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E3 2013 Preview: Bayonetta 2

Last year, Nintendo made a big deal about being not just another kiddie console at E3 2013. We got to see shooters and action games and Batman Arkham City, and all sorts of titles that the hardcore gamer would drool over. This year? Not so much. In fact, the only hardcore title available to play at the Nintendo booth was the much awaited Bayonetta 2.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. Bayonetta 2 easily has enough hardcore action in it to carry the whole Nintendo line-up. Yes, the glasses wearing witch is back with a shorter haircut and a cape… still presumably made out of her own magical hair. She’s up to her old tricks on a new platform, and it’s never been more satisfying.

Let’s get one thing straight, Bayonetta 2 is incredibly exploitative. It’s an action game that basically shows off Michael Bay style violence alongside Bayonetta’s cheesecake laden figure. Heck, the original Bayonetta had a mode that allowed you to play with one hand so that your other hand could be free to… yeah.

However, Bayonetta 2 has taken Bayonetta’s combat formula to the next level. Instead of simply button mashing away and dodging at the last second, combos are now laid out in important trees that lead to several different finishing moves. These moves are important, as different ones effect different enemies differently. Perhaps you want an AOE lightning strike to take down all of the enemies around you. Or perhaps you just want a demo dog to come out of a portal and bite the head off your opponent.

Speaking of demon dogs, Bayonetta 2 actually puts you in control of some of the librarian witch’s summoned beasties. Rather than just controlling them via quick time events, you can now control horrendous winged beasts during boss battles. At one point in the demo, one of Bayonetta’s summoned demons actually broke free of the circle it was summoned in. So what was our witch to do? Summon an even bigger demon to eat it whole! Yeah!

Bayonetta 2 isn’t trying to be gimmicky. The touch screen barely comes into play at all. The buttons are more than enough for this game. It’s classic action game goodness, just with a particularly bulky controller.

That’s about all there is to Bayonetta 2. If you like sexy seductive battle witches, this is the game for you. If you like fighting demons on the back of an in-flight jet, this is the game for you. If you like stopping time and jumping off rubble in order to cut your foe in half with a katana strapped to your high heel, this is the game for you.

Bayonetta 2 is expected to launch sometime next year for the Wii U. Still no word on a one-handed option for the sequel, but we’ll keep our eyes and ears open and let you know.

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