Reviews// Bayonetta 2

Posted 28 Oct 2014 12:24 by
Games: Bayonetta 2
E3 2013
E3 2013
Now that I’ve adequately gushed over Bayonetta 2’s quality it’s inevitably time to address the elephant that always seems to be in the room in regards to the series. For better or worse, Bayonetta 2 has changed nothing in regards to the series’ controversial and over-the-top disregard for anything resembling modesty.

Whether it’s Bayonetta’s costume repeatedly evaporating during battle or the ass and crotch-shots liberally scattered throughout the game’s many cutscenes, this game is full of sexualisation. Personally I find there’s something about the game’s utter shamelessness that makes it far more amusing than offensive. There’s a tongue in cheek quality to the whole thing that makes it either brilliantly self-aware or ridiculously immature and juvenile. Not entirely sure which side I fall on but either way people should be aware that this damn sure earns its PEGI 16 rating.

I’m sure there are plenty of people more qualified than I am who can decide whether or not Bayonetta is a good female role model character or not. She does tick a lot of the boxes. Most importantly, she’s clearly not a damsel in distress.

In fact she rarely responds well to any efforts to help her out and only seems to treat one of her supporting male cast with any kind of respect. Despite this she proves willing to go to pretty extreme lengths for her friends and never seem to lose control or be out of her depth no matter how screwed up things get. Plus she spends most of her time decimating hordes of demonic and angelic creatures, which is pretty empowering. On the other hand she’s nearly naked for much of this. I’m sure whether or not this is degrading or demeaning is a subject of great debate. She herself doesn’t seem to care at all, but as a fictional character I imagine her opinion carries little weight.

Possibly the strangest aspect of all this is Nintendo’s involvement. Rarely does their name come up in any arguments involving the word ‘sexuality’. Sure, there are the occasional perfectly valid debates about the sexualisation of Metroid’s leading lady Samus Aran, but anyone having arguments about whether Princess Peach’s Mario Tennis outfit is too risqué has gone way off the reservation in my opinion.

And yet for all its wholesome, family-friendly image here Nintendo is not only more or less responsible for but actually contributing to said material. For all its outrageous efforts the first Bayonetta didn’t really stand apart from the more teen-orientated Xbox 360 and PS3 libraries. But as essentially a first-party Nintendo title? I don’t think there’s ever been anything quite like this. The assortment of unlockable costumes based on classic Nintendo franchises alone surely appeal to all manner of unusual fetishes. Nintendo don’t just seem happy to have secured the future of the Bayonetta series on their console, it seems proud of it.

And so it should. Bayonetta 2 fits perfectly on the Wii U. Amongst a library dominated by utterly inoffensive platforming games a more adult-orientated action-packed brawler certainly stands out, but Bayonetta 2’s quality would make it worth checking out even if there was more competition on the console.

E3 2013
E3 2013
+ Smooth, fast-paced combat.
+ Brilliant visuals.
+ Loads of unlockables to be bought and found.

- Flippant sexualisation might be off-putting to some.
- Exploration can be a little frustrating.
- A little short if you’re not into replaying.

SPOnG score: 9/10
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Games: Bayonetta 2

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