Ready for Round 2
Bayonetta returns with a whole new look in the second game of the series. If you have not played the first then you should. If that is not an option, this game does give exposition that details the backstory of the world. There are three realms: Paradiso of the angels, Inferno of the demons, and the Living world of the humans. The God of Chaos and Overseer to the human realm, called Aesir, is introduced. He is the creator of the Eyes of World that were a main plot point of the previous game that returns again.
There is a cutscene at the start of the Prologue that is mostly full of comic relief. It will introduce some important points though, one being that the amount of attacks from angels are less frequent than usual. Second is that the demons are getting impatient. This is a problem because part of the Witch contracts with the demons is for them to kill angels. But low and behold, as the cutscene ends, a sequence of fights against angels begins. Everything seems to be going normal till the demon Bayonetta summons goes rogue. Jeanne is hurt and her spirit is dragged into Inferno. Bayonetta will need to go to Inferno herself to revive her fellow Umbran Witch. She only has a day before Jeanne will be lost forever.
That isn’t the only plot point either. Bayonetta will journey to Fimbulventr, a mountain rumored to be the closest to intersection of three realms. This makes it the best bet to find the entrance to Inferno. On her way to the mountain, she will meet a young boy. He has lost his memories but is drawn to the mountain. They’ll work together as the boy has the ability to reverse time to open path ways. Bayonetta has the physical ability to deal with the angels that are getting in their way. The angels are actually targeting him and they are not the only ones. A lumen sage out of his time will become the rival of this game. This will become the 2nd plot line that will intermix with the first through the game.
Flashbacks and time travel, these combining elements turn this game story into a prequel and sequel to the first game. Through these there is some explanation of the resolution of the conflict from the first game. As a sequel for Bayonetta, the events of the first game already occurred. It is confusing at first to the player. The realization that the game was also a prequel only occurred to me after playing through the story once. It took until the end of the game for that to become clear. Up until that point I was staring at the game questioning what was going on, and just playing through with hope that I would get answers eventually.
The battle game-play returns with fast paced combos, torture attacks, and scoring. Battle grades are still based on combo, time, and damage taken. There will be a score for each with the best grade being Pure Platinum. Then the chapter score will be a combination of all the battle scores. And missed battles will result in lower scores. A new addition to the battles is the Umbran Climax. It can be activated when the magic gauge is maxed out and will last for a limited amount of time. During this time, however, attacks are stronger with a larger range, you get extra summons, and Bayonetta will heal. This is a welcome addition to your arsenal, especially against bosses.
The boss battles have undergone a lot of changes. In the first game, the boss battles had a lot of cinematic moments that needed to be seen to pass. In the second, that system feels less prevalent. Rather, it involves wailing on the bosses just like you would standard enemies. Damage done to bosses seemed to be less than that done to normal enemies. Considering the bosses have more health bars, it made the fights drag on. All of these factors made the bosses harder and frustrating. This became a large downside of the game for me. When the battles are all about being fast-paced, these boss battles felt slow and dragged out.
For the hidden battles, there are now special condition battles called Muspelheim. These battles can be reached by going through portals found during the chapter. The portal will take Bayonetta to a simple area with two land masses with a bridge connecting the two. Once the bridge is crossed, a battle will begin. These battles will have special conditions that will need to be met to win. Examples of the conditions are defeating all enemies in one combo, within a time limit, and not being hit once. I actually had a rage inducing moment trying to get past one that had a time limit, with time that remains increasing when an enemy was beaten. It was rage inducing because if I was not perfect with the first set of enemies then I would not have enough time for second. I failed it many times before I got all the timing right. A thankful part is that failing will not alter the level score from what I have seen. But the score you get or do not get if skipped will. After clearing for the first time there will be drops of Broken Moon Pearl or Broken Witch Heart. Two broken moon pearls, once collected, will increase Bayonetta’s magic gauge permanently. Four Broken Witch Hearts will be needed to gain a permanent increase to her health. If you are replaying the chapter and have already cleared the battle it will still need to be completed to help the score of chapter.
After beating the game, there will extra lost chapters called Witch Trials. There will be multiple fights that will need to be completed. There is no healing during these battles at least not with items. The Umbran Climax healing factor will helpful for the more difficult battles, if needed. The battles do not require any running around to find, so they can be good for raking up halos to buy accessories, costumes, or the Platinum Ticket. The Platinum Ticket costs 9,999,999 and will unlock a secret boss in the game. It is something I am working towards getting, but I used up most of my savings to buy costumes and weapons. Not something I regret though, as I love the Alruna whip weapon and Chernobog scythe weapon that are new weapons to the series.
There is another new addition with the multiplayer mode called Tag Climax. This mode is online only. You play with friends, random strangers, or a computer AI. There will be six versus matches each sequence. The matches that appear will be decided through Versus Cards. Versus Cards are unlocked by completing areas in the main story mode. Players can make bets against one another even though they will fight the battle together. The person with the better score will gain extra halos. If the difficulty is at a higher setting then more halos will be awarded. There is the ability to unlock Baldr and Rodin as playable characters through this mode.
It’s not often that a game story revolves around being a prequel as well as a sequel to the original. While it may have taken until the end of the game to gain that realization, when I did realize it, I was amazed. Really, it was the gameplay that kept me going up to the end. I loved raking up combos, dodging at the right time, and destroying the enemies. The boss battles add more difficultly and frustration to the gameplay. Those are only specific battles, though, and do not take up the entire game.