Publisher Nintendo Developer PlatinumGames Format Wii U
We may never know just how deep into development Bayonetta 2 was before Sega cancelled it, though it must have been pretty far along given that the publisher was getting ready for the preview circuit before higherups announced the change in strategy that consigned it, and much more of Sega’s riskier fare, to the bin. What is certain is that Nintendo helped Platinum deliver a game that would otherwise never have been released, and in the process turned a good year for the platform holder into a great one, its most valuable partner giving Wii U its best game to date. It was once unthinkable that the greatest game on a Nintendo system should have been made outside the company’s own walls, but here we are. Bayonetta 2 is brilliant.
Dozens of hours of play later, what sticks most in the mind is how confident it is. This is a game in a niche genre, made for a struggling system by a work-for-hire studio in a country whose dominance of the industry is long gone, yet to play it is to be overcome by how comfortable it is in its own skin. Much of that comes from Bayonetta herself, impossibly cocksure, unfazed by skyscraper-sized demons, brimstone-flinging angels or the lingering gaze of Platinum’s camera. But it comes from the studio too. The two Bayonettas launched almost five years apart; Platinum has spent the intervening years experimenting in the unfamiliar with mixed results, but here it went back to doing what it knows, and does, better than any developer on the planet.