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Bayonetta 1 & 2 (Switch) Hands-on Preview

by Daan Koopman - February 1, 2018, 5:00 am EST
Total comments: 2

The witch is back to showcase all of her best moves on Nintendo's shiny toy.

When the Bayonetta games came to the Wii U, I was the one tasked with covering them. In total, I spent a total five articles on this very website discussing my admiration for these games. The fun of Platinum's action games can't be understated, which is why I dared to dip in again. It would be easy to just repost the articles and call it a day, but the action being fully portable really helps some new elements shine.

Let's start with the original Bayonetta. The non-stop action climax game is back in all its glory, and will push to do the best combos you can. Bayonetta remains relentless, particularly when compared to its sequel. You will fight the various angelic troops and the slightest error can be extremely fatal. The many, many quick-time events are a good case in point, as failing them means a brutal death. You will learn while you play and by the end, you are expected to wield this game properly in order to advance. Bayonetta won't be for everyone, but luckily, they are tools to make this goal approachable and really fun.

All the content from the Wii U version is present, which includes the various Nintendo costumes. Just like before, these are unlocked from the get go. The Umbra Witch will be able cosplay as Samus, Peach, Daisy and Link, and sne still looks glorious. Outside of that, the key difference with Bayonetta is performance. The game on Wii U had some odd framerate dips, which gave me pause now and again. On the Nintendo Switch, it runs buttery smooth without any noticeable faults. It is more to par with the smoothness on PC (and to a lesser extend Xbox 360), which can only be considered a big plus.

The touchscreen controls are back as well, but this time they got time in the oven. On the Wii U, they were a clunky option that wasn't fun for the beginner. Due to the nature of the game, these controls instantly showed the problems of the Wii U GamePad. You couldn't have multiple fingers, various gestures or get anything done at a decent pace. PlatinumGames saw fit to improve on the groundwork and make it something usable in both games. Naturally, I do still prefer using a controller, but it is nice to have choice.

Things become a lot more interesting with the second game. Naturally, this game was a tighter package than its first installment. There were all kinds of weapons that you could equip on both your arms and feet, with bolder design choices and smoother controls. It still remains the finest selection of action game levels that I've witnessed, and that is saying a lot. The game was also far more forgiving in its requirements for the best ranks. This in turn made it fun to replay levels, and try to become a better player.

As far as its additional content goes, there are some significant changes to be found in Bayonetta 2. The big one is that all of the costumes, Nintendo or otherwise, can be unlocked with Amiibo. As soon as you can enter the Gates of Hell bar, you can scan them in and claim your goodies. You can put in Amiibo 32 times per day, allowing you rank up items and/or get more Halos. While that is pretty broken, most of you will come here to quickly unlock the costumes. The compatible amiibo are Samus, Fox, Link, Peach, Daisy and both the Bayonetta Smash amiibo. With those last two, you will unlock additional sets like the classic or dress outfits without paying a dime for them.

While this destroys some of the rewards for your hard work, it does make costume only runs a fun new thing. I found myself putting on Samus Aran's armor and ducking into a Morph Ball form. This doesn't only look cool, but has features and nods galore. It makes the traditional Metroid sounds, and it comes with a fully working arm cannonand the ability to drop bombs by double jumping in ball form. The Samus speedruns for Bayonetta 2 will be amazing.

Just like the original, the performance has seen slight improvements over the Wii U original. The textures look nice and sharp, and the action is all sorts of flashy. Bayonetta 2 had a couple of slowdown moments in the first release, but those seem to have fully disappeared here. The optimal performance translates very nicely to handheld where it is an utter joy to play. I was a bit worried that the button layout would throw me for a loop, but the problems disappear rather quickly.

Next to the beefy sixteen chapter story mode, you get Tag Climax as well. This mode, which was previously online exclusive, sees you teaming up with a friend to tackle various missions. You can even play with other characters, which changes up the way you play. Now players can team up with a friend over local wireless play, which is grand if you need to interact. I see myself getting a kick out of playing this way as the experience will feel more personal. Of course, the online options are still there if you prefer them.

A couple of years back I called Bayonetta 2 one of the best games to grace the Wii U. Now that statement is the same on the Nintendo Switch. I could endlessly gush about how wonderous this and the original game play on the platform. The performance has been improved in major areas, which action games need. Next to their story modes, you can now play Tag Climax against another person in the same room. It makes communicating and working together during the missions a lot more engaging. If you are in the need of some fine action games with grand set pieces, don't sleep on the Bayonetta games this February.


WiiUIVLifeFebruary 01, 2018

Once I get the Nintendo Switch (after getting out of debt), I will definitely double dip on Bayonetta 2 and the digital game of the original Bayonetta (and a MicroSD XC memory card).

azekeFebruary 01, 2018

I bought the games the day they become available for pre-purchase on European eShop but didn't have enough space on internal memory, so i was just looking at icons.

This week i used retailer bonus from buying a new TV in December on 32 GB SD card, it's not a long term solution but hey it basically free.

And now the games are pre-loaded and are just waiting to be unlocked.

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Game Profile

Bayonetta 2 Box Art

Genre Action
Developer PlatinumGames
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Bayonetta 2
Release Feb 16, 2018
eu: Bayonetta 2
Release Feb 16, 2018

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