"If you get in my way, I will… how do the Americans put it? Oh, yes. 'Bust a cap in yo ass!'"
One comment I heard while in line to play Super Mario 3D World at Nintendo's booth at E3: "I looked at Bayonetta 2 and couldn't tell what was going on." Indeed, there is a lot going on in Bayonetta 2.
The gameplay demo that was playable on the show floor began with the titular (tee hee hee) heroine fighting a plague on angels on top of a fighter jet. But what generally confuses the viewer when watching someone play Bayonetta isn't the setting, but the actual fighting and everything that's moving onscreen. When actually playing, it's not that hard to tell what's going on.
It looks damn good and it feels a bit crisper. Daniel Bischoff noted that dodging to engage Witch Time seemed a tiny bit more forgiving. Visually, it's got a more polished look than its predecessor, with a more vibrant color set, though it certainly doesn't skimp on the blood. Fans of the first will feel right at home playing the game, which if anything seems to add more of what there was to love in the original: batshit craziness and compelling brawling action.
What surprised me the most in the demo was when the Nintendo rep showed me that Bayonetta 2 has a casual gaming mode. On the E3 show floor, most of the players are using the Classic Controller Pro, which is essentially a Nintendo-ized Xbox controller, to play the game. However, if you play the game on the Wii U Gamepad, there is a touch-based option for playing the game.
The touch-based control amount to this:
1. You slide to the right or left to dodge, and slide up or down to jump.
2. You tap on an enemy to select them for Bayonetta to attack. Bayonetta automatically attacks them.
3. When capable, you tap the screen to use special attacks.
The difficulty options for the touch-based controls were Easy and Very Easy; this is a mode that allows you to enjoy the visual spectacle of it (perhaps an even more pure expression of what Hideki Kamiya called "Mommy Mode" in the first game…). So yeah, you can play Bayonetta 2 with the stylus… though "watch" might be a more appropriate term than "play."
The game, however, is still Bayonetta, and on normal difficulty with the Classic Controller Pro, it feels the same. You still use Torture Attacks, Punish the bosses, and her clothes disappear as they resume their original shape as her magical mane. The camera is still obsessed with the curves of her body, and enemies still leave behind the Sonic ring-like halos.
Bayonetta 2 is set to release on the Wii U in early 2014.