The witch is back, and she arrives on Nintendo Switch with both the original title, and the sequel which only released on Wii and Wii U. This means gamers, like me, that loved the original game but missed the 2nd can enjoy it for the first time. But, as you will find out with my Bayonetta 1 and 2 Nintendo Switch review, Bayonetta is amazing for new and old players of this series.
Platinum games are known for amazing combat gameplay, they are one of the best developers out there for it. Especially with their efforts on NieR Automata last year. Here in Bayonetta, you can enjoy classic action gameplay with lots of swarming enemies, crazy attacks and combos plus some outstanding boss fights.
Nintendo made the right call owning this franchise and it’s amazing to play on the Switch.
Update: We’ve now included a video review gamers! Check it out from the MGL Youtube Channel down the page!
As ever the review is in sections below focusing on the elements of this action game and whether it’s for you or not. First, a question for you…
Review Side Quest
Two epic characters’ clash! Dante of Devil May Cry and the Umbra Witch herself Bayonetta! Who wins the fight?!
Let me know in the comments below, personally I think it would end up getting a bit freaky before either of them lost. But that’s my sick and twisted mind! Over to you, get your answer in the Disqus Comments at the end of the article, or over on Facebook. And please share this so other gamers can get involved, and enjoy the review.
Watch the Bayonetta 1 and 2 Review
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How does it play?
Bayonetta is all about the action. It’s all about speed, flow and hitting those combos without taking hits and earning special attacks. Everything in Bayonetta is about moving at speed and getting into the action sequence.
And it works perfectly.
You start both games as Bayonetta, a witch with incredible power and ability from the start. You can earn more abilities and weapons as you go but, even to start with she’s pretty amazing to control. Her power comes from her hair (her clothes come from it too, she’s technically naked!) and she uses it for her abilities and special attacks.
What I love about the action gameplay is that her character feels like she’s untouchable. She’s so incredibly skilled that nothing, even a giant boss, can even get close if you handle her correctly. When you take control and get hit, that’s on your sloppiness not her inability to move or fight.
She really is an excellent character to control and everything about the game, especially the combat is just what you want. With four guns attached to your limbs and upgrades to make things feel different as you fight. Bayonetta is wonderful to control.
Original VS Sequel
Playing the original Bayonetta, I started with a sense of nostalgia and excitement to be back. I loved the game back in 2009 and was looking forward to playing it again. Skip ahead to now and everything still plays really nicely too. The gameplay remains sharp, the movement is quick and the combat is excellent.
Plus, there is the addition of the Nintendo Switch functionality to use the touch screen for combat. This is actually quite helpful for some enemies when you play in handheld mode. I’m not sure it replaced a controller, but it is a good option to swap to while on the move.
I personally prefer to play Bayonetta in TV mode for both the original and sequel since the pro controller really does suit this type of game. But it’s a really fun option and adds something to both games.
Playing the original was great fun. Some elements feel somewhat dated, but not enough to take much away from what is still, a great game to play.
Then I played Bayonetta 2. Bear in mind this was my first time (Bayonetta was not gentle with me, as you can imagine!), the step up is quite significant in pretty much every aspect of the gameplay. You can really see the progression made between the two games, and the sequel seems even more suited to the Switch.
The general combat, amazing boss fights and gameplay is so much tighter in every aspect. It really is an outstanding to play. Plus, there are some really well designed environments to find with secret challenges and more to do. Similar to the original but taken up a level in polish.
Play them in order
This is really the difference between the two games, a level of added detail and polish has been added to every aspect of the gameplay in Bayonetta 2. Going back, you can really feel the difference, but then being released 5 years apart it’s what you would expect.
They are both great games to play, but I do think you are better playing them in order as going back to the original after the sequel makes it feel somewhat dated.
Action game fans really do need to play Bayonetta 1 and 2 because it’s action gameplay at it’s finest… and sexiest! It’s fast, fun and addictive and comes with that sassy, sexy style you only get with Bayonetta as the main character.
Presentation and Graphics
I love action games for the gameplay mainly, but they do always bring it in the visuals department too. Again, we have this original VS the sequel situation where the original game looks really nice and the developers have done a great job getting the game up to the standards of the Switch. Everything looks so much more colourful and detailed in the sequel however.
Characters are modelled really well, especially your main characters. Bayonetta is very much presented in her sexualised way (which may put some people off) but she’s also quite the personality to go with it. The other characters to support her along the way like Rodin and Jeanne are all really well captured too.
The game comes into its own take on demon design too. There are angel based monsters that look heavenly in some respects. Then there are the more hellish looking strange creatures that fight alongside you too. All of them are extremely varied and detailed in design.
Locations look really impressive too, and the frame-rate and flow keep up to the action throughout. Plus, the soundtrack is amazing in both games. The voice acting is well done although the reliance of stereotypes make some characters annoying, but this seems more to do with the writing than the performance.
Overall, it looks fantastic and the added power of the Switch makes it even more impressive.
As a traditional action game you are playing a linear story with the focus on taking on the missions and doing them as best you can. This means you follow on the story of Bayonetta who, in the original game has lost her past and tries to uncover what has happened following a 500-year sleep. She is an Umbra Witch who follows the darkness who she finds out about the war with the Lumen Sages who follow the light.
The whole tale is very far fetched but is also very interesting as you uncover the details of this Heaven Vs Hell concept. Paradiso is the equivalent of heaven and the Sages use power from here along with many forms of Angels. They are not friendly though, and soon revealed to be as demonic as their enemies from Inferno. The game’s idea of Hell.
It’s certainly a larger than life plot for the title, but it has a number of twists along the way that make it engaging rather than being just some crazy story to justify all the action.
With the sequel you are focusing more on the Inferno realm as you soon find you need to get into Hell. Obviously via the gates of hell, which are in a mountain. Make sense? No, of course not, but it’s great fun to experience and it does make sense once you start playing.
Sex and Stereotypes
One element to Bayonetta that will not suit all gamers is the emphasis on sexuality and stereotypes throughout the game. Like I said before, Bayonetta is technically naked in the game and uses her hair to make her clothes with magic.
There are lots of split leg camera angles and not so subtle sexual innuendo elements. They are intended to be light-heated and I expect most gamers will take them as funny and almost done like a parody in many ways. She backs it up as a character by taking no s**t either and has a level of strength to her presentation.
A few characters, particularly Enzo, are extremely stereotypical in they portrayal. Again, it’s more a caricature than something to take seriously. The cheesy dialogue can become a little tiresome at times thought, but it does not get in the way of telling a really interesting story.
Keeping you coming back for more
The best element of Bayonetta is in how much you’re really just want to get it all perfect. You can do this by replaying missions any time, plus you can take them on as other characters too once the game is finished to mix things up.
In the game itself, there are things to find including challenges you can take on when you visit the Alfheims. This is basically a challenge realm where you have to do certain things to complete within the time period; not get hit, perform certain actions etc.
Plus, there are the collectables where you can take them to The Gates of Hell bar to trade for new weapons and extras.
Mainly though, I just love playing the game and it’s one of those titles that proves a linear story is fine if it’s action packed enough and enjoyable enough to play over and over again. With great boss fights and well-designed levels, it’s really enjoyable to keep going back to.
Should I play Bayonetta 1 and 2?
Yes, you certainly should give it a play if you are into action games or have ever considered playing something like this. It’s a classic and the best part of all this is that more people can now play Bayonetta 2 that was trapped over on the Wii U for so long.
The gameplay is excellent, practically perfect in 2 but even in the original it’s really good still almost 10 years later.
The Witch is back and she demands you play this amazing game on your Nintendo Switch. Are you going to say no?
Gamers who should
This is one of our Elite games therefore most gamers will enjoy playing Bayonetta 1 and 2 but if you have any love for action games, this must be picked up.
Gamers who probably shouldn’t
Bayonetta is an 18 for a reason! It’s in your face, a bit rude and all action. If you take offence to things and don’t like games that are too fast, maybe give this one a miss.
Very much like Devil May Cry, Malicious games and Metal Gear Rising but with its own distinct style.
|The Good||The Bad||The Bugs|
|Amazing action gameplay, perfect for the Nintendo Switch||Some characters are overly stereotyped||None found|
|Character and enemy design|