Platinum Games has welcomed in the new year with a special message from president and CEO Tatsuya Minami and thanks supporters for what has been a glorious year for the company. Shared to fans over on Platinum Games’ official blog, the CEO speaks of Bayonetta 2’s critical and user acclaim, strongly believing that the second would not have been possible without the first game’s critical reception, along with The Legend of Korra’s release. Both titles, he says,”represent important milestones” for Platinum, of which they are “deeply proud”.
As well as looking back on 2014, Tatsuya Minami also looks to 2015 and the future of the company. He touches on a gaming term anecdote, relating to New Game +, thoroughly believing that this is the company’s second playthrough and constantly seek to challenge themselves at every turn. Though Minami’s message doesn’t share information on new releases, we’re already aware that Platinum are working on a new game, though it’s still in early development. You can view a snippet of the president’s message below, or in full on Platinum’s blog.
Hi everyone, Happy New Year from PlatinumGames.
In 2014, we were able to see the sequel to Bayonetta, our flagship title, released to the world, as well as the release of The Legend of Korra, a game available only outside of Japan.
I’d like to express my thanks to all of our fans who supported us by purchasing and playing these titles, and to the staff who worked so hard to make these games’ releases possible.
As a video game developer, a new year doesn’t actually mark an achievement in the history of our company. Our milestones are made when we finish a game and can release it to our fans. Each of those successive milestones has brought PlatinumGames to where it is today.
One way we gauge the success of a game is if our users finish it and think, “I want more.” We strongly believe that Bayonetta 2 would not have been possible without the critical reception of the first. Both of these games represent important milestones for our company, and we are deeply proud of them.
Bayonetta 2 sold about 68,000 units in October, according to a recently-surfaced rumor. This figure, which was shared by a NeoGAF junior member, supposedly comes from a “very reliable” source. Although official sales numbers for Bayonetta 2 have yet to be revealed, the NPD Group previously confirmed that the Wii U exclusive failed to land a spot on the top-10 list of the best-selling games for October. The Bayonetta sequel made its North American debut on October 24th.
Platinum Game’s well received Bayonetta 2 has made it in the prolific category of Game of the Year at this year’s Game Awards 2014. Bayonetta 2 joins Dark Souls 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Hearthstone and finally Shadow of Mordor. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see if the panel award Bayonetta 2 with the prestigious Game of the Year award. What do you think to this year’s nominees?
As stylish, sultry and oozing with confidence as before, Bayonetta returns to her Umbran Witch roots exclusively on the Wii U. And with a varied choice of weapons, individual combo sets and heart-thumping boss battles, Bayonetta 2 plays just as beautifully as it looks.
From the developer who brought the original Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101 to Nintendo home consoles, Platinum Games has designed a true marvel of a game with the hack-and-slash sequel. While Bayonetta 2 may not revitalise the franchise’s core gameplay mechanics, Platinum chooses to refine them with a delicate touch. This isn’t a simple button bashing game, and it never encourages players to do so. Rather practice mode is displayed during loading screens to guide players to combo attack success. It’s by digging a little deeper, learning when to dodge to initiate Witch Time, or when to hold back to find enemy weaknesses to string combos together, that the game begins to knit impeccably. The initial sluggish, heavy-handed attacks from the start will eventually transform into smooth fluidity between movesets and taunting enemies. And as it becomes second nature, Bayonetta 2 evolves from its cocoon.
As was the case with the first Bayonetta, the story is diluted here to make way for the exhilarating combat sequences. But the various cutscenes and comic strip-esque sequences endeavour to bring the player into Cereza’s world and describe the main plot with linearity. The sassy dark witch’s character shines throughout too, delivering those tongue-in-cheek witticisms with more than a touch of class. Bouncing off familiar characters such as Enzo, Rodin and Jeanne, it won’t take long for first-time players to embrace the comedic episodes, while long-time fans will settle in just as comfortably. But before we can sit down to eat chicken and waffles in The Gates of Hell – Rodin’s choice, of course – Jeanne is dragged mercilessly into the underworld, and it’s down to Cereza to bring her back.
Within story mode, players will be able to change the difficulty setting between easy, medium and hard whenever they wish. You’ll be able to customise your weapons on Bayonetta’s arms and legs – such as Rakshasha, Undine and the Alruna whip – before any battle, and also pop on an alternative costume, including the Hero of Hyrule and the Peach Mushroom Kingdom outfit. All weapons and their accessories, along with the different costumes, can be bought with Halos collected throughout the game in Rodin’s store: The Gates of Hell. New weapons can be picked up by exploring the various levels in Noatun, Inferno, Paradiso and so on, as well as moon pearls for extra magic, broken witch’s hearts for extra health, lollipops and crafting equipment.
The weapon variation and the movesets available are simply a joy to discover in Bayonetta 2. Each weapon is meticulously designed with individual combo attacks, so pairing different weapons together such as Undine on the arms and Rakshasha on the legs can make for a devastating string of attacks. But learning what works the best and what may be able to award you with the best combo score and that elusive – though not impossible – pure platinum medal at the battle’s end is what keeps the game fresh and the player hungry for more.
Throughout the 16 in-game chapters within story mode, players will be able to explore many locations during select chapters. In these segments, you’ll find the glowing spherical warp panels and a challenge awaiting in Muspelheim. Varying from air time, one combo restriction and defeating a number of enemies within a time limit, the Muspelheim challenges allow unfamiliar players to hone their skills. While they may not serve up much of a challenge for experienced gamers, these areas are a great change of pace from the main storyline. Miss one Muspelheim challenge, though, and it counts as a stone medal, so you’ll want to master them all to get the best scores.
The hack-and-slash game does have one minor flaw, however, and it lies solely at the feet of the GamePad’s touchscreen controls. While Platinum Games have utilised the GamePad well with off-TV play, there’s no incentive to use the touchscreen controls whatsoever. An afterthought to the main dish, the controls lack precision. And automatic triggers for combo attacks just sucks the fun out of those eclectic boss battles. Plus, in order to perform the crushing torture attacks or Umbran Climax, you’ll need to avert your eyes from the main screen to focus on the GamePad. The heat of the battle dissipates, and the sublime HD architectural designs are left behind.
The best section of the game comes, perhaps, with Tag Climax. Facing demons and archangels encountered throughout the story, you’ll be partnered up with strangers or friends in online co-op. Staking a higher number of Halos before the battle begins will ramp up the difficulty, but stringing impressive combos together may just clinch a victory. There’s not much room for error here, throwing players straight into the deep end to test their ability, but it’s a superb feature worthy of merit.
With a flutter of her eyelashes and her wings, Bayonetta’s flirtatious appeal is infectious. Twinned with addictive gameplay and cheeky witticisms, Bayonetta 2 will leave you gasping for more. It may take two to tango, but it only takes one to Umbran Climax.
This week’s UK charts are now in thanks to GFK Chart Track. Sadly it seems as though the well-received Bayonetta 2 has completely dropped out of the top forty, despite entering last week at number six. This isn’t great news for either Platinum or Nintendo. Anyway, here’s the best-selling video games this week in the United Kingdom.
01 (NE) XBO SUNSET OVERDRIVE (MICROSOFT)
02 (01) PS4 FIFA 15 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
03 (02) 360 FIFA 15 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
04 (04) XBO FIFA 15 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
05 (03) PS4 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION (SONY COMPUTER ENT.)
06 (05) PS3 FIFA 15 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
07 (10) XBO FORZA HORIZON 2 (MICROSOFT)
08 (NE) 360 WWE 2K15 (TAKE 2)
09 (11) 360 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION (MICROSOFT)
10 (14) XBO THE EVIL WITHIN (BETHESDA SOFTWORKS)
11 (13) PS3 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION (SONY COMPUTER ENT.)
12 (NE) PS3 WWE 2K15 (TAKE 2)
13 (12) PS4 MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR (WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE)
14 (09) PS4 DRIVECLUB (SONY COMPUTER ENT.)
15 (07) PS4 THE EVIL WITHIN (BETHESDA SOFTWORKS)
16 (17) PS4 DESTINY (ACTIVISION BLIZZARD)
17 (NE) PS4 LORDS OF THE FALLEN (SQUARE ENIX EUROPE)
18 (16) 3DS SUPER SMASH BROS. (NINTENDO)
19 (19) 360 SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM (ACTIVISION BLIZZARD)
20 (08) 360 BORDERLANDS: THE PRE-SEQUEL! (TAKE 2)
21 (24) 360 DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 (DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS)
22 (15) XBO MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR (WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE)
23 (20) XBO DESTINY (ACTIVISION BLIZZARD)
24 (33) PS4 WATCH DOGS (UBISOFT)
25 (31) 3DS TOMODACHI LIFE (NINTENDO)
26 (27) PC THE SIMS 4 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
27 (NE) PC FARMING SIMULATOR 15 (KOCH MEDIA)
28 (21) 360 FORZA HORIZON 2 (MICROSOFT)
29 (NE) XBO LORDS OF THE FALLEN (SQUARE ENIX EUROPE)
30 (36) PS4 THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED (SONY COMPUTER ENT.)
31 (23) PS4 ALIEN: ISOLATION (SEGA)
32 (32) XBO ALIEN: ISOLATION (SEGA)
33 (30) 360 DESTINY (ACTIVISION BLIZZARD)
34 (34) WIU MARIO KART 8 (NINTENDO)
35 (39) 360 GRAND THEFT AUTO V (TAKE 2)
36 (25) 360 THE EVIL WITHIN (BETHESDA SOFTWORKS)
37 (__) 360 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
38 (38) WII JUST DANCE 2015 (UBISOFT)
39 (__) 360 TERRARIA (505 GAMES)
40 (37) NDS FROZEN: OLAF’S QUEST (GSP/AVANQUEST)
This week’s individual UK charts are now in courtesy of GFK Chart-Track. The highest charting newcomer this week is the long-awaited return of the feisty dark witch, Bayonetta 2. Making its cracking debut at number 6 this week, the hack-and-slash game just falls outside of the top 5 with FIFA 15 firmly staying its ground on various platforms, along with the ever-popular Minecraft.
Further down the chart, Super Smash Bros for 3DS slips from 14 to 16 this week, while the quirky life simulation title Tomodachi Life moves up to 31 from 35. Mario Kart 8 also makes some great manoeuvres and leaps from 40 to 34. And newcomer Just Dance 2015 makes its debut at 38 for the Nintendo Wii. You can view the UK individual top 40 chart below.
1. (04) [PS4] FIFA 15
2. (02)  FIFA 15
3. (13) [PS4] Minecraft: PlayStation Edition
4. (08) [XBO] FIFA 15
5. (05) [PS3] FIFA 15
6. (NE) [WIIU] Bayonetta 2
7. (01) [PS4] The Evil Within
8. (03)  Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
9. (07) [PS4] Driveclub
10. (10) [XBO] Forza Horizon 2
11. (15)  Minecraft: Xbox Edition
12. (09) [PS4] Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
13. (23) [PS3] Minecraft: PlayStation Edition
14. (06) [XBO] The Evil Within
15. (12) [XBO] Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
16. (14) [3DS] Super Smash Bros.
17. (21) [PS4] Destiny
18. (NE) [PC] Civilization: Beyond Earth
19. (24)  Skylanders Trap Team
20. (26) [XBO] Destiny
21. (26) [XBO] Forza Horizon 2
22. (11) [PS3] Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!
23. (19) [PS4] Alien: Isolation
24. (31)  Disney Infinity 2.0
25. (16)  The Evil Within
26. (NE)  The Borderlands Collection (1&2)
27. (30) [PC] The Sims 4
28. (17) [PS3] The Evil Within
29. (18)  F1 2014
30. (29)  Destiny
31. (35) [3DS] Tomodachi Life
32. (25) [XBO] Alien: Isolation
33. (RE) [PS4] Watch Dogs
34. (40) [WIIU] Mario Kart 8
35. (22) [PS3] F1 2014
36. (36) [PS4] The Last of Us: Remastered
37. (RE) [DS] Frozen: Olaf’s Quest
38. (NE) [WII] Just Dance 2015
39. (39)  Grand Theft Auto V
40. (33) [WII] Skylanders Trap Team