I wish every sequel came bundled with an enhanced version of its predecessor. It’s not economically viable for the creators but it offers players such a fantastic opportunity to catch up, refresh or compare and contrast. How does the predecessor at its best fare against the hot new sequel? Well, I can answer that without having to dig into memories with rose tinted glasses.
Playing Bayonetta 2 was like playing the Bayonetta of my nostalgia. I had forgotten about the annoyances found in the original title. PlatinumGames first take with Bayonetta was a lot like the first God of War where the creators threw in many ideas but didn’t execute them all with equal precision. The sequel jettisoned the annoying quick time events and truncated the shooter and vehicular levels so they didn’t overstay their welcome. The end result was a smoother journey where deaths were a result of my inadequacies and not because I missed a random button prompt. There was nothing more frustrating than having a great performance marred by cheap deaths.
The sensation of deja vu was prevalent throughout my time with the sequel. Bayonetta sported a new hairdo and a new way to expend her magical energy but the manner in which her story was told and the locales that she visited brought me back to the good times from her breakthrough adventure.
Despite the familiar architecture, the two titles were differentiated by Bayonetta 2’s bright color palette . The grime of the first game was replaced by vivid hues fitting for the platform in which it now exclusively resides on.
New weapons and moves were to be expected but here was one area which I wish they brought back some of the original arsenal. There was an adequate facsimile to my beloved Shuraba sword but I preferred utilizing a single bad ass sword instead of dual wielding a pair of less blades.
Regardless of the weapon preferences, I still had a blast dueling against angelic and demonic foes alike. They didn’t toss more enemies into the fray. Instead, they focused on more vicious fights where enemies defended and attacked with more variation. And when they weren’t playing it smart, they simply made it more ridiculous and bombastic with giant King Kong sized summons. Anything is possible in Bayonett’s world.
Witches vs. Sages. Good vs. Evil. Both titles revolved around the prodigal daughter, Bayonetta, righting the wrongs of angels and demons while saving humanity along the way. The religious overtones were interesting before and they continued to fascinate me. They introduced with enemies with names such as Sloth and it was interesting to see if the name matched the monster design. It’s uniquely Bayonetta and I’m glad they brought that back.
I intend to replay the game at higher difficulties — that’s a given for games like this — but I won’t be trying the co-op though. I don’t know anyone else who owns a Wii U and a copy of Bayonetta 2. They already gave me what I wanted (a solid single player campaign), so adding extras like this is no skin off my back.
Bayonetta 2 gave me more of what made the first game special — stylish bad ass action. It’s a refinement of a formula that can be forgiven and praised for a second outing but I don’t think they can get away with a third installment that treads a similar path again. I can’t tell you which game that I prefer. The sequel is a more pleasant journey but the original came up with ideas that I simply liked more. I preferred “Fly Me Over The Moon” over “Moon River”. I preferred the Shuraba over Rakshasa. On the flip side, I liked Bayonetta better with short hair. I guess you could consider them equals or at the very least, complimentary. Fortunately, everyone can pick up both in one package. And why wouldn’t you? It’s only two of the finest action games ever made.
For more information on Bayonetta 2, visit the official website.