Don’t mess with a Witch!

When Bayonetta 2 first arrived on the Nintendo Wii U, I wasn’t sure what to think. Here we have this amazing fun, hack & slack title that featured this oversexualized character. While the character wasn’t new, what was new was that it was on a Nintendo console. Casting that all aside, I spent countless hours on the game and I loved it. Now, in 2018, Bayonetta 2 has returned to Nintendo’s latest system and it’s just as good as I remembered it. Maybe even a bit better.

Game Name: Bayonetta 2
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (also Wii U)
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Platinum Games
Release Date: Feb 16, 2018
Time Played: 24 hours

For the sake of this review, we’re talking about Bayonetta 2, only. I’m fully aware that there is the Bayonetta 1+2 edition, but I was only interested in part 2. I mean, you can play the first entry but so many times (Xbox 360, Wii U, PC). Bayonetta 2, however, was only available on the Wii U. Now we have access to one of Platinum Games best hack & slack games and now you can take it on the go. Kudos to Nintendo and Sega for getting this on this on the Switch. Bayonetta 2 was simply too good to leave on the Wii U. Now that it’s on a console that has a larger audience, the game should get the exposure it desires.

Bayonetta 2 starts off with a bunch of action tossed in your face. It’s a fantastic way to get acquited with the series. Later on, the game dials it back a bit and drops the story on you. Your job? Rescue your friend, Jeanne, from the depths of hell. Sounds like fun, right? Well, sure it is. The action that unfolds during the attempt is the best you’re going to get on the Switch. If I’m being honest, this story has more substance compared to the first game. Then again, you don’t play Bayonetta games for the story, you play for the lights… camera… ACTION!

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If you’re ever played Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U, you’ll be happy to know that the same over the top action is intact. There have been no changes to how the game plays. The split-second combat, the witch time dodges, it’s all here and as responsive as ever. There’s nothing as satisfying as dodging to activate witch time, and wrecking someone’s face. It’s just so good. The combat is fast and frantic, with no rest for the weary as hordes of enemies descend onto you. But you’re the Umbra Witch and you’ll be handing out tickets for some good old-fashioned ass kickings. If there’s any combat here, is that perhaps there’s a bit too much going on at times. 

I’m also happy to state that there hasn’t been any censoring of the game. Now, you’re probably asking why I’d bring this up. Cereza, the character you play as, attacks with her hair. Her clothes are also her hair. Meaning that when she attacks, her clothes come off, but she’s not completely nude. Not to mention that she’s an oversexualized character. She moans, she grunts, she shakes her hips during combat. She has a fetish for being naughty, and honestly, that’s why so many are drawn to her character. It’s pretty much her charm, despite some feeling that perhaps it’s a bit too much. In this day and age of games get censored for silly reasons, I  had me wondered the Switch port would be toned down.Thankfully, nothing was touched here and the game is exactly how it was before. Though even if the game had been censored in one form or another, this wouldn’t take anything away from the game.  

The Tag Climax mode also makes a return. Here you and a friend can fight through multiple waves of enemies and bosses. Online play, as well as local play, are both supported. All you do is bet a number of halos at the start, the more you bet the tougher the foes are. Then you try to battle your way through the waves. It’s both cooperative, as well as competitive and there’s nothing better than taunting the friend (or sibling) as he/she is next to you and falling behind. 

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Performance-wise, the Switch version of Bayonetta 2 puts the Wii U version to shame. While both versions run at 720p, the Switch can easily maintain 60 fps (or close to it) when docked. Compared to the Wii U version, where massive framerate drops were apparent. The Switch, the colors are more vibrant, there are fewer jaggies, and the overall presentation is a bit better. While docked version playing Bayonetta 2 is an amazing experience. The portable mode is equally good, however, I did notice a bit more framerate drops. Still, being able to take the game for a spin while being out and about is worth the minor performance hit.  

That said, I did not enjoy playing the game with the Joy-Cons. There I said it. Sure, I was able to play the game just fine. I just didn’t like how the controls felt in my hands. Heavy action sequences and the buttons on the Joy-Cons just don’t work for me. Thankfully, I have access to a Switch pro controller, which made everything that much better. Your experience may vary, though if you own a pro controller you’ll find it the game “easier” to play. I did at least.  Surprisingly enough the touchscreen controls are quite good as well.  Responsive, and accurate, the touchscreen function is a worthwhile alternative to both the Joy-Cons or pro controller. 

All in all, Bayonetta 2 on the Switch is just as impressive as it was on the Nintendo Wii U when it debuted three years ago. A fantastic outing that any fan of over the top action and excitement should own in their Switch library. Now with Platinum Games finally finished porting this over, I can’t wait to see what Bayonetta 3 brings us. 

Lastly, a word to the wise. If you’re holding off on seeing Bayonetta 2 on another platform, don’t. Since this is funded by Nintendo, don’t expect to see this gem anywhere else other than a Nintendo system.

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Review Disclosure Statement: This copy of Bayonetta 2 was purchased for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.

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Summary

Platinum Games shining star from the days of the Wii U has made a huge comeback now that it's on the Nintendo Switch. With a heavy amount of action, a nearly 60fps experience, and huge replay value, Bayonetta 2 is right at home on the Switch. Fans of the game will fall in love all over again, while newcomers will be in for a massive treat. 

Pros:

  • Bayonetta 2 on the Switch runs way better than the Wii U version.
  • Easily the best hack & slack game on the Switch.
  • Nearly contact 60 fps in docked mode.

Cons

  • Playing in portable mode has extreme framerate drop.
  • The camera still is a pain at times.
  • Wish there was more content.

 

4.5

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. He's 40+ now, that old guy that he is.