8.8: The game has received near universal acclaim, with the exception of one Arthur Gies of Polygon, who gave the game a 7.5 for being heavily sexualized. This is in contrast to other reviewers who have given it high 9s and 10s.Examples IGN, Edge, and GameSpot. This is especially notable in GameSpot's case, as Bayonetta 2 earned a 10, meaning Bayonetta 2 is only one of the few games in the site's history to earn a 10. This was the first game to receive one since 2010. Cue loads of fans mocking Gies for letting his personal opinion of the character design get in the way of the game, in spite of his claims that the game was nearly perfect otherwise. More fuel was added to the fire when his account for a pornography site was discovered.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Despite the fact Light Is Not Good was a big theme in the first game, and they are still not very nice, the angels in this game (especially the Cardinal Virtues) are actually trying to restore balance to the Trinity by assisting Loptr ascend into Aesir, since doing so would restore the Eyes of the World. During the Final Boss fight the Cardinal Virtues continue to be summoned by Balder, meaning at this point they don't care about Loptr/Aesir anymore and no longer have any reason to ally themselves with the Big Bad.
Anti-Metagame Character: If you've unlocked Rodin in Tag Climax, he makes the Jeanne-dominated online metagame a piece of cake... as long as you or your opponent are only picking weak enemies like Acceptances or Compassions. If you're fighting bosses, minibosses, or even some tougher enemies like Allegiances, Rodin isn't worth it.
At E3 2014, it was announced that an updated version of the original game would be included with both physical and digital editions of Bayonetta 2, allowing Nintendo owners to experience both installments.
Owners of the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 version of the first game who may have been unamused with the first game being packaged with this one no longer have to worry, since newer copies come without it. Of course, the drawback is that those who missed out the first couple of times may be unhappy with losing another chance, though both games are on the Nintendo eShop.
Best Boss Ever: Several bosses in the game qualify, in particular the fights against the Masked Lumen. Much like the fights with Jeanne in the first game, the Masked Lumen fights on equal ground with Bayonetta every time they go up against each other. However, each fight progressively ups the ante with the summons, to the point where Madama Butterfly and Temperantia are fighting each other as Bayonetta and the Sage clash in the foreground. The number of fights in other games that come remotely close to matching the spectacle in these fights can be counted on one hand.
Best Level Ever: Chapter XIV, also titled "The Witch Hunts", has Bayonetta and Rosa battling massive hordes of angels as they rain destruction down on the city while piloting Umbran Armor. The entire chapter is a series of setpiece battles in which you will tear through the minibosses from both Bayonetta games, all while set to Awesome Music (segmented to fit each section of the level, no less) and then proceed to defeat not one, but two of the Cardinal Virtue angels from the first game in short order. It's a level that perfectly captures the Crazy Awesome spirit of the series and PlatinumGames titles in general.
Breather Boss: After dealing with two Cherubim bosses, both of which are Glamors and can be fairly challenging affairs, then comes Valor whose attacks are all blatantly telegraphed. His dedicated chapter is by far the shortest chapter in the game, leading the player to likely go "...that's it?" when the end-of-chapter clouds show up.
Broken Base: Bayonetta's short-haired design. Some people find it to be more aesthetically pleasing than the first game's long-haired design (which gave her an odd Beehive Hairdo to emphasize her hair-based conduit powers), while others dislike it for making Bayonetta look "old" and "like a mother". Both costumes are available in-game and in Super Smash Bros. to appease both sectors.
The tail end of the Loptr battle after Loki destroys the Eyes and takes away the evil God's power. Loptr stumbles around helplessly and lets you annihilate the rest of his health bar (and you can continue beating him up afterward for as long as you want), before summoning Omne to dropkick the bastard and feed him to Jeanne's Gomorrah.
"The Witch Hunts" delivers some of this thanks to the Umbran Armor. The first two fights are against miniboss enemies, Beloveds and Beliefs, except that you're piloting a mech so powerful that you're taking on a half-dozen at a time and the game isn't even giving them health bars. Then there's the chapter's only Alfheim, which lets you warm up on a Fairness, a Fearless, and Grace and Glory, which do get health bars and are notorious for their ability to break up a combo at will. Sounds tough, right? Except you're still in the mech, and you can plow through their defenses without even flinching from their attacks. Knocking out half of their health bar with a three-punch combo and unstoppably smacking them around the arena will make you let the time run out on purpose so that you can do it again and again!
Captain Obvious Reveal: The identity of the Masked Lumen should be obvious to anyone who pays attention during the intro, seeing as it makes clear that they possess two items of Baldur's, the Right Eye of the World and an engraved lipstick that commemorated his and his wife's love.
Complete Monster: Loptr is the Evil Counterpart of Loki, both having split off from the original creator god Aesir. Revealed as responsible for the evil of Father Balder from the first game, Loptr murdered Balder's beloved, the Umbra Witch Rosa, and framed Loki for it to send Balder on a hunt for vengeance, as his plan required Loki out of the way. Loptr manipulates Bayonetta and her allies while causing death and destruction until he can seize the ultimate powers of creation for himself and recreate himself as the ultimate god anew. His evil even infects Balder to turn him from a noble warrior into the genocidal monster from the first game. He's also the reason why Balder hates Bayonetta and believes she, along with all other Umbra Witches and hellspawn, must die.
Default Setting Syndrome: Don't expect many players online to play as anyone other than Bayonetta. It doesn't help that most of the other characters are generally more difficult to master or have shortcomings that overcome their advantages: Jeanne has a tighter window for Witch Time, and Rodin and Balder are slower and thus more difficult to string combos with. Rosa can make up for her low defenses with her high damage and otherwise similar moveset, but she requires beating the game on Hard.
Sloth. Don't let the name fool you: it constantly gets in your face and hacks you to ribbons at an unparalleled speed, refusing to let you take a breath. They're also likely to interrupt combos on them by countering or dodging, and Torture Attacks DON'T instantly kill them. They actually bear a lot of similarities to the first game's Grace and Glory in this sense, though unlike them, if they hit you, they taunt you by pointing a sword at you. Which they will be doing a lot.
The very aptly-named Resentment, the only enemy in the game with an instant-death attack. It achieves this by casting a long-range attack that turns Bayonetta into her younger self from the first game, then crawling up to her and swallowing her whole. Bayonetta is nearly helpless in this form, and is pretty much done for if Resentment was next to her when it attacked. There are thankfully only a few of them in the main story mode to fight, but one optional fight has you dealing with two of them in a cramped arena. Activating Umbran Climax will cut the transformation short, but if you don't have enough magic to activate it, you should hope your dodging skills are up to the task! On top of that, it can grab you and force you to wiggle the left stick to get out, Dead Rising-style. Constantly having to stop what you're doing to have to shake the left stick is surprisingly unenjoyable!
Demonic enemies in general (rather fittingly) tend to give you much less Witch Time if you dodge their attacks, often only enough for the first punch of a combo. If you're used to fighting angelic enemies for most of the game and throughout the entirety of the first Bayonetta, with enough Witch Time to finish off an attack string, the demons will absolutely blindside you.
Disappointing Last Level: While the game definitely improves upon its predecessor in many ways, some feel the final level, more specifically, the final boss in the level, isn't anywhere near as memorable as Jubileus was in the first game. To put it in perspective, while the final boss of 2 displays more divine power than Jubileus, the climax of the battle takes place in the upper atmosphere while the climax of the Jubileus fight spanned the whole solar system. Additionally, the final boss is roughly the same size as Bayonetta, while Jubileus was the size of a skyscraper.
Even Better Sequel: Many reviewers are hailing it as this, and even as one of the best games of the year. Some specific examples include better controls, boss fights that are even more awesome than the first game's, and removing the hated Press X to Not Die sequences.
Why does Bayonetta only fight the Masked Sage three times, opposed to the four times she fights her other two rivals through the franchise (Jeanne and Loptr)? It's because you've already fought him in the past game, only as Father Balder, therefore there's no need to have an extra fight.
Out of all the Cardinal Virtues, Iustitia is the only one the Masked Lumen never summons in his battles against Bayonetta because his actions are lacking in justice; Loki wasn't the one responsible for the death of his beloved and Bayonetta is just defending Loki from the Sage.
Bayonetta no longer takes damage from falling off the stage because she can fly with Malphas's wings now. Heights never pose a real danger to her anymore.
Bayonetta has pretty much the exact same figure as her mother Rosa. So that's why little Cereza kept calling Bayonetta "mummy," just like how Bayonetta would call Rosa "mummy."
As mentioned above, demonic enemies in general are tougher to beat than angelic ones. While this is mostly gameplay-wise, from a narrative standpoint it makes sense as Bayonetta's powers come from Infernal Demons. Combine this with her lack of experience in fighting demons and it's only logical that Bayonetta would have a harder time dealing with them.
At a certain point, Loki ends up with almost nothing left; or rather, with the Power of Nothingness left inside him after Loptr steals all his other powers.
Salamandra, with its fast attacks and meaty damage, will allow you to rake in the combo points like mad. Granted, it doesn't have any Wicked Weaves and the range is a bit lacking, but the damage output makes up for that, and the range and damage are both bolstered with Umbran Climax anyway. Taken one step further, Salamandra's charge modifier, while unfamiliar and mechanically different from every other weapon's, lets the player perform a quick slice that effectively doubles the damage you've dealt before it — and in Infinite Climax difficulty, which strengthens charge modifier attacks, this is ludicrously effective.
The Punch-Punch-Hold Punch combo in the Umbran Armor will shred and stagger anything in the game that isn't a giant-size Beloved, and the combo points it provides are key to the halo-farming trick mentioned below.
The Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa accessory makes a return from the first game, and its still referred to by fans as one of the most useful accessories in the game (that doesn't disable scores, that is), allowing Bayonetta to conjure up a shielding glyph to block attacks and stagger enemies, even getting a Counter Attack if used with exact timing (similar to Bat Within). Even better, the Hero of Hyrule costume allows you to have this ability without even needing to equip the Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa, meaning you can still use two other accessories along with it!
In terms of characters, there's Rosa. While she takes about three times as much damage as other characters do, rendering powerful enemies capable of killing her in a couple of good hits from a full health bar, the four revolvers she wields, Unforgiven, rake in combo points like crazy with even the smallest of attacks, and destroy any enemy they hit, to the extent that boss life bars go down in about a few seconds and boss themes barely get any time to finish a complete loop, if at all. As you may imagine, getting Pure Platinum and Platinum ranks with her is a ridiculously easy feat.
The lollipops, while powerful in the first game, came with a heavily penalty on the player's score for using them. That feature was removed from Bayonetta 2, which means now you can use as many as you want with no repercussions. This is particularly devastating as their effects stack, so Bayonetta can use the Bloody Rose and the Yellow Moon to increase her attack and gain invulnerability, and then use a Purple Magic lollipop to give her instant access to her Umbran Climax and completely destroy any enemy for an easy Platinum Rank, even against the final boss! (They can't be used in the Witch Trials, however)
Genius Bonus: Baal in religion was referred to by Christians as 'Baal Zebub' and eventually Beelzebub. Beelzebub means "Lord of the Flies." Baal in this is a giant frog.
Enrapture and Malicious. Both have the same functions: hanging back from the fight and attacking you from afar when they aren't buffing their allies by enraging them like you've just taunted them. They can also trap Bayonetta in place to leave her open for attacks from their allies. Enrapture also can use its staff to drain Bayonetta's magic and when near death, will attempt a suicide attack on Bayonetta by latching on to her and self-destructing. Thankfully, they aren't too durable.
Accolades with shields are not particularly dangerous, but the method of taking them out efficiently and without an Umbran Climax, Torture Attack, or enemy weapon is not easily understood by most players. One Muspelheim challenge is a Single-Combo Challenge that involves a squad of these shielded Accolades, and it is quite likely that you will fail again and again from emptying the combo list before you can finally hit them.
Harsher in Hindsight: Everything to do with Balder in the first game. Of particular note is Bayonetta's declaration that he is beyond salvation. She then proceeds to kill him, and in doing so, save him from Loptr's madness.
Back in the first game, when visiting Rodin at the Gates of Hell bar, there's a chance he may say "no matter how much you ask, I'm not puttin' a chainsaw on your arm". The new "Salamandra" weapon in Bayonetta 2 are a pair of a chainsaws worn over Bayonetta's hands.
The Nintendo references in Bayonetta 2 (and added retroactively to the Wii U version of Bayonetta) were quite absurd; it's hard to imagine Bayonetta actually interacting with the family-friendly, E-to-T-rated denizens of the major Nintendo series. And now she's going to do just that.
If you scan a Smash Bros. amiibo at the Gates of Hell, Rodin will mention Bayonetta's "little fight club" and asks her to let him tag along next time. Come June 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is announced with Rodin being one of the first Assist Trophies to be shown off. Looks like he got his wish!
Inferred Holocaust: Look at the devastation that occurs to the cities during this game. In the prologue alone, multiple skyscrapers are destroyed in the middle of the day. Then half of Noatun is demolished in the angels' search for Loki. We saw from the first game that physical changes in Purgatorio actually affect the normal realm. The civilian death toll must be in the tens of thousands.
Some fans consider the game's combat system to be a step back, depth-wise, from the original Bayonetta. Objectively, there are fewer movesets to master note Bayonetta has thirteen unique weapons if you count Fire and Lightning Durga separately, while Bayonetta 2 features nine unique weapons, the Master Sword and Arwing Guns as costume-specific reskins of existing weapons, and Shuraba and Scarborough Fair as returning weapons and some techniques, such as Witch Twist and Breakdance, now always use Love Is Blue instead of having weapon-specific effects. In particular, Kafka and Takemikazuchi are considered wasted weapons for their ineffectiveness in comboing and low damage per second, which actually gets worse on high difficulties. Meanwhile, the game's top weapons, Salamandra and Alruna, are derided for their simplicity and effectiveness, as players can achieve high damage and combo scores by simply using the charge modifier at any point in any combo. note The game does, however, introduce some new comboing innovations in flexible Wicked Weaves, a stagger option in Witch Strike, Umbran Climax, and the Rakshasa weapon, which has speed, depth, and combo capabilities on par with Sai Fung from Bayonetta. The Chain Chomp has also been well-received for its diverse applications in combat and breaking the hack-and-slash trend of heavy weapons being done poorly.
Fans of the difficulty in Bayonetta almost unanimously view the challenges in Bayonetta 2 as inferior. 3rd Climax (the equivalent of Hard in the first game) does not swap out specific enemies and only increases their skill, while Infinite Climax still allows the player to use Witch Time. The Lost Chapter equivalent is also split up; rather than pitting the player against a long wave of enemies with no healing as Angel Slayer did in Bayonetta, the Witch Trials in Bayonetta 2 are split into five chapters that provide healing items, scaling with difficulty setting at the end of each verse.
Since items no longer carry a penalty to award calculations, and Umbran Climaxes can trivialize many Verses, Pure Platinum medals and awards are easier to obtain, and many fans feel that they lose value as a result. While you're still limited to buying 3 of each "minor" lollipop and 1 of each "major" lollipop, nothing stops you from creating item quantities that exceed these soft limits or collecting them as tomb drops or Muspelheim rewards, meaning that enough grinding makes the time, damage, and even combo quotas painfully easy to meet.
It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: While "sucks" is too strong a word, whenever there's a review of the game that doesn't demonize Bayonetta's hypersexual nature, they will denounce the fact that the game is basically a polished version of the first one; from story, to humor, to gameplay. Of course, while many reviewers will point this out, they will also argue that this fact isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Narm: Alraune's dialogue, which consists entirely of Enochian, except for proper nouns. Nothing wrong with that on the surface, but Enochian is supposed to make things feel more serious and storied, and Alraune mentions Madama Butterfly repeatedly - peppering the English word 'Butterfly' into hammy, ominous dialogue in a quasi-mystical language just snaps one right out of the moment.
Polished Port: The Switch port features local Tag Climax matches and amiibo compatibility, the latter allowing you to unlock alternate costumes and rack up halos to buy out the shop's stock. And of course it's portable, albeit with some drops in framerate if in handheld mode but otherwise fully playable. Notably, since Tag Climax can be played in local wireless mode, it is possible to play Tag Climax in "vs CPU" mode without having to connect to the Internet.
Rewatch Bonus: When you play the game again, with the knowledge that Loptr is half of the final boss, you'll notice that Noatun's harbor has two statues of him.
The Wii U Touchscreen battle controls are considered useless. The way it works as by using the touchscreen a player can tap on an enemy and Bayonetta will automatically attack the target. However, it puts Bayonetta in auto-fight mode, which isn't very fun, and the AI controlling Bayonetta isn't very good, meaning the controls are only usable (at best) on First Climax which is already easy enough that the touchscreen controls still seem superfluous.
Aerial battles are near-universally disliked among high-level players. They limit players to fighting in two dimensions and disable jumping and all combos and techniques that can only be performed in the air, thus forcing players to fight with less than half of their normal combat options. Special mentions go to the final boss battle, where the bulk of the fight takes place aerially, and to aerial Tag Climax verses, which will prevent Rodin from using his version of the After Burner Kick to patch up his mobility issues.
Signature Scene: Gomorrah turning on you and dragging Jeanne to hell in the prologue.
Loptr in Chapter XVI might not be as impressive as Jubileus in the first game, but he is absolutely no slouch in the combat department. Blindingly quick, hard-hitting and can break up a combo on a whim by blocking a move, including Wicked Weaves. He has a lot of moves as well, most of which he gives very little warning of when he uses them. And then he transforms into Aesir: Even more attacks are added to his repertoire and he doesn't miss a beat after transforming. But that's OK, because you've got Balder by your side fighting with you, right? ...WRONG, because the second phase makes you fight him in the air all by yourself! It makes the ensuing ultra-Omne-body-rip-dropkick-of-fatal-death much more satisfying after all that hell!
The fight with the Masked Lumen at the end of Chapter 4. Yes, it's epic, yes it ends with a battle in the sky culminated with a boxing match between both fighters' familiars, and yes, it's about as difficult as the typical rival fight in a Spectacle Fighter.
The Witch Trials. While the first couple aren't really that bad, they escalate very quickly, with the third trial making you face several Demonic Spiders (including one literal demon spider), and the fifth one forcing you to face duos of boss level characters one after another or even at the same time!
Finding the crows. There's a total of 20 of them, which count towards your Umbran Tears Collection Sidequest, but the fact they are such tiny sprites that fly away if you approach them too quickly can really make this a chore. However, its the only way to unlock the Climax Bracers.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Bayonetta's redesign◊ has gotten this from some people, citing that her short hair makes her look "old" and "like a mother." There are also many who don't like Jeanne with long hair. Fortunately for them, costumes from Bayonetta 1 are also available in-game.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Just like in the first game, playing as Jeanne or Rosa makes no actual difference to the story. Play as Jeanne? Then you're fighting alongside another Jeanne and then Jeanne has to go to hell in order to save ... Jeanne. It could have been interesting to see a different story play out if Jeanne had survived and Bayonetta was instead trapped in hell. Or whatever story could have been formulated to make sense of Bayonetta's dead mother, Rosa, being in modern times for some reason.
While the Princess costumes aren't hated, they're the only Nintendo costumes with entirely aesthetic effects, so most players don't bother playing with them. To a lesser extent, the Star Mercenary costume also suffers from this... but you'd be hard-pressed to find a Let's Player who doesn't try them on for the Jetfighter Assault level.
Rodin is viewed as one in Tag Climax for both high- and low-tier reasons:
Ironically, for all his power and difficulty in his boss fights, Rodin in Tag Climax is considered this by many fans due to his low mobility, sluggish attack speed, inability to dodge attacks and use Witch Time, and being just hard to use in general. He has very few positives, leading many to consider him very low-tier.
On the other side of the coin, Rodin's area-of-effect attacks, shield mechanic, and high combo points per (slow) hit can make him difficult to compete against in verses that feature multiple weak enemies. While Rodin certainly can't compare to the other four characters' combo potential, he can quickly end the verse with a good-but-not-great combo score before his opponent can build up a better one. His playstyle of simply clearing the screen before his opponent has time to outperform him seems to come across as cheap, especially considering the more technical playstyles of other characters.
Tough Act to Follow: A character example in the form of Loptr. While he isn't a hated character within the fandom, there are some fans who feel he doesn't quite measure up to Father Balder as he lacks some of Balder's charm and comes off as a bland villain. Also, the final battle with him as Aesir, while fun on its own merits, is seen by fans as underwhelming compared to the battle with Jubileus, who was a massive godlike being fought in space while Aesir is roughly twice the size of Bayonetta and the fight with him takes place in a dimensional void within a mountain.
Uncanny Valley: The people roaming the NYC-esque city's streets look extremely realistic, compared to the named/important characters, all of whom look like 3D anime characters. Seeing characters like these walking amongst a crowd of creepily realistic people just don't look right.
Visual Effects of Awesome: Easily one of the Wii U's best-looking games so far, mixing bright colors with lots of flashy attacks and enormous battles, all while going at a near-constant 60FPS.
The Woobie: Balder is turned one by this game with the reveal that he was good originally, and that he had to watch his wife die. He spends the game chasing after the wrong person, is forced back in time only to watch his wife die again, and even when he and Bayonetta defeat Loptr, Balder has to seal his spirit inside him to keep him from escaping, which causes him to become the monster that he was in the original game.