Bayonetta – Retrospect
Why the recent rumours of Sega's cancellation of Bayonetta 2 spells bad news for gamers.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Monday 14 May 2012
Bayonetta was a thing of beauty, a majestic game that didn’t just raise the bar for action titles, but did it with its own inimitable style and cocky, self-assured humour.
It overflowed with memorable set pieces, threw out new and exciting ideas, and somehow breathed new life into concepts we’d all experienced a hundred times before. It’s almost impossible not to imagine how good Bayonetta 2 could have been.
Videogame sequels, unlike their motion picture equivalents, usually enhance the reputation of a franchise. You have a team who’ve already created a successful game, an engine that’s already up and running, and a better understanding of exactly what it is that makes your characters tick. To coin a disgustingly overused phrase, sequels are ‘bigger, better and more badass’.
The original Bayonetta raked in accolades from the gaming press, vaunted for its electric fighting styles, its camp aesthetic and its refusal to take itself too seriously. This was everything we wanted our Japanese brawlers to be – lithe, hideously violent, difficult to master and full of moments that made your jaw hit the floor.
More than that though, Bayonetta was an irreverent masterpiece. Unafraid to play around with the foundations of its genre, it threw in homages to Space Harrier, OutRun and Afterburner as it did. Its impossibly long limbed protagonist might have been the focal point, but this was a game filled with interesting characters, breath taking settings and cheeky nods in the general direction of the rest of the games industry.
What shone through most was a development team brimming with confidence, unafraid to try new things. Bayonetta’s swagger belongs to them, her cocksure attitude a reflection of Platinum’s ability to work their digital magic. She is as graceful as she is brutal, as funny as she is quick to anger; a hyper sexualised avatar whose screen presence is more formidable than any muscular space marine or identikit solider.
Bayonetta gave us an action game without equal. From the lowly minions to the towering bosses, every creature you killed was honed to perfection, its patterns difficult to recognise, its weaknesses veiled until the precise moment you needed to strike. Behind the bloodshed and the chaos nestled a rhythm, a unique syncopation that had to be mastered in order to succeed.
And now it seems we’ll never see her like again, with a planned but unannounced sequel being shelved by Sega due to restructuring after some pretty disastrous financial results. Gaming is a business, despite what many think, and a stable ship is far more important to a publisher than critical acclaim.
Losing Bayonetta 2 isn’t just losing the next chapter in an intriguingly ridiculous story; it’s losing the next step in Japanese action games. Who knows what Platinum could have done with the critical success of their first outing ringing in their ears, and the added confidence of knowing there was a market waiting with baited breath for their next?
Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll never know, and all we can do is imagine just how good it could have been.
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps hides image of Android robot urinating on Apple in surprisingly insolent Easter egg
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...