February 22, 2018

Bayonetta 1 & 2 on Switch - Review

Today is a strange day, not only do we get two great games with Bayonetta 1 and 2, but it marks the first time that we get a direct port of a game from Nintendo, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, changing things up, but is a direct port enough?

If you have been living under a rock, then you might not know what Bayonetta is all about, you play as the titular witch herself and at the start of the first game, you are tasked with discovering   all the while attempting to recover your own memories. As the events unfold, you start to learn more and more about the world and what is going on. Once you pick up the second game, Bayonetta knows who she is, but this time, it is about trying to save a dear friend, who happened to push you out of the way of danger and as a result, they themselves have had their soul taken away. While the stories of both games, the second more so, are light in nature, it’s a combination of those stories and the gameplay that makes them worth playing.

Bayonetta 1 is not what I plan to cover here, the game has seen release over the years many times, the Switch release is just the latest in the series of platforms it has hit, I should mention that the game runs better here than it did on the Wii U release. I suspect that the Switch release is based on the recent PC release, rather than the original Xbox 360 one, but I don’t know for certain. Bayonetta 2 is a port of the Wii U release and its almost identical, where the Wii U release faltered a few times, the Switch release does not and it is so much better for it. The entire game feels like its pure motion, from the subtle moves of Bayonetta herself, to the way the enemies float or blob around the screen.

I played most of the two games whilst on the go, thanks to a recent trip to Sydney and in handheld, there was something just so sublime about playing games that are that fast and fluid.  Both games run frighteningly well, more so than I had though they would, there was some slow down on Bayonetta 2, but we are talking minor amounts at very few times, something that you would hate to call an issue. Bayonetta 1 runs better, but that could be in part to it being more subdued than the sequel, but no matter which way you look at it, playing either of these games on Switch in handheld mode is giving you the best way to experience them. Playing them docked is still a good experience, but for some reason Bayonetta 2 seemed to struggle a bit, not enough to dampen the overall experience, but enough to cause some concerns.

The games themselves are packed with features, but in this the sequel outshines the original by a wide margin, not only do you get amiibo support, which just gives you costumes, it also offers up the Tag Climax mode, which is their way of saying multiplayer. This is not your standard multiplayer though, here two players, each with their own Switch can link up, locally or online, though I never tried online and have your friend join you in your quest. The mode is fun, its nothing fancy, but it does not need to be, the action can get quite chaotic though, when you and a friend are both demolishing enemies all over the place. There are plenty of items hidden within each level in both games, and as you can up the difficulty, there are more than a single reason to replay the games and if all that were not enough, there is also the addition of bonus characters to unlock and even more, the game is bursting with cotent.

Fans of the Bayonetta series, or at least the original should consider picking up this collection, however those who have recently completed both games on the Wii U are going to be harder to convince. Both games are fantastic in what they do, but as there is almost nothing new to the games, especially Bayonetta 1, recommending them again, is a hard sell. If you do double down, you will find yourself falling in love with the games tight and frantic action, and maybe a little of the crazy characters too, but in any event, this is one package that is hard to put down.

Review copy supplied by Nintendo

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