After two long years of waiting, Bayonetta 2 has finally hit the Wii U. To entice players just a bit more, the latest adventure with the sexiest witch in gaming comes with the original Bayonetta at no additional cost (so long as you buy it in-store). Naturally, before jumping into the second chapter, I've decided to revisit the first game to get a bit of a refresher, as well as see if I can spot any noticeable differences between the original release and the Wii U port (developed by the Osaka-based Bee Tribe).
As it's been over four years since I played the Xbox 360 version, I found it wonderful revisiting the first title with one of the best female protagonists in gaming. I've forgotten all about the great dialogue and the jokes featured throughout the game, especially from the characters Enzo and Rodan. Granted the story can kinda be all over the place, from battling angels, demons, and other Umbra Witches to protecting little Cereza, but it's still a fun tale Platinum Games has spun.
Of course I never forgot how sexy Bayonetta was in this game, but the graphics look much better here than they did on the 360 and PS3. Hell, even how it looks on the Gamepad is spectacular! However I couldn't help but notice a couple kerfuffles, from some background rendering that appears during both in-game sequences and cut scenes to the way some of the additional outfits would seemingly go through objects and even Bayonetta's own body. As for the framerate the game keeps up with the 60 FPS, but when there's a lot going on during battles and boss fights the game can slow down just a tad.
The game's soundtrack is very memorable, especially the rendition of the classic "Fly Me To The Moon" that can be heard throughout the game. With that said, I had some trouble hearing the dialogue in the game due to the soundtrack drowning it out during the cut scenes. Even after tinkering with the volume in the options menu I still could barely make out what was being said. (Perhaps we should be thankful there's a subtitles option.) I recall never having a problem with the volume in the Xbox 360 version, so maybe there was a bit of an error with the way the sound was brought over.
The Wii U version of Bayonetta isn't just a port, as it also features the new touchscreen controls that are in its sequel. Although I still found them to be a bit awkward, playing just with the touchscreen was a whole lot better than it was when I tried it at E3. I don't recommend playing it this way if you've got the game on the TV, as you'll spend the majority of your time looking down on your controller rather than looking up at the television. However, if you've got someone else watching their shows it's a nice substitute, acting like a well-made iPad game.
Also new to this Bayonetta are the Nintendo-inspired costumes, which are not just for playing dress-up wiih our heroine. The Princess Peach and Daisy costumes has some nice tidbits, from the Mario/Luigi plush doll to the coins that come out instead of rings. Playing with the Link costume gave me rupees and some nice Hyrulian action shots, whereas the Samus suit gave me a more powerful cannon option that was pretty sweet to use. There's even a nod to some of the villains of Nintendo's library with each costume, as playing as Peach/Daisy will have Bowser's claws appear instead of Bayonetta's hair extensions, Gannondorf's powerful fists when dressed as Link, and Ridley's purple appendages while in the Samus Suit.
If you have yet to play Bayonetta, then this is a great way to dive deep into the backstory of the character before jumping into the sequel. Those who have already played it on the 360 or PS3 may want to give it a go if they're curious about the costumes and touchscreen controls, but other than that it doesn't offer too many extras the original didn't have. Beating it on Easy mode will take you about nine hours, so if you got some spare time -- or if you want to be patient before playing Bayonetta 2 -- I highly recommend giving this version of the original a go. It may not be the most perfect transfer, but it's indeed the most gorgeous out of the three versions.
FINAL GRADE: 9.0 (out of ten)