Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Less dancing, more combat please

I must have been in an exceptionally prudish mood when I played the original Bayonetta. Her appearance is certainly troublesome, both in how she moves and how impossible long her legs are. That's part of the point, a point that I did not agree with in the first game and still take issue with, but Bayonetta's own egregiousness has been toned down significantly in the sequel so I have less to be prudish about.

Still, seeing Bayonetta literally pole dance over the credits while the Nintendo logo scrolled over her was a thing that actually happened. Time, they are a changing.

It is not necessary to go into the details of what Bayonetta 2 is any further than to say that it is more than the first game and not always in a good way and not in all of the right places. The combat still has more depth than is required, at least on the Normal difficulty, but the game has so little confidence in the quality of its fisiticuffs that it constatnly ups the ante with bigger set pieces filled with more and more distracting visuals. It is hard to appreciate the combat when you can't see when the fuck you are doing.

And then it tapers off, ending on a whimper of a boss fight that feels the same as about three others. Speaking of bosses: it bothers me that the cool looking shit that can be done against small and medium enemies just doesn't work on more important encounters. They either no sell the hit stun and blast Bayonetta back, mid combo, or they are so big that the end of the combo just missing. I killed several bosses with just guns and dodges, something that I would be embarrassed of if it were not so effective.

All of my complaints can be summed up by calling Bayonetta 2 the series' sophomore slump. Remember Devil May Cry 2? No? Good for you. Bayonetta 2 is not that bed, it's honestly not bad at all, it just isn't as good as the first game.

And the visuals have aged poorly. Living at 4K for the last few months has spoiled me. My eyes have not been so offended by jaggies since the early PS3 era.

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