Bayonetta 1 & 2 Review

Bayonetta 2

by Matt Kamen |
Published on

Here's the downside to the Switch's portability: people can see. Before, when you were playing a portable game with scantily-clad ladies, the biggest screen you had to contend with was the PS Vita's, and it was still easy to hide your shame from the judgemental eyes of your social peers. With the Switch's massive screen, there's no easy way to obscure the fact that you're playing a game featuring a sexy librarian witch with guns for high heels, who wears her own hair as a dominatrix outfit except when she uses it to kill the armies of heaven and hell, and drops sexually provocative one-liners mid-gunfight.

Public shame, and the likelihood you'll scream "It's Japanese! You wouldn't understand!" at a stranger on the train, is one of the very few downsides to this Switch port of the first two Bayonetta games. The other is that, whether docked to a TV or in tablet form, Bayonetta 2 runs only at 720p. However, the slightly lower resolution is offset by a targeted 60fps frame rate, and rightly so – function over form, after all.

This combo pack offers the definitive console editions of these games

Although the focus is on Bayonetta 2 – if you buy the physical release, the first game is reduced to a downloadable 'extra' – both of developer PlatinumGames' technically polished and hyper-stylish action shooters are spruced up for Nintendo's darling. Running at 60fps, the precision of the rapid-fire gameplay really shines, proof that there's far more to these than titillation.

Much like the recent Shadow Of The Colossus remaster over on PS4, these Switch ports wisely don't rock the boat when it comes to the underlying content. There's some amiibo support – instantly unlocking additional costumes for Bayonetta based on Nintendo stalwarts, rather than having to earn them in-game – and the Bayonetta 2's GamePad functionality from the Wii U is nicely translated to the Switch's touchscreen in tablet mode, but for the most part these are the original games, just better looking.

There is a sense that this bundle is something of a trailer for the main event – the still-in-development Bayonetta 3 – but given the original Bayonetta is a few years old now, and many missed out on Bayonetta 2 by virtue of it being exclusive to Wii U, the chance to catch up or replay is more than welcome. Short of the 4K release of the original on PC, this combo pack offers the definitive console editions of these games.

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