Bayonetta 2: The Game Which Almost Wasn’t


With Bayonetta 2 released last week in Japan there has been a lot of hype on the internet about the long anticipated title; and not without good reason. Renowned Japanese gaming website Famitsu gave it an almost perfect 38/40, its highest rating of recent releases, and after playing the game for some time it’s clear to see why, yet it almost wasn’t a game at all.

While Platinum Games seem to be the go to example when looking at high quality game development, they never received the respect and accolades they so desired when it came to sales. The original Bayonetta, while receiving rave reviews back in 2010, (MetaCritic gave the 360 version 90/100 and the PS3 version 87/100) never did particularly well financially for the company. It shifted just over 1 million units, which while sounding like a lot, is not particularly good for an international release, and is certainly nowhere near the number of sales Platinum were hoping for or in fact needed.

Yet I guess great reviews were enough for the company to suggest that they would be working on a sequel for the much loved title. They didn’t reveal much at the time, but they did reveal that the sequel would feature a new character from the US military, and they also released artwork. However, before the game was seemingly ever brought into development, Sega began drastically cutting down on future titles, due to restructuring, and Bayonetta 2 was one of the unfortunate titles to get the can.

Sega announced this much to the devastation of Bayonetta fans back in April 2012, most likely due to the title’s over all poor sales. The game had potential it would seem, but not nearly enough buyers. That was until Nintendo came along.

In September 2012, at the Tokyo Game Show, it was revealed that Bayonetta 2 was going to be developed and released, however, it would be a WiiU exclusive. This disappointed several fans who were hoping that it would be released on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 like the original, but Platinum soon announced that the game wouldn’t have been developed at all without Nintendo’s support. The penalty for that was Nintendo’s exclusivity.

The original idea seems to have been scraped as the Bayonetta 2 which has been released doesn’t feature any of this original artwork, or indeed this military figure as suggested. Instead it follows Bayonetta into the Inferno as she tries to save the soul of her friend Jeanne before it is completely devoured. It is unclear yet, how much resemblance the game that has been released shares with the original plan, but does that even matter? What Platinum has released is still a game of spectacular proportions.

What’s more, while people were originally disappointed by Nintendo’s hold over the title, the included unlockable costumes from the Nintendo franchise, seems to have more than made up for it. After collecting a certain amount of halos, players can dress their character up as either Fox McCloud, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Link or Samus. Each costume comes with different exclusives. For example, with the Link costume you receive rupees instead of halos, and the Zelda reveal music and chest opening sounds are played, with Princess Peach you fight with Bowser instead of Bayonetta’s hair demons, and Mario coins are spilled, as Samus your spirit animal is simply the mobile suit in sphere form and you can charge your gun, and with Fox you fight with tiny Arwings instead of guns.

A lot of consideration clearly went into this unlockable content, which is simply so awesome, it makes it easy to forgive the exclusivity thing, particularly when there wouldn’t even be a Bayonetta 2 to complain about exclusivity without Nintendo.

Whatever console it’s on, this girl is certainly happy about the release of Bayonetta 2. It really is a spectacular game, and the gaming world would be a little bit duller without its presence.