Bay­o­netta 2


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.

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