Bayonetta

Spotlight

Digital FoundryIs Bayonetta on Switch the definitive console version?

Faster than Wii U and Xbox 360 - but what about Xbox One X back-compat?

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Bayonetta on Wii U

The new Wii U port takes on the Xbox 360 original - and the infamous PS3 conversion.

Key events

What's the best title to have come from PlatinumGames? My own answer changes with the wind - sometimes it's the just about perfect third-person shooter Vanquish, other times it might be the outrageously eccentric Wonderful 101 - but when it comes to the purest expression of what the industrious Osaka studio is about, then there's only really one answer. And that's the brilliant Bayonetta, of course.

Bayonetta 2 physical Switch launch down on Wii U

Bayonetta 2 sold fewer physical copies at launch for Nintendo Switch this week than it did when it arrived on Wii U.

The Platinum-developed Bayonetta 2 (which includes a copy of Bayo 1) landed fifth in the UK chart - the game's highest chart placing to date, albeit one achieved with fewer physical sales.

Perhaps there was not enough new in the port to convince Bayonetta fans it was worth double dipping so soon? Digital Foundry last week examined whether this new Switch edition was the definitive version.

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Is Bayonetta on Switch the definitive console version?

Digital FoundryIs Bayonetta on Switch the definitive console version?

Faster than Wii U and Xbox 360 - but what about Xbox One X back-compat?

We've already looked at Bayonetta 2 on Nintendo Switch and came to the conclusion that while the mild visual upgrades over the Wii U original were welcome, it was performance that impressed us most, with a much closer lock to 60 frames per second gameplay. With that in mind, it'll come as little surprise to see much the same situation with the first game, but the difference this time is that the original Bayonetta is also available on PC and Xbox 360 (we'd best not mention the PS3 version) so how well does the Switch version compare to all of its rivals?

To begin with, just as we saw with Bayonetta 2's Switch port, the original also operates at 1280x720, bringing it into line with the existing console versions. On the surface, this is disappointing bearing in mind the extra power of Nintendo's latest hardware, but as we'll discover later, there are benefits. And that's not to say some improvements haven't been made to general image quality. For example, Switch's texturing is slightly improved over Wii U. It's a difference so subtle, it may well come down to a difference in hardware implementation, but other changes do seem to be more than that - for example, improved edge aliasing when models are presented against field of view, along with adjustments to the depth of field effect itself, environment shading and bloom lighting.

Up against the PC version, the comparisons are intriguing - Platinum delivered improved shadow quality and higher resolution options, but texture quality is around the same suggesting that all existing editions of the game are indeed based on the Xbox 360 original. Differences with the Microsoft platform are again minimal: shadow implementation varies and the Switch version isn't quite as vibrant, but overall, there's little to separate the two.

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Ōkami, painterly and poised, was a fairy-tale told with elegance and style. You played as a wolf god but this was a game rooted, not in the mystical, but in the pastoral. Wave a celestial paintbrush and you could revive wilted plants, raise vines, and even summon the sun. Such magic was localised, alas: shortly after Ōkami's release, Capcom shuttered the game's developer Clover Studio. A few weeks later its director, Hideki Kamiya, struck out on his own, co-founding Platinum Games (initially known as Seeds). It took three years to build, but when Bayonetta emerged in 2009, it showed Kamiya in a very different mood. Furious, playful, lascivious and grand, the game's Sarah Palin-esque star wore slick leathers, thick-rimmed frames and a demon-possessed hairdo. Yes, this was break-up game development writ large. Here was a boisterous counterpoint to Ōkami's tender refinements, a screaming f**k-you to constraints of genre, of style and even physics.

Digital FoundryBayonetta PC runs beautifully - even on old hardware

A five-year-old budget GPU hits 1080p60, so what about more modern kit?

After years of hoping and waiting, Sega has finally delivered the goods - Bayonetta is now available on PC. The pitch is simple enough: this is the original game without any of the flaws inherent to the console versions, and with PC's ability to scale up resolution. To say it runs smoothly on a vast range of hardware would be an understatement - we could hit something approaching a locked 1080p60 on a 1GB Radeon HD 7770, a budget GPU when it was released way back in 2012. On more recent graphics hardware, the only way is up.

Watch: Johnny plays Bayonetta for the first time

It's a new episode of Late to the Party.

Bayonetta is an awesome game, but it didn't come as a shock when Johnny admitted he'd never played it before. I remember being unsure of it myself when it first launched; it looked like a frantic and somewhat pandering mix of gunplay, gore, and a hell of a lot of crotch shots.

A brief history of one of gaming's greatest studios

Infinite climax action: Rich Stanton celebrates Platinum Games on its 10th anniversary.

Five years ago I asked Atsushi Inaba, one of Platinum Games' co-founders, about the dire prognostications many in the west made about the state of the Japanese industry. "I don't like it when people lump Japanese developers all together into one group," Inaba answered. "Frankly I think it's a joke. What do these people know? [...] There are tons of terrible western developers, just like there's tons of terrible Japanese developers. To lump studios together in great masses misses the point."

It's been known for a while that Platinum Games would be giving the Wii U version of Bayonetta and its Nintendo-exclusive sequel special costumes so she could dress up like Link, Samus, Peach and even Fox McCloud. But a new video by YouTuber Maximilian Dood has revealed that the Star Fox reference goes a lot deeper than a retro set of threads and some fox ears.

Face-Off: Bayonetta on Wii U

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Bayonetta on Wii U

The new Wii U port takes on the Xbox 360 original - and the infamous PS3 conversion.

When it was revealed that the original Bayonetta would be ported to the Wii U, fans were ecstatic - but perhaps a bit apprehensive. Despite the wildly different circumstances, it's difficult to erase the legendarily bad PS3 port from memory. This time around, Platinum sought the aid of Bee Tribe Digital Studio, who also had a hand in the original 360 development, vowing to work closely together to avoid making the same mistake. Still, as a game seemingly tailored very specifically for Xbox 360 hardware, there were lingering doubts as to whether a Wii U version could really achieve parity - especially in light of the less than rock-solid performance of its sequel.

Right out of the gate we see the game operating at a familiar and expected 1280x720 with no hint of anti-aliasing - just like previous iterations, and indeed Bayonetta 2. Image quality still isn't anything to write home about, especially in 2014, but it generally works well enough within the confines of the game's wicked fast action. It could be argued that the slightly muted colour palette and less complex scenery actually serve to create a slightly cleaner overall image than its sequel. It also looks particularly nice on the Gamepad screen, with its lower resolution effectively down-sampling the image, eliminating aliasing in the process.

On PlayStation 3 textures suffered a great deal, perhaps due to its split-memory architecture and lack of developer familiarity, but we're happy to report that all of the original 360 assets are present and accounted for on Wii U. Textures are presented at full resolution with their normal maps, which were often missing on PS3. In fact, this new release sports a more pronounced detail texture layer applied to many surfaces, creating the impression of increased high-frequency detail along select surfaces. That said, we noted a select few instances where textures appeared slightly garbled or incorrect on Wii U, such as the textures adorning the clock tower during the game's prologue, but this didn't appear to crop up regularly enough to create problems. Texture filtering is also equally lacklustre across all three platforms.

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Bayonetta 2 release date set for October

Bayonetta 2 release date set for October

Three retail editions revealed! New trailer!

Bayonetta 2 will hit European shores on 24th October, the same day it hits North America, Nintendo revealed in its latest Nintendo Direct presentation.

Platinum's sequel will arrive in three different versions. The most valuable will be the "First Print Edition," which is limited to 15,300 copies and comes with boxed versions of both Bayonetta and its sequel clad in special case, along with an "Art of Bayonetta 2" book designed to resemble the game's "The Hierarchy of Laguna" tome.

Then there's the "Special Edition," which includes both games in separate cases, but without any of the extra goodies.

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Sega cancels Bayonetta 2 - report

Sega cancels Bayonetta 2 - report

Featured a new character.

Sega has cancelled development on Bayonetta 2, according to a new report.

A source told Spong that Sega halted development on the Platinum-created sequel following an internal restructure.

Apparently the game included a new character, someone who was a member of the US military.

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Capcom, Ninja Theory on DmC versus Bayonetta

"You always want to go out there and beat your competitor."

Capcom and developer Ninja Theory have outlined the difference between the upcoming Devil May Cry reboot and Bayonetta - but admitted in some areas the games are "squarely competing".

Bayonetta 2 reveal this week?

Kamiya hints at an announcement.

Platinum Games could be about to go public with a follow-up to its acclaimed action title Bayonetta, judging by a Tweet from director Hideki Kamiya.

At first glance, it's easy to think of Devil May Cry 4 as a soulless cash-in. Between its uninspired level design, confounding camera, and new protagonist who looks almost identical to series' hero Dante, it would seem as if Capcom had drawn too often from the same well. As Eurogamer pointed out in its 2008 review, DMC4 "feels like a high-def re-skin of a 2001 game design". It's no wonder Enslaved developer Ninja Theory has been hired to breathe some new life to Capcom's flagship demon hunter.

Kamiya hints at Bayonetta 2

Is it coming? "I believe so," he tweets.

In a tweet as concise as this news story is going to be, Platinum Games' Hideki Kamiya has said he reckons there will be a Bayonetta 2.

SEGA keen on AVP, Bayonetta sequels

SEGA keen on AVP, Bayonetta sequels

Hints at Total War MMO, too.

SEGA's keen to turn Aliens vs. Predator, Alpha Protocol and Bayonetta into franchises, as well as take Total War in "another direction".

"People often ask if we'd take Total War in that [MMO] direction and we're constantly looking at it, but MMO is a very competitive market," SEGA West boss Mike Hayes told CVG. "It goes back to the start of the interview - we want to get the core games right before anything else.

"We've got our shooter with AVP and our RPG with Alpha Protocol - we really want to make that into a franchise. That's the area where we need some success, to sequel-ise that. If you think about it, we can sequel-ise Bayonetta, AVP, Alpha Protocol - if we can make a hit of something like Vanquish - then you add that to Football Manager and Virtua Tennis - we actually have a broad portfolio."

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Euro Bayonetta install patch now live

Euro Bayonetta install patch now live

Long PS3 loads a thing of the past?

The patch enabling Bayonetta to be installed to the PS3 hard-drive is live in Europe.

SEGA's download is 136MB and you'll need 4.5GB of HDD space to install the game to.

Once that's done, however, loading times should be noticeably reduced. And you'd hope so too.

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UK charts: MW2 beats Bayonetta

New entries fail to shake Xmas standings.

Modern Warfare 2 is still top of the UK all-formats chart, despite hefty competition from acclaimed newcomers Bayonetta and Darksiders.

Face-Off: Bayonetta

Hold onto your potatoes, because there's no way to sugarcoat this one - Bayonetta is one of the most dramatic Face-Offs we've ever had to do. On Xbox 360, it is a magnificent game, as our import review testifies. On PS3, it looks like an Xbox 360 exclusive that has been dragged unwilling, kicking and screaming across the divide.

Strictly speaking, Bayonetta isn't actually out yet. However, while European gamers can't buy it until 8th January, the game is coming up to its one-month anniversary in Japan, and it's the Far Eastern versions we're covering today. We don't expect wholesale changes on either version of the game to follow, but if the Western release does change significantly we'll make sure to report on it in a follow-up piece.

Back to basics. It's a Face-Off, so what about the assets? As usual, there's an extensive comparison gallery crammed with mostly frame-accurate shots derived from completely lossless HDMI captures, plus of course there's a customary Face-Off video to get your teeth into.

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Bayonetta

Bayonetta

Angel May Cry.

The best two Japanese action games of the year are diametrically opposed in approach. Demon's Souls is a brooding traipse through the corridors of purgatory, fair but relentlessly unforgiving. It teaches that modern videogames have made us weak and stupid, that our gaming muscles have atrophied through the efforts of so many mollycoddling developers. Every sword strike must be carefully considered, and button-mashers are not so much ridiculed as downright abused for their lack of sophistication. The result is a tense but ponderous experience, one that demands supreme trepidation before each step taken, careful contemplation before every input made.

In Bayonetta, meanwhile, you press a button and your television implodes.

Beloved is a celestial giant with the face of a three-year-old cherub and the body of a weightlifting Buddha, who falls from heaven to cobblestone with a squelchy thwack. Standing just 20 feet from this sudden epiphany, Bayonetta smirks to the cameraman, who's angled our viewpoint on the scene from ground level in order to fully celebrate the titular anti-heroine's ninja Barbie physique and secretary-cum-sex-worker attire. Her wink to lens is the starter pistol for interactivity.

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SEGA dates Bayonetta for Europe

Due here moments into the New Year.

SEGA has decided that 8th January is a good time to release third-person action romp Bayonetta in Europe. The US will play the game a few days earlier from 5th January.

Digital FoundryBayonetta: PS3/360 demo showdown

Digital Foundry dares to compare.

It began with a seemingly innocuous notice in Japanese games magazine Famitsu, where special mention was made that the PS3 version of Platinum Games' forthcoming Bayonetta is not being handled by the original developer. Quite why Platinum isn't at the conn for the conversion to the Sony platform remains something of a mystery, but the recent Japanese demo release offers some potential reasons, and it too highlights prominently that Platinum is not responsible for the port. So, is this a simple case of giving credit where it's due, or is the developer effectively disavowing itself of the PS3 version of the game?

Bayonetta demo "coming soon"

Though perhaps a bit later to Europe.

Producer Yusuke Hashimoto has promised that a Bayonetta demo is "coming soon", and said the sampler will be "cool" enough for full-game owners to want to revisit.

SEGA reveals playable EG Expo games

Bayonetta and AVP in your hands.

As you're all no doubt aware, the October dates of the Eurogamer Expo are looming ever larger and more tantalisingly on the horizon, and even though we know you have faith in us to put on a show, we thought it only fair to let you know about some of the games you'll be playing there - beginning with SEGA.

Coming Attractions: Action & Adventure

Get juiced and get thinking.

We've had indie and esoterica, sports and music, MMOs and RPGs, and fighting and strategy, which just leaves the glamour girls of action, adventure, shooters and racing to strut their stuff.

Bayonetta

SEGA's pretty answer to Devil May Cry.

SEGA's pretty answer to Devil May Cry.

Kamiya wants to "exceed" God of War

Starts by getting into a fight with Itagaki.

Devil May Cry creator and Bayonetta designer Hideki Kamiya has said he wants to "make a game that exceeds God of War's sequel".

Bayonetta

Just stepped out of a saloon.

Comparisons between the character of Bayonetta and Devil May Cry's Dante are inevitable. For starters, both were created by Clover Studio veteran Hideki Kamiya. Both are the stars of fast-paced action shooters with distinct visual styles. Both use dual pistols and fast-paced melee attacks to take out endless waves of enemies. But only one can beat up people with their hair.

Bayonetta

Arty scene-setting from Platinum Games.

Arty scene-setting from Platinum Games.

SEGA Goes Platinum

First looks at Bayonetta, Infinite Line and MadWorld from PlatinumGames.

The closure of Capcom's Clover Studio - the division responsible for the likes of Viewtiful Joe, Okami and God Hand - was met with plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth among gamers. That's understandable - studios creating high-profile original games aren't exactly ten a penny, after all. Still, just because Clover's doors were shut last March doesn't mean that the creative talent that fuelled the studio dissipated. Instead, the key players reformed as a development company called Seeds, Inc - which was subsequently renamed to PlatinumGames Inc.