Nothing New Under the Moon. Bayonetta 2 Review (Switch)

Heart-pounding action in Bayonetta 2

Discuss the merits of the original Bayonetta. We have already had the opportunity a little earlier., when the game finally made its way to computers. In short, for those who missed it: if you are enticed by the opportunity to shoot from all limbs at once and dismember shining seraphim with a giant chainsaw, you should get it as soon as possible. You won’t find a more intense, eccentric, and multifaceted slasher on PC.

But that’s only on PC. Nintendo console owners, on the other hand, are likely to confirm that Bayonetta’s own sequel pales in comparison.

An intriguing introduction

After being given the opportunity to control a huge combat robot, demolish half of the metropolis, and wipe out a demonic reptile crawling up a skyscraper, there is no doubt about it. Bayonetta 2 starts off much more confidently than its predecessor, making us remember with a smirk our excitement from the last year. How was it? “A fireworks display of madness”? While the unchanging heroine kicks fighter jets and rides angelic centaurs, showcasing her charms for the virtual camera, you realize that such twists should have been saved for later.

Of course, the impressive prologue is not the only thing. Setting the bar high for insane action, the game repeatedly surpasses it over the next ten hours. It has a multitude of vibrant settings, an indecent number of enemy variations and bosses, each encounter being a spectacle of the highest order. From surfing inside a tornado to dueling titanic avatars, Bayonetta 2 constantly raises the level of absurdity and overflows with excitement towards the end.

That’s why it’s doubly great that the pacing of the game is flawless. The first part often got lost in pointless wandering through corridors and played around with unnecessary mechanics like a clumsy shooting range between chapters – all of that is gone here. Levels change at lightning speed, and none of them stand out from the overall picture because someone decided to insert a pointless puzzle into it. Now, distilled action reigns supreme, and the only distractions will be the story inserts.

Unveiling the butterfly
Meeting the enigmatic Rodin

Which, by the way, fit in very well this time. Although at first glance, the narrative role is purely formal, as before. Bayonetta’s best friend is kidnapped by infernal scoundrels, and she goes to her aid – what a plot, isn’t it? It serves as a pretext for an epic beatdown, and it would be inconvenient to ask for more.

However, it’s not all that simple. Opening up as a completely new story, Bayonetta 2 soon intertwines closely with the events of the original game, complementing and clarifying its key moments. The local script is still three-quarters of pure nonsense, but the sequel gives it a beautiful internal logic, which is surprisingly interesting to follow. Somewhere in the middle, the plot starts to become quite captivating and intriguing – with the caveat that it is still a slasher game about a scantily clad lady on high heels, of course.

In light of such news, one can only wonder why the storytelling is once again presented in the form of mediocre semi-animated comics. Yes, there are plenty of luxurious cutscenes here too, but every time a professionally staged lead spectacle is interrupted by a minute of talking heads, it becomes a bit disappointing for the direction.

Confronting fearsome bosses
A challenging trial awaits

However, the gameplay is predictably amazing. Bayonetta has long earned her place in the hall of fame, and the second part does not hide any big surprises in this regard, only repeating the proven formula. Various combinations of enemies are still dumped on us, and we still eliminate these combinations by performing long combos from a billion available moves. Of course, experiments with an extensive arsenal of weapons have not disappeared either – what witch would be complete without flamethrowers built into her heels?

The only significant difference in the combat system is the berserk mode called Umbran Climax, which, when activated, turns Bayonetta into a deadly killing machine with a huge attack radius and health regeneration. The idea was clearly borrowed from Devil May Cry with its Devil Trigger, but here, honestly, it looks even more appropriate and brutal. And thanks to this sequel, it has become more friendly to newcomers, as many bosses can be defeated much easier with these demonic attacks.

In other words, the changes in Bayonetta 2 are not drastic, but they are very significant. It is precisely because of everything mentioned above that you don’t get tired of the game as clearly as you did with the first part. If the first game slightly tired you by the end credits, here, on the contrary, you want more and more after the ending. Fortunately, there is an incredibly large amount of content for “extended play”: additional difficulty levels, trial series, collectible items, secret characters, and a whole shop of various knick-knacks, from fancy combat techniques to outfits for the main heroine – you can have fun with all of this until you go crazy.

Climbing the mountain
A torturous encounter

The relocation of the series to Switch Only fueled the desire to return for a different challenge. The Nintendo mobile platform is perfect for spontaneous post-game sessions, and in general, there are no special complaints about the quality of the port.

Both games run at 720p and have almost identical performance in docked mode, providing smooth 60 frames per second with rare and minor fluctuations. The only disappointment is that most cutscenes are locked at 30 frames, which leads to unpleasantly abrupt transitions, especially noticeable in interactive QTE scenes.

However, the difference is noticeable in handheld mode. The original game flies quickly and effortlessly, while the console struggles a bit with particularly dense moments in the second part. To be fair, the game stutters most often during non-combat moments (for example, when the last enemy is defeated), but there are exceptions that can spoil the experience, especially at higher difficulty levels.

Bayonetta 1 arrives on the Switch

For casual play, there are no obstacles. In the Switch version, they even left touch controls so you can lazily smear fingerprints on the screen while performing complex combos. However, this feature is not really useful – adult gamers will get bored after a couple of minutes, and children are not allowed to play such games yet.

* * *

Bayonetta 2 proves that it is not only a worthy successor, but also an almost exemplary representative of its genre. It is pure enchantment with impeccably balanced rhythm, deep combat system, vibrant visuals, and a wealth of content that will last for many weeks to come. And in just two breathtaking evenings, it will easily convince you that other slashers are not really necessary.

Well, except for… Bayonetta 3, of course. We will leave the remaining 5% of our scale for her.

Bayonetta 2
Switch, Wii U
Action, Co-op
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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