Much has been said about Nintendo’s decision to fully back Japanese developer Platinum Games to bring its Bayonetta 2 exclusive to the Wii U console after having a hard time with third party support and needing to expand its catalogue of exclusive titles beyond the likes of massively popular Mario and Zelda franchises. The choice to make Bayonetta 2 a reality which otherwise might not have appeared on any system without major backing could prove prudent for them especially as the original Sega published game was so well received despite amassing approximately 2 million units sold according to averages from Vgchartz. Although saddening for some fans who expected a release on the system they played the original on, the fact that Bayonetta 2 exists in the first place is thanks to Nintendo as the game’s creative producer JP Kellams reiterated earlier this year where in an interview he said:
“Without getting into some stuff that is both business and confidential, the simple question I’d like to ask you is, ‘Do you want to play Bayonetta 2?’ Bayonetta 2 would not exist without Nintendo white knighting that project,” and continued.
“So while I totally understand that people want to play it on the platforms that they’ve played it on previously, we really wanted to make Bayonetta 2”.
And evidently this was only possible under the watchful eye of Nintendo which would mean for some fans, purchasing the Wii U console just to play it which is perhaps a costly investment for just one game – not that the Wii U is devoid of an impressive library of titles to accompany the purchase. It’s a tough business call to make placing Bayonetta 2 on the proverbial pedestal of system seller when its original sales were impressive for a new IP back in 2010, but not enough to warrant investment from Sega or any other publisher for a sequel. But, the choice to heavily promote might prove to be fruitful if the sale of the game yields the expected returns. However, the gamble might pay off for Nintendo if the influences of media reviews are anything to go by and the glowing scores translate into actual sales. Thus far, the sequel looks to have gelled well with those playing as is reflected by the impressive review scores it most likely fully deserves. The original game was also lavished in wondrous praise scoring an impressive 90/100 for the Xbox 360 offering and 87/100 for the PS3 game on reviews aggregate website Metacritic. Bayonetta 2 currently sits as 91/100 based on 31 review sources making it one of this year’s most highly rated games on Metacritic thus far (as of time of writing).
Edge magazine who are notoriously proud of using the full 10 point scale in their reviews and often as a result are seen to be overly harsh, rarely give games top marks, but in this instance were one of the first publications to present a score which proudly settled at 10/10. Gamespot has also gone live with their review offering an astounding 10/10 score also. Joystiq and IGN sit in the same ballpark and the list goes on and on for high scores above 9/10. Bayonetta 2 is a success with the gaming media at least.
Wii U owners can try a demo, there’s lots of media on Youtube and really there’s no excuse to not take a look at the game if you’re an action fan. The big question remains though, amongst all of the praise is whether these high scores are enough to get droves of indecisive fans to rush out and buy a Wii U console. Let’s hope some are swayed and that the numbers massage Nintendo’s expectations which would ultimately prove there’s much to be gained from backing a talented development studio with their projects and ideas in the face of adversity.
Bayonetta 2 releases exclusively on the Wii U from October 24th 2014 and is already released in Japan.