Bayonetta 1 & 2: A quick review of the Nintendo Switch ports
Before the release of the third game, the first two Bayonetta titles have landed on the Nintendo Switch so you can destroy your thumbs on the go.
Because both of these games have been reviewed before, thanks to the recent PC port and the fact that they were on the Wii U, we’re not going to be doing a usual review.
Instead we’re going to go over the quality of the ports and their value if you’re in the market because, as many people know, both of these titles are masterclasses in the hack-‘n-slash genre.
Having recently played Bayonetta thanks to its PC port, we were very surprised about how similar this version looks and feels. Yes, the textures are still ugly and the game is on the muddier side, but this title is almost a decade old.
On the Switch it’s just as crisp and responsive as it was on PC and there’s a very solid framerate here. After pouring in several hours we were impressed with the solid quality throughout, with the only complaint being the small screen of the Switch.
If you enjoy handheld mode as much as we do, there are a few sections where you can lose track of Bayonetta in the melee and take a few hits because of it. This isn’t a problem in TV mode or in the more vibrant second game, however.
Despite that singular flaw it, is the same fantastically fun, challenging game that we’ve been playing for years, and it’s landed on the Switch entirely intact.
Aside from the portability of the console, you are getting some Switch-specific additions with this version.
There is the option to play entirely with touchscreen controls that, while functional, will never be as gratifying as the regular option. It’s a fine choice if you want to breeze through the game for the bonkers story, but physical controls are so much better.
You also get four costumes for Bayonetta aping Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Link and Samus. All four are available from the start of the game and offer more than just a simple new skin. They also come with custom animations and sound effects where appropriate. When you shoot your guns with the Samus skin, for example, the bullets will come out of the modelled Hand Cannon.
These additions may seem minor, and they are, but they add a nice degree of variety if you’re playing so soon after the game arrived on PC.
Firing up this game for the first time is a real surprise. Not only because it looks so good compared to the first title, but because it’s a stunner regardless.
Bayonetta 2 may be the best looking third party game on the Switch and it does this with generally great performance. There are minor hiccups in the frame rate department – especially when the scenes on screen become chaotic – but it holds up extremely well, especially in handheld mode.
If you’re interested in exact numbers, Digital Foundry has you covered. In terms of your average gameplay, however, we can’t imagine anyone being too unhappy with it.
The second game keeps all the previously mentioned additions from Bayonetta 1 with the exception being that those great costumes now need to be unlocked either with a vast amount of in-game currency, or with the included amiibo support.
You’re either going to be frustrated that they cost so much and will only be available later in the game, or you can spam your amiibos up to a ridiculous 32 times per day and get them almost immediately.
Finally there’s Tag Climax, the co-op mode, which is likely to be the biggest disappointment from either game. Those hoping for some couch co-op with each player using a single Joy-Con will not find that option here.
While this was never promised, we’ve almost become conditioned to expect that on the Switch. We’re pretty sure the hardware couldn’t have made this possible, but you can still play locally with a friend who has their own Switch and a copy of the game, or over the internet.
You’ll just have to convince your friends to pickup the game, which is exactly what we’re going to do now.
Bayonetta 1 & 2 review – Verdict
We had high hopes for both of these games and they delivered. Even playing both titles back to back did nothing to diminish our enjoyment, and we’re so glad people who never picked up the Wii U now get to play the second game on a better system.
The very last point to mention is some buying advice. If you want both games, picking up the physical version of Bayonetta 2 (which comes with a download code for Bayonetta 1) is the best way to go. Not only do you save money, but you also save some precious Switch storage space.