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.
Faster than Wii U and Xbox 360 - but what about Xbox One X back-compat?
Minor visual boosts and performance improvements in both docked and handheld modes.
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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.
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.
Last year we made the case that Wii U ports for Switch are a very good thing - a chance to bulk up the library of Nintendo's new hybrid console with an array of quality games that never quite got the exposure they deserved. We wrote that piece based on Platinum Games' teasing of Bayonetta ports and six months on those games are now in our hands.
It's Bayonetta 2 that's going to receive the lion's share of our attention in this preview phase, and we're pleased to say that first impressions are very positive indeed. Flash back to 2014, and our very own John Linneman lauded the brilliance of the Wii U original but noted the sub-par performance in many areas of the game. Platinum Games had pushed on the Bayonetta formula to even greater heights, but the leap from Xbox 360 to Wii U simply wasn't great enough to execute the more ambitious vision while maintaining the target 60 frames per second. Switch isn't perfect, but it's significantly improved.
We went into this one not really expecting to see much in the way of visual improvements - the game was beautiful enough already - but we did wonder whether the developer would push resolution higher in docked mode. However, it's quickly apparent that Bayonetta 2 on Switch presents in much the same way as the Wii U original. There's still a baseline 720p resolution, while anti-aliasing remains absent. Texture filtering does get a small bump though - texture detail in general offers a small upgrade over the Wii U game, but we don't think new assets are in play. Beyond that, aside from minor differences in shadow rendering, Switch provides a nigh-on identical rendition of the Wii U release.
A note from the editor: Jelly Deals is a deals site launched by our parent company, Gamer Network, with a mission to find the best bargains out there. Look out for the Jelly Deals roundup of reduced-price games and kit every Saturday on Eurogamer.
Nintendo has revealed that Platinum Games is currently hard at work developing Bayonetta 3, and that it will arrive exclusively on Switch.
That's pretty much all there is to know about Bayonetta 3 at present, although the announcement did come with a nifty little teaser trailer. Oh, and Platinum Games' cantankerous Hideki Kamiya posted a biscuit in the shape of the new logo.
There's sadly no ETA for Bayonetta 3 at the moment (although a more extensive showing at E3 2018 seems likely), but, to tide us all over, Nintendo has dropped a second little surprise: Platinum's stellar first two Bayonetta titles are coming to Switch early next year.
Bayonetta developer PlatinumGames has offered a strong hint that it's bringing its witchy hack-and-slash series to the Nintendo Switch.
Surprise! Cult classic Bayonetta is now available on Steam, right here.
The Xbox 360 version of Platinum classic Bayonetta is now playable on Xbox One via the console's backwards compatibility service.
Bayonetta and Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya wants to make a third Bayonetta title after he wraps up development on Scalebound.
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."
UPDATE 8.20am: You can now rewatch all of last night's Super Smash Bros. livestream, which unveiled the final DLC characters that will be added to the game's roster: Corrin and Bayonetta.
Platinum has turned the wonderful Bayonetta into an 8-bit bullet hell browser game.
Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 has entered the UK all-formats chart in seventh place, the highest of any new title this week.
But it was FIFA 15 which remained top - now for a five consecutive week, the most of any game so far this year.
Other new entries included Civilisation: Beyond Earth in 18th, Just Dance 2015 in 19th and SingStar: Ultimate Party in 32nd.
UPDATE: We're pushing the stream back by 30 minutes, as Ian's having a few technical difficulties. See you at 4.30pm!
Bayonetta 2's main theme is as good as it gets, and as good a place as any to start when it comes to talking about Platinum Games' Wii U exclusive. A sugar-rush of melodramatic keyboard stabs and a high-impact, snap-happy backbeat, it's chaos held together by irresistibly sassy vocals and a killer of a chorus. "You won't know what hit you when I spin around with you in my dust - Bang bang! Down down!" It gets me every time.
Unruly energy held together with some serious style; that's what the original Bayonetta was all about, and it's no different for a sequel in which much is left intact. Bayonetta herself has a new haircut - yes, it matters, and yes I'm a fan of the shorter, ordered bob that sees the balance of Mari Shimazaki's character design move a small step away from S&M madam and towards something more bookish - and an expanded move-set that's more gymnastic and more elastic than in her previous game. For all its bombast, Bayonetta 2 takes only baby steps, and is cast firmly in the mould of the 2009 original. It's something which works both for better and for worse.
After The Wonderful 101, this is the second of Nintendo's collaborations with Platinum Games, though it's unlike any other Nintendo exclusive. From the second Bayonetta 2 was announced for the Wii U, there's always been that slight tension between the spiky, violent and often absurd action of Platinum Games' most cherished child and those softer edges perceived of Nintendo's own. It turns out Bayonetta fits amongst Nintendo's line-up well enough, though, and she's got more in common with her new counterparts than you might have first thought. There's something of the Kyoto philosophy in the exquisite engineering whirring away beneath the encounters; something of Tokyo EAD in the imagination poured into where each new set-piece takes you.
Bayonetta 2's demo is out now on the Wii U eShop in both Europe and North America.
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.
It seems like ancient history now, but you may recall that Nintendo introduced Wii U as a system designed to appeal to both casual and dedicated players alike. One of its first moves in wooing the core player was to resurrect Bayonetta 2 - a game that was all but cancelled before Nintendo moved in to save the day. Calling to mind the Capcom 5 announcements for GameCube, the Mario maker commissioned Platinum Games to develop two new titles for its fledgling system: The Wonderful 101 released on Wii U last year, while Bayonetta 2 arrives next month, continuing the system's positive momentum that began with Mario Kart 8 and gathered pace thanks to a strong showing at E3. While Nintendo's own titles have a universal appeal for all players, Platinum's latest release is something very different, coming across very much like a love letter to the core gamer.
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.
Bayonetta 2 is the subject of tomorrow's (4 September) Nintendo Direct livestream. Nintendo is being typically coy about what will be covered, but promises it will be an "in-depth look" at the long awaited sequel.
I loved Bayonetta. The 2009 original was a whirling dervish of a brawler, throwing out a hundred punches every which way, with every single one of them hitting the spot. It was Platinum's technical brand of fighting sped up into an absurdist blur, every bit as inventive as a Tokyo EAD Mario game where new ideas and preposterous set-pieces are thrown in as quickly as they are thrown away. It makes sense, then, that the sequel has ended up on a Nintendo platform.
I still adore Bayonetta. As sharp as a scythe and with putdowns that slam down with the sharp crack of a pistol-equipped boot, she's a phenomenal character: strong, empowered and not about to take any crap from any of the dolts that surround her. In Bayonetta 2 they're as roughly drawn as before; Enzo, Rodin, Luka and now Loki, a child with silver white cornrows and an accent that sounds like an Etonian who's spent their gap year in the West Indies, are a quartet that toe the line between vulgar caricature and parody, and you can feel Platinum playing heavily towards the latter. Bayonetta's a game that puts as much energy into sending up other games as it does into its combat, and it's an odd, frequently foul-mouthed concoction. Not every swipe lands at the target, though.
Bayonetta 2's pretty much everything you could expect from a sequel. I've played through a significant amount of the whole thing, but am only allowed to tell you about the opening third. Know this, though: the combat crackles as satisfyingly as before, the jokes fall flat just as often and the narrative that drives the whole thing, well frankly I haven't a clue what's going on. The energy, though, is remarkable.
Bayonetta 2's online multiplayer mode, Tag Climax, has been detailed and it sounds lovely.
Bayonetta 2 will be launched for Wii U this October in Europe, Nintendo has announced.
The producer of Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 has taken to Twitter to share how he feels about "pedantic port-begging fans".
Nintendo is the latest platform holder to announce its line-up for this year's Eurogamer Expo, promising visitors the opportunity to go hands-on with the likes of Super Mario 3D World and Bayonetta 2 on Wii U, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on 3DS and a host of indie titles for both consoles.
Our sister site Nintendo Life is also collaborating with Nintendo to run a StreetPass Zone where attendees can top up their StreetPass hits - good news for Mr Mendel and his bloody garden - and take part in 3DS tournament challenges for Star Fox 64 3D, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario Kart 7 and Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate.
Visitors to Nintendo's stand at the Expo can also pose for photos with Mario, Luigi, Sonic, Link and Pikachu, who are taking time off from their congressional obligations to press the flesh with their constituents.
The best game presentation I've ever witnessed? Bayonetta, no question. Bayonetta back at E3 2009.
A group of us were led into a weird portakabin setup on Sega's portion of the convention center floor. Inside we found Hideki Kamiya sat by himself below an enormous HD TV. On the table next to him was a small bottle of hand sanitiser and a 360 controller. We took our seats. The lights dimmed. The screen flickered to life. A colleague of Kamiya's came in and started to play.
Cue ten minutes of absolute carnage. Angels exploded, the sky bled crimson tears, heaven itself seemed ready to come apart. The colleague sweated at the controller; Kamiya's only contribution took the form of an occasional glance towards the screen, and then a purse-lipped nod. To himself? To us? To the wider universe, in recognition for having successfully contained such a thing as he had conceived and then created? Nobody spoke as far as I recall, and then suddenly it was all over. Kamiya smiled grimly, arms folded, and we all filed out. Blinking back into the light, a friend said to me, "Did you understand any of that?"
Nintendo's retreat from the very public PR war of the E3 press conferences turned out to be a more literal one than we might have thought. This morning in Los Angeles, the company replaced its traditional stage show first with its Nintendo Direct live stream and then by inviting press to its stand before the show floor opened to play six key Wii U titles and meet their creators.
Bayonetta 2 will introduce a two -player mode that sits separately from the main campaign, it's emerged at a Nintendo E3 2013 presentation. How exactly it'll work - be that online or off, competitive or co-operative - has yet to be detailed.
Wii U exclusives Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101 are very unlikely to appear on any other console unless the company funding them, Nintendo, wants them to. And I don't think that's about to happen.
PlatinumGames co-founder Hideki Kamiya popped up on Twitter to say all that. He spoke in the wake of two other Wii U exclusives, Rayman Legends and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, recently being announced for PS3 and 360.
"We're a development company... Nintendo gives us money, we make Bayonetta 2 and Wonderful 101, and they sell it," Kamiya explained.
Platinum Games - the highly acclaimed developer of such titles as Bayonetta, Vanquish and Anarchy Reigns - has called the PS3 version of Bayonetta the studio's "biggest failure."
Back in May, it seemed like Bayonetta 2 was dead in the water. The original attracted critical praise aplenty, but failed to make much of a dent in the charts and the only statement that developer Platinum Games would make was that they'd love to make a sequel, but only when the time was right.
Well, it turns out that the time was right all along, and Bayonetta 2 will not only be a Wii U exclusive but will be published by Nintendo, perhaps the most unlikely saviour for a series with such a strong emphasis on violence and sexuality. The first game was of course published by Nintendo's old sparring partner, Sega.
The reveal of Bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive was arguably the highlight of Nintendo's video announcement today, with a brief flash of footage and the promise that Yusuke Hashimoto of Platinum Games is once again at the helm. Will the game make use of the Wii U's unique touchscreen gamepad, or has it been designed with the more familiar Pro Controller joypad in mind? We'll have to wait and see. For now, let's just be happy that one of the great action games has been given a new lease of life.