be epic, it’s fun when it needs to be fun, and it’s always suggesting the importance of any given fight sequence. In most games you simply want music that matches the tone of the game. In Bayonetta 2, it’s very much a character. You can tell they put a lot of time and effort into it.
A great game needs to be replayable and Bayonetta 2 is certainly that. Only a few times in my life have I started replaying a game the moment I beat it, and this was one of them.
Upon completion you unlock a 2nd playable character, Jeanne. This is a fun change, though Bayonetta herself is so engaging you’ll probably just choose to play with her again anyway. There’s a ton of items in the game you’ll never have gotten the first time because of the high pricetags and you’ll want to try many of them out to see what they do. There’s multiple difficulty levels. There’s also the mirrors that, once you buy them, can unlock a whole plethora of new costumes including Link, Mario, Peach, and Samus! And these aren’t just visual changes…they come with all new attacks!
In addition, each individual battle sequence in the game is sectioned off (you’ll see what I mean) and ranked, in addition to the chapters themselves. This means that every time you play through the game you’ll have been given about 100 chances to improve your individual scores. If that’s not enough, there’s a number of bonus challenges found through the game and you’ll want to find and ace them all.
You’re going to want to play this game over and over again. There’s no doubt about it. And isn’t that a requirement for a game to be truly the best ever?
Every Enemy is a Boss
There are no cheap enemies in this game! In fact, the smallest enemies you face would be considered bosses in other games! Each chapter usually includes 2-3 real bosses, in fact, and they’re huuuuge and terrifying! And so satisfying to kill.
I’ve been playing video games for over 30 years. I became a Nintendo fanboy in the 6th grade, played through all the Mario and Zelda games, collect all the Amiibos and became acquainted with tons of lead characters over the years.
Bayonetta is my favorite of all time.
I’ve always loved a strong female lead and I almost always choose female characters when given the choice. Bayonetta, though, is the character of my dreams. She’s tough as nails, brash as fuck, cocky, confident, witty and always puts you in the mood to kick some ass. I never want to put Bayonetta 2 down because I don’t want to put her down.
I hope I not only see her in future Bayonetta games, but also Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and perhaps in Amiibo form!
The Best Game Ever
Bayonetta 2 throws you right into the action with an absolutely kick-ass protagonist, blazing music, straightforward story, an endless string of thrilling moments, a satisfying ending and plenty of reason to replay the game about a dozen times and still love every second! You get a virtually endless supply of weapons you can equip, attacks and combos, and many variations of your character to see including the Nintendo-themes ones.
The graphics are top notch and there’s never a second of slowdown. The music is epic and unmatched. The game is polished to the bitter end and I never experienced a single bug.
All in all, this game is perfect in every…single…way.
And the best part? For as much as I’ve hyped and heaped praise on this game that I have no qualms saying is the best game I’ve ever played…they included the original Bayonetta on a separate disc in fully-remastered form! That’s right, you get TWO games for the price of one. I haven’t played the first one yet but you should have no problem telling how excited I am for it!
If you own a Wii U and don’t have this game. Go. Go get this game. You go get this game and you play it and comment below what you think!