BAYONETTA 2 (2014)

(Switch/WiiU) BAYONETTA 2 feels like a parody of videogames, something so ludicrous that it’s hard to believe it even exists. It’s something so deliberately non-sensical, hyper-sexualized, cartoonishly violent, and completely and utterly removed from reality that it could -only- be realized as a videogame.

On paper, it shouldn’t work. The protagonist is utterly outlandish: Bayonetta brandishes her hair as her costume and as a weapon and as identity. Every appendage of her is weaponized — literally: guns as high-heels. BAYONETTA 2 isn’t just hack-and-slash, it’s absolutely gonzo.

However, it does work. While, yes, Bayonetta has a lot of fan service — I often say every work speaks as to the creators’ fetishes, but this nakedly puts it front-and-foremost — it feels like the lingering camera and leather and latex comes from a place of positivity instead of exploitation. Bayonetta exudes cool like James Bond and flexes it. She’s living her best life as a badass witch, a devil-may-care woman who does what she wants and loves what she does. Couple that with a myriad of mind-bending set-pieces, bonkers bosses, and a litany of combo opportunities and it’s a phantasmagoria of delight.


I highly recommend the following write-ups regarding BAYONETTA 1 & 2, from Leigh Alexander and Maddy Myers.