Quite simply, Bayonetta 2 learned from nearly every mistake made by the original game. The scoring was refined to be less critical. Unlike in the first game, I never felt like I got a bad score due to unfair design, it was always because of my own mistakes. They added new battle mechanics like Umbran Climax to spice things up. The levels seemed to be in more digestible chunks and were organized into a more on-rails approach. This was fine, since it meant less stress inducing platforming and allowed me to just focus on what the game does best, the combat. They even fixed the plot in the sequel, tying it directly into the events of the first game, upping the ante, and offering some dark reflections of themes from the first adventure. Even the boss fights seem more over the top and crazy, since they aren’t gated to a single area like the big fights from the first game. There’s a lot that the sequel does right, and it mitigated almost all of my complaints.

Bayonetta 2 | Boss Surf

There were only a couple minor things that I feel Bayonetta 2 did wrong, though this didn’t hurt my overall appreciation of it much. First of all, our favorite witch gets a new transformation called The Snake Within, which allows her to traverse watery sections. The use of water effects is fantastic and creative, much more so than the first game. Having said that, I didn’t like the controls for the Snake Within at all, and the underwater fights against regular enemies were irritating, since they involved maneuvering as a snake, transforming to fight, rinse and repeat. The other issue I had was the item creation. This feature was in the first game as well, and was actually implemented in a much more intuitive fashion there. In Bayonetta 2, you can’t just shift screens to make magical concoctions. Instead you need to find your magical recipe book and work from there. It’s no exaggeration that I didn’t figure out how to do this until the very end of the game. Thankfully, unlike in the first game, I didn’t need to constantly make healing items to survive the rigors of the sequel. Not because it was significantly easier, but just because I felt everything was that much better balanced.

Bayonetta 2 | Snake Within
The Snake Within was about as much fun as the OG tank controls in Resident Evil.

I actually have one more minor issue with Bayonetta 2, but it’s not one that I deducted any points from the score over. That issue is the length of the experience. While I beat the first game in eleven and a half hours, I was able to beat the second game in just about eight and a half hours. More than anything, I believe this was due to the more fair level design, and while I appreciated that, I don’t see why Platinum didn’t simply make the story a few chapters longer. Both games are 16 chapters long, and if the second had been 20 or so, I would have been even happier with it.

Bayonetta 2 | Luka
Let us all take a moment to mourn the death of Luka’s self esteem…

Despite this not being a re-review, I should probably spend some time discussing the technical aspects of the Switch versions of the games. I did find it odd that they offered touch controls in the Switch version, solely because they don’t come standard with a stylus, whereas the Wii U did. I didn’t encounter any lag whatsoever with either game, though I surprisingly found the load times were longer for Bayonetta 2. As far as co-op, when I played Tag Climax locally with a friend, the game ran just as well as it does in single player. This may vary for playing with friends online, however. I should note again that I played the entirety of the games in portable mode, and found them to perform admirably. Probably my favorite feature of this release is taking screencaps at any time I chose. In fact, all the images in this review were my own curated screen captures. Technically speaking, both Bayonetta games are probably their very best on the Nintendo Switch.

Bayonetta 2 | Cutscenes
The ability to capture screens like this made the experience even better.

It wouldn’t be a Platinum game without amazing art and sound, and here is no exception. I am constantly blown away by the artistry of Platinum, and it’s on full display in both games. The world of Bayonetta is so rich with dark and lush detail that it’s a shame we’re ever forced to leave it. I especially appreciated the enemy designs, which are all wildly varied and impressive. The angels all look like gaudy statues brought to life, while the demons look like sentient Rubik’s cubes armed to the teeth with sharp objects. The boss designs were possibly the most impressive, and I loved how the gigantic angel bosses constantly unveiled hidden horrors the more you damaged them, like some Lovecraftian Matryoshka. Likewise, the set pieces for the game are equally impressive, drawing you into this world of magic, violence and hidden tragedy. The musical score works wonders as well, keeping you invested in the action and never becoming stale or boring. If I was scoring the games solely on their art design, I would easily have awarded this review a 5 out of 5.

Bayonetta 2 | Inferno
Breathtaking vistas like this round out an incredible package.

All in all, I rather enjoyed my time with both Bayonetta games on Nintendo Switch. Altogether, I spent a combined 20 or so hours playing the games, and felt it was time well spent. Though the first game did have some questionable design choices that kept it from a perfect score, the sequel does a great job of balancing things out. As far as replay value, there’s a bunch for both titles, though the second offers more incentives to play again such as unlockable Jeanne and other goodies. While I enjoy the costume changes in both games, I only tinkered with them a little on the original, since it was less work to just select from 5 preloaded Nintendo costumes than hunt for specific amiibo for Bayonetta 2. Overall, I would suggest any fan of crazy action games or Platinum get both Bayonetta games on Nintendo Switch, just to experience them all over again. Now I’ll have to play some more to while away the hours until Bayonetta 3 gets a release date…

Bayonetta | Jeanne
Never forget, short haired Jeanne is the best Jeanne.
Review Score

This game was provided by Play-Asia. If you would like your own copy, please use the discount below!

Josh Speer
Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.