Before the demo for Bayonetta 2 hit the Wii U eShop this afternoon, I wasn’t really sold on the game. I never played the original on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, and I found the imagery to be a lil’ immature. Yeah, I’ve been a gamer all my life and understand that most depictions of females are ridiculous and misogynist. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not still bothered by some of the shit I see today, especially as I get a lil’ older—but I digress.
Basically, Bayonetta 2 looked like your classic case of style over substance. The titular character is a bespectacled, raven-haired woman who wears a skin-tight body suit and is never seen without her two pistols. And from the coverage that I saw, she was typically getting into some rather hairy situations, during which she beats the living hell out of her crazy-looking opponents—angels, apparently—who are hunting her because she’s a witch. Right?
If it sounds like a ridiculous premise, it is—but it’s also kind of been done before. The Devil May Cry series immediately came to mind when I watch the Bayonetta 2 trailers, just with a witch in the place of a demon-hunting heartthrob named Dante. He, too, carried a pair of pistols, but he also had a huge sword draped over his shoulders. Bayonetta, it seems, uses punches and kicks in addition to her guns—oh, and magic.
So there I was, torn over whether I really wanted to give this game my attention. The Devil May Cry games that I played held my attention to the point of near-addiction, and I do love me some mindless action. But was it worth the hype? After playing the demo this evening, I can safely say, “Yes.”
At first, Bayonetta 2 (like DMC) made me feel like my preconceived notions were accurate. The game is absolutely beautiful—for a Wii U title, at least—and it’s stylish as all hell. But then I started fighting those aforementioned weirdo angel things, and shit got real. And, more importantly, it got really fun. I was button mashing like a goon to start, but I realized rather quickly that stringing together mindless combos was not the wave. Yeah, I died in a demo, so what? When I learned how to properly dodge attacks at just the right time, I went into “Witch Time” and brought the pain.
Just when I began hitting my stride, too, the demo threw even more difficult (but not too difficult) enemies my way. I didn’t die again, but I did get my ass handed to me by this giant monster that I summoned and thought was on my side. I don’t want to spoil anything about the storyline, but the beast causes irreparable damage to your squad, so be prepared for that. Also be prepared for a gnarly fight in the sky, as you use your wings to drift, fly, and dodge attacks. In short: It’s epic.
All that being said, I still don’t really dig the whole sexed-up nature of Bayonetta, especially when she performs a summon, causing her clothes to disappear while her hair serves as a coverup. I know that games like this tend to be, well, this way more often than not, but it’s just not necessary. It’s fun to the point of absurdity—and I’ll try to remember that when I decide whether or not it’s worth a purchase upon its Oct. 24 release.