Bayonetta – Retrospect

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Why the recent rumours of Sega's cancellation of Bayonetta 2 spells bad news for gamers.

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.

News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    C#.NET VB6 Developer (Software Developer, Software Engineer)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C#.NET VB6 Developer (Software Developer, Softwa...

    SQL Developer (TSQL, SSRS, SSAS) Fund Manager - London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...

    Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, Angular.JS)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, An...

    Front-End UI/UX Developer (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Ang

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...

    Day In a Page

    All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
    What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

    What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

    Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
    Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

    Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

    Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
    Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

    Radio 1’s new top ten

    The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
    Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

    Florence Knight's perfect picnic

    Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
    Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

    Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

    The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
    Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

    Mark Hix's summery soups

    Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
    Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

    Tim Sherwood column

    I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
    Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

    Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

    The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition