Bayonetta 2 – Saviour of the Wii U?

Two weeks ago the Wii U was not looking so hot. With two E3‘s under its belt Nintendo‘s new console seemed to be failing to impress even long time Nintendo fans. We didn’t know when it was coming, how much it would cost, or what games we would be playing on it at launch.

Then came the September Nintendo Direct Presentations, providing answers to some of the important questions and giving us things to look forward to. Now pre-orders (particularly for the Black system) are running out across major distributors in NA and the UK and I think a lot of that enthusiasm for Nintendo is coming from a single surprise game announcement made during the presentation. I am of course talking about Bayonetta 2, published by Nintendo and coming exclusively to Wii U.

Sequel to the over the top PS3 and Xbox 360 third person action game in which your hair transforms into a conduit to hell, summoning demons to devour your enemies, Bayonetta 2 has been one of this year’s best kept surprise announcements. The original game was praised heavily for its creative design, brilliantly balanced combat system and fantastic scope and scale. So why are people so polarised by its sequel?

As soon as the announcement was made the internet was talking about it. Masses of support began to appear as people shouted that the announcement had made the Wii U a definite day one purchase for them. This was contrasted with those unhappy that the game was going to be a Nintendo exclusive. Many threatened to boycott future PlatinumGames releases, others making death threats because a sequel to one of their favourite games was coming to a “baby console” (warning, profanity in the link).

I reached out on Twitter for people’s views on the situation. Unfortunately, there were no reasonably coherent responses about why Bayonetta 2 coming to Wii U was a bad thing (or none that that I could publish on a family friendly website), but they seemed to feel that this move by PlatinumGames was their way of alienating gamers. I’m going to include a few comments from people happy about the news below.

Shalimar Sahota (Sub Editor – the last ten years, two games stand out where whenever I wasn’t playing them I was still constantly thinking about them. One of them is Bayonetta. As a huge fan of Bayonetta I have no qualms about where she ends up with her sequel. I trust Kamiya-San knows what he’s doing. Because of Bayonetta 2, the Wii U has just gone from a maybe into a definite purchase. I imagine that this is also exactly the response Nintendo wanted.

Celestine Wenegieme (Reader) – I never had a chance to pick up the original due to me only having a Wii at the time, but I wanted it badly. I thought this was the type of game that I would love and after viewing lots of videos on Youtube, I knew this was an awesome game that I might never get to play. Fast forward to the Wii U press event and I never imagined Bayonnetta coming to the Wii U. I knew Sega wouldn’t fund any risky IP’s for quite some time with their current situation and then I saw the announcement trailer for the sequel of Bayonetta as a Wii U exclusive.

I was in shock and in so much happiness that Nintendo was giving PlatinumGames a second chance with this IP. I think this will also help Nintendo get back the audience that they lost in the Wii era.

I knew there would be a backlash, but the backlash was too much. The cussing at Nintendo and PlatinumGames for bringing back Bayonetta as a Wii U exclusive was shocking. The death threats make me think that these so called “gamers” and “fans” are not even worth PlatinumGames‘ time any more. If you are willing to verbally abuse them and threaten killing them you do not deserve their attention and those gamers have a taste of what Wii owners felt for an entire console generation.

With this news, I will be getting a deluxe Wii U package and supporting PlatinumGames with The Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 as a thanks for supporting the system with some kickass games and as a way to say your decision was not a mistake.

The general consensus amongst those on the fence about Wii U seems to be that Bayonetta 2‘s announcement was exactly what they needed to tip them in Nintendo‘s favour. There are several different implications made by the news.

Firstly, it suggests that Nintendo is making an active push to secure high quality third party software for the system.

Secondly, it shows that Nintendo aren’t against having mature software for core gamers on the Wii U.

Thirdly, it shows that Nintendo are planning to have big name exclusives on their system.

Lastly, it was our first taste of software coming beyond the launch window, showing us that there are more software announcements to come for the Wii U.

While some of this may ultimately prove not to be the case, or to be speculation on my part, I feel that the announcement of Bayonetta 2 does point us in a very good direction for the system’s future.

Those who were against the game coming to Wii U were generally not as willing to provide there perspective for this piece when asked, but the general argument made against it is one that I can certainly understand. The argument being made is that they don’t want the sequel to a game they like to switch platforms mid series. Nintendo fans didn’t play the first Bayonetta, why would they need the second? 360 and PS3 fans enjoyed the first, why should they be kept from playing the sequel?

To address those who have been unhappy about the game’s exclusivity on Wii U, the main response I have is that if the game had not come to Wii U, as a Nintendo published exclusive, it would most likely never have come out al all. Below are some quotes about the game coming to Wii U from PlatinumGames staff.

Tatsuya Minami – President & CEO

“On September 13, 2012 Bayonetta 2 was announced as an exclusive title under development for the Wii U during the Nintendo Direct presentation held on the same day.

As game developers, we are incredibly excited to be able to announce a new title to all of our fans; however, we are aware that the announcement may have come as a shock to many of you.

As with Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2 is under development and production here at PlatinumGames, and is a true sequel to the acclaimed first game in the series. Bayonetta is one of our most beloved titles, and it played a large part in establishing PlatinumGames as an emerging game studio in the minds of users worldwide. Bayonetta has fans the world over, and we would never dream of alienating them from participating in the future of PlatinumGames.

That being said, the console games market is in a state of upheaval, so establishing a new game franchise requires a considerable amount of will, determination, and love. Bayonetta is a brand that we want to see become stronger, reaching the hands of more and more gamers, so we have continued to consult with SEGA, the previous game’s publisher, on how we can make sure this takes place. Our answer was a new partnership with Nintendo.

Along with their new hardware, Nintendo, as a company, is dedicated to establishing a new future for the games industry, as you can tell by their record of passionate support for gaming. Alongside Nintendo, we hope to grow the Bayonetta brand beyond where it stands today, allowing even more gamers around the world to experience the action of our beloved witch. As developers, we are working hard to make this a reality.

We hope that you will look forward to what we have in store.”

Yusuke Hashimoto – Director, Bayonetta 2

“I’m Yusuke Hashimoto, director of Bayonetta 2. It has been three years since Bayonetta, a title I was also a part of… I’m incredibly happy to be able to announce that we are working on a sequel. Alongside Bayonetta’s creator, Hideki Kamiya, I’m working on everything from creating a compelling world to character designs (I will be designing the enemies again), and everyone on our talented team is united around the core of Bayonetta, Climax Action, in an effort push the series forward.

For empowering our heroine with incredible new action to introducing new characters (which you may have noticed in the teaser trailer), Bayonetta will further expand on the mythology of the Trinity of Realities – Inferno, Paradiso, and our human world. I can’t wait to take the journey with you.”

Hideki Kamiya – Supervisor, Bayonetta 2, Director, Bayonetta

After Bayonetta was released, I was coming back on the bullet train with Yusuke Hashimoto, pondering various ideas for sequels or spin-offs to Bayonetta over a beer. I never thought we’d actually get to announce a sequel to her story, so I am absolutely over the moon. Even though there has been a bit of a gap since the release of the last game, but I still got lots of request for a sequel from gamers.

We were secretly making one the entire time. While I am not the director of this game, I am still supervising the world, story, characters, etc. in close coordination with Hashimoto, and I have been from the very beginning. You have nothing to work about on that end. And of course, plenty of members from the first Bayonetta are on-board and working hard under the direction of Hashimoto, so I look forward to work every day, coming in and seeing all the progress they have made on the game. With new hardware, we look forward to expanding on the Climax Action of Bayonetta, so sit tight and get ready!

Certainly seems like Bayonetta 2‘s only hope for existence was the Wii U. The fact that Nintendo took the chance to secure this as an exclusive is very exciting for me as a Nintendo fan. But what do you think? Are you excited to see Bayonetta 2 come to Wii U? If not, why do you think it should not have come to Wii U? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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