Sega’s final home console, the Sega Dreamcast launched September 9th, 1999 (9/9/99) in North America. The console received much critical praise, and is still one of the most beloved game consoles, despite its short 3 year life. There are multitude of reasons why the Dreamcast, and ultimately the Sega of old ended the way they did. That is not the focus of this piece- not to examine its martyr like demise, but to celebrate a true game console, that lived and died with a fantastic library at its side. It’s no coincidence that my first look at video game collecting here on A Gaming Genesis is about the Sega Dreamcast, its ultimately my favorite video game console of all time, as well home to my loftiest goal as a game collector. What could such a lofty goal be? To own a complete copy of every NTSC (North America) Dreamcast game released. There were approximately 250 games released for the Dreamcast in North America, it’s not a small number, but it’s doable, especially when compared to other consoles, like the Nintendo Gamecube, which despite poor sales, still had upwards of 600+ games released! There were also 17 titles released in the “Sega All-Stars” line of re-releases. Essentially a greatest hits line, they featured an orange spine, and orange on the box art, versus the white / black of other games. I plan to get those as well.
While owning every North American Dreamcast game is the biggest goal for Dreamcast collecting, it won’t end there. I would also love to add PAL (Europe) exclusives games into the mix, thankfully, there aren’t many games that were only released in PAL territories for the Dreamcast. As for Japanese releases, there’s no way I will own them all. The Dreamcast was supported massively in Japan, with officially licensed games coming out until around 2008, 7 years after the console was discontinued. Granted there were not a ton being released, but it gets far to pricey for my tastes and I’ll probably just end up collecting the “must own” Japanese games. Which brings me to the last set of Dreamcast games I want to talk about. As I mentioned earlier, licensed games were being released for the system long after production of the console ended, but even still, in 2015 homebrew and indie titles, as well as fan ports of arcade games are still being released for the Dreamcast. While I would love to own all these, due to the low key nature of these games, I’ve yet to find a definitive list, so I’ll ultimately end up just picking up some of these, the star of my collection will be the complete US library anyway, which will include all US Dreamcast Magazine demo discs, Dreamcast Generator demo discs, and Web Browser software discs.
With the talk of what I want to collect for the Dreamcast out of the way, I guess I should talk about the “why” of it. It’s hard to explain. I did say earlier that the Dreamcast is my favorite console of all time, as well as having a stellar (yet small) library. In all honesty, I would say the Dreamcast has the best ratio of “good games” to “bad games” out of any console released. All in all, I think my love of the system and its library make me want to do it. I am a champion of the Dreamcast, I always have been and always will be, I share it with friends, and recommend it to new gamers and people who may have missed out on it. The system is cheap, and most of the games are cheap too, sure it has a few pricey games, like Project Justice, and Cannon Spike but overall, it’s a cheap and easy system to collect for. I think the biggest reason is that I just want to celebrate that such a great console was released, with such an amazing library of games. I want to celebrate, to show my love to everyone and show just how much the Dreamcast means to me as a gamer. Maybe owning a complete US collection isn’t the best way to show my love for it, but it will be a good starting point. Perhaps one day after I own every US game I will then review every US game! It’s hard to say, or commit to such a lofty goal and such a long term plan, but it’s something I would like to try to do at the very least!
So where does my collection stand currently? I talk of such lofty goals that I must have made some kind of notable progress right? As of the writing of this article, I own about 50 complete Dreamcast games. It’s my largest library of any console (though the PS3 is close, at around 40). I have been buying the games alphabetically using a nice checklist compiled by fans (modified by myself, to note which games had Sega All-Stars re-releases. I own no PAL, Japanese, or Homebrew games. So my collection is still in its infancy, though I do own a number of more sought after titles, like Skies of Arcadia, and Shenmue. I’m not actively seeking the games out though, typically, I just buy games when I find them, but I have on occasion splurged some extra money into buying 5 or 10 games in one sitting from eBay. So that’s that. A small look at my goals for collecting on the Dreamcast, why I want to do it, and where my collection stands so far. If you’ve never played the Dreamcast, I highly recommend you do. It’s got a fantastic library, and features a ton of great games that won’t break the bank, and will offer you hours of fun, classic Sega Gameplay- you’ll quickly see why its my, and so many others favorite console of all time. It’s thinking.
After a two-week delay, we at A Gaming Genesis are proud to present 10 of our favorite games from 2014. This is not a “top 10” and there is no real order or system here, we each chose 5 games we loved, and briefly talk about them. These are our opinions. Feel free to share your thoughts on our choices, as well as your own favorite games of last year in the comments below.
Fantasy Life (Nintendo 3DS)
I was waiting for this Level-5 title since the very start of when I got into video games for this game. Originally announced years ago as a Nintendo DS Title, it was later released on the 3DS in Japan back in 2012, with a re-release called “Fantasy Life Link!” later released. We finally got it over here last year, including the additional content in the “Link!” expansion. Fantasy Life was quite unique in combining role-playing with the life simulation genre, in an extremely enjoyable blend. With a near ridiculous amount of stuff to do, you’ll still be playing this game long after you buy it. – Thanous
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Wii U)
Released for the Wii U in February 2014, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the 5th installment in the classic Donkey Kong Country series, and the first one in HD. Featuring a ton of levels, collectibles, and playable characters including Cranky Kong- this game just does everything right. It never feels artificially hard, but it is challenging and does reward patience and you must practice to master this game. Though I still haven’t completed it, I find myself coming back to it even now. A definite must own for the Wii U. – Andrew
Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Playstation 4/Playstation Vita/PC)
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is an indie adventure game where you play as an octopus, that’s disguised himself as a suburban father. The most simple tasks are made complicated by the fact that you are an octopus. Barbecuing, grocery shopping, and a family trip to the aquarium are some of the tasks that you will participate in. But you have to be careful to avoid the evil chef that knows your secret! Instead of the traditional way of controlling a character, in this game you control Octodad’s individual limbs which both adds to the fun and the challenge. It’s a very hilarious enjoyable adventure that should be experienced by all gamers. – Thanous
Senran Kagua: Shinovi Versus (Playstation Vita)
I didn’t own a Playstation Vita until 2015, but I took a blind chance on Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus because I knew I had heard the name before. Based on an anime series, the game is a 3D Brawler/Action game, something akin to Dynasty Warriors (though the crowds aren’t nearly as big). This game is definitely full of fan service, you play as scantily clad female ninjas, and you take damage, and dish damage, the clothes of your rivals, and you yourself fall off until you are stripped to just bra and panties. You can dress up your girls in different outfits, lingerie, and accessories to suit your tastes. While it is definitely on the perverted side, the game is still genuinely fun and addicting- I’ve put a ton of hours into it in the few days I’ve owned my Vita, and still have barely broke the ice on the contents of the game. One of the best blind buys I’ve ever had. – Andrew
Luftrausers (Playstation 3/Playstation Vita/PC)
Luftrausers is the most addictive I’ve played on my vita since getting it at launch. The day this game came out consisted of eating, sleeping, and playing this game. It’s a shoot-em-up style game, but instead of a fixed direction you freely fly around the small map in one of the many different customizable planes, beating challenges and unlocking more parts. This is an extremely fun and unique game, that I recommend to all gamers. -Thanous
Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo Wii U)
Bayonetta 2 was the game that I knew would force me to buy the Wii U, however, Mario Kart 8 was the first Wii U game I purchased and I did so before even owning the system. I had been planning my purchase for awhile, and decided to buy Mario Kart 8 because of the free game promotion for registering it on Club Nintendo. I did eventually, buy the Wii U and Mario Kart 8 is a standout entry in a great franchise, the new anti-gravity mechanics are fun and change the game up enough to keep it fresh- underwater driving, and flying return from Mario Kart 7 and new to the series, is downloadable content, with the first set already out, and a second set coming this spring. I don’t think more needs to be said than that- it’s Mario Kart, and they are always well made- and fun experiences. – Andrew
Inazuma Eleven (Nintendo 3DS)
Another Level-5 title, that was originally released during 2008 for the Nintendo DS in Japan, the series has been regularly released in other territories since 2011, but the first time North America got the series was last year with Inazuma Eleven on the 3DS. This game combines soccer and role-playing, and it is brilliant. The gameplay and many aspects of this series cannot be found anywhere else, it’s a lot of fun to play, build up your team, and win! Sports games and role-playing game fans alike need to check this game out. – Thanous
Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 3DS / Nintendo Wii U)
Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U were both incredibly anticipated titles by gamers everywhere. Some excited by the prospect of a handheld Smash Bros and others ready for the next console adaptation. While I predominately played the 3DS version, I definitely think the Wii U version is superior all around. Featuring tons of great fanfare for Nintendo franchises and other guest characters, all new modes, 8 player Smash on the Wii U version. I still don’t think it’s as good as Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Gamecube, but it’s a huge step up from Brawl and a great return to form for the series, with some new ideas thrown in (some good, and some bad). – Andrew
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth (Nintendo 3DS)
Persona on the 3DS? Yes, please. Persona 3 & 4 crossover? Hell yeah! This game is fanservice in it’s greatest form, crossing over the characters from persona 3 & 4 in this first person dungeon crawling RPG. Gameplay is very similar to Etrian Odyssey, the story is fun and always entertaining. If you are a fan of the series, this is a game you will not want to miss! -Thanous
Bayonetta 2 (Nintendo Wii U)
Bayonetta 2 was a game I never thought I would see, so to see it come out on a Nintendo console was a mind blowing experience. Bayonetta 2 greatly surpasses the already incredible first game in every category. It is insanely fun, challenging, and a gorgeous game, worthy of the title, and praise. I will handily declare it was “Game of the Generation (so far)”, a true “must own” for the Wii U. For an in-depth review, check out my review here. – Andrew
There were a lot of games I missed out on in 2014, and others I just didn’t get the time I wanted with them. I got a few new systems, and branched out of my safe zone a bit. I’m looking forward to entering 2015, and finally picking up a PS4.
2014 was an amazing year for gaming in all genres, with many great releases to keep me occupied all year long, especially for the vita. Let’s hope 2015 keeps it awesome as well.
Everybody loves to game on the go don’t they? From the Game Boy and Game Gear, to the Vita and 3DS. These things sell like hotcakes. We all love being able to take our favorite games with us wherever we go, right? Well, slow down a bit, it’s not so much the same for me.. I must admit, I do like the concept of handheld gaming, however in my case it just typically doesn’t work in practice for whatever reason. Before I go into more detail, let me get this out of the way now- I’m not bashing or putting down handheld gaming, I’m glad people enjoy it, and I enjoy it myself from time to time. This piece is merely an outlet for me to express my thoughts and opinions about handheld gaming, and why handheld gaming just doesn’t work for me in most situations.
I suppose I should go back and briefly explain my history with handheld games. I never had an original Game Boy, Game Gear, or Lynx growing up. My first handheld was the Game Boy Color, which I got in Teal for Christmas. I was six at the time, and I took that thing with me EVERYWHERE. No matter where my mom would take me, my Game Boy and Pokemon Yellow were in my pocket. If you’d like you can read more in-depth thoughts and memories on my GBC & Pokemon Yellow by clicking here. This trend continued on, through the 2nd and 3rd generations of Pokemon and me and my Game Boy Color were inseparable. It was around this time I got very brief exposure to the Game Gear, because my 18 year old cousin had one that I played when we moved from Ohio to North Carolina. To be honest, I don’t remember too much of my experience playing it. I chalk it up to being so young, and playing it so little, as an adult owning one now, I think the Game Gear is neat little system, but I don’t often find myself playing it, as with most other early handhelds, the console versions of the games greatly outdid the often poor handheld counterparts.
I believe I got the Game Boy Advance day one, and I loved playing it too. I don’t remember what games I had at launch, but I think it was most likely Sonic Advance, Sega Smash Pack, and possibly Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku. I remember harassing my then-new step dad to take me to Wal-Mart to buy both Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire at midnight on launch day, and trying to play Sapphire, with the non-backlit GBA and no light source in the car, using every street light as a chance to see more of the game, and honestly I loved every bit of that. I spent countless hours crouched by a lamp, just to play my favorite games into the late night hours, neglecting my rest that I needed for school (and really, not much has changed there!). My handheld love seemed to peak with the GBA SP. I logged hundreds of hours into that little silver box playing all the Pokemon games, Drill Dozer, the Sonic Advance trilogy, the DBZ trilogy, Zoids: Legends, and numerous other games. I still have my original GBA SP and today its battle torn, and scarred from hours spent in my pocket. It was literally everywhere I was. Later on in life, I got a Game Boy Micro for a great price, and it became hands down my favorite way to experience GBA games (yes, even over the DS and Game Boy Player), they looked and sounded so much better. The small screen and form factor showed just how beautiful those games really were. Though sadly, I seem to have lost it during a move, I found the charger, but not the system, a true crying shame, and something I definitely want to replace.
I remember when the DS was first announced, I honestly wasn’t impressed. I’ve never been a big fan of touch screen gaming (or motion controls, for that matter). So I didn’t get one, didn’t even WANT one, it was the first time I never really wanted the new Nintendo handheld, maybe my falling out of love with handhelds started here, I can’t say for sure. My friends tried showing their DS’ off ti me, and I just didn’t want anything to do with it. I thought it was an unneeded gimmick, and I wanted no part of it. Not even new Pokemon games could make me interested in the DS, and to this day, Gen IV is still my least favorite Pokemon generation. Let’s Flash forward a bit to 2009, I haven’t gamed handheld wise for about 4 years or so. I was talking on the phone with my at the time fiance (now ex-fiance), and she was talking about how her mom was getting her Pokemon Platinum as an Easter gift, and she joked about how I couldn’t beat her, even if I tried.
And with her words, a burning flame reignited within my heart, the flame of a Pokemon Champion. I told her that there was no possible way she could ever beat me at Pokemon. I told her I would go out to town the next day (which was Platinum’s launch day) and buy a DS lite, and Platinum, just to prove I could beat her. And I did, I went into town the next day to GameStop and purchased a red DS lite. I remember them asking me if I wanted a red or ‘gold’ DS, I remember thinking a gold one sounded awful. At that time I didn’t know it was the limited edition Legend of Zelda DS, hindsight being 20/20, I should’ve bought it. I asked if they had Pokemon and they told me they were sold out. Frustrated, I went to Wal-Mart and found they only had one copy left which I snatched up. I logged well over 300 hours into Platinum, and it got me hooked and handheld gaming again, having someone I loved to share it with (and she was actually pretty good, our win-loss records were typically pretty even).
I went on to own about 25 or 30 DS games and really loved the systtem, but over time, the DS began to feel stale, and it lost a lot of its appeal to me. So I sold off nearly all DS games I owned, keeping Pokemon HeartGold and Platinum. I went on to buy a PSP, which I had a brief and passing interest in. I took it to my College classes a few times, and did enjoy it, but the novelty wore of quickly until I hacked it for rom usage, that too couldn’t keep my interest, and so I got rid of that as well. It seemed that to me, I didn’t have any reason to play handheld games anymore- as a child, I played them in the car, in Wal-Mart, when we went to my mom’s friends, or places a child would be easily bored and need entertained.. Now as an adult, I can’t play in the car, I have to drive. I can’t play at Wal-Mart, I’m shopping. I don’t play at home either, because now I have my own large tv, and I can play similar games, on a larger scale, and be more engrossed in the experience (I know popular opinion says handheld games are more immersive, but I’m in the opposite camp, when gaming on a TV nothing around me effects me, but when I’m playing a handheld, I tend to get distracted very easily).
One game had temporarily changed this. I was at a GameStop picking up something (I don’t recall what it was anymore) and the clerk was pushing pre-orders on me, in typical fashion. I had originally denied, until I looked up at the list of coming soon titles. I read a name…and was unsure. I asked him about the game’s release date. He told me, and I didn’t think I could pay it off on time (being unemployed and in college will do that to you). Nevertheless, I decided to preorder it, and slowly payed off the $32. The game was set to release on March the 15th and I couldn’t wait. On the 13th of March, I had to go to GameStop, I had to make a return and it was the last day I could do. I passed casually by the DS shelf on my way to the counter, when I saw a game on the shelf. In shock and disbelief, I asked the employee when I could pick the game up…he told me, it had broken the release date and I could get it today! I excitedly took the game and my pre-order bonuses back to my car and drove home ASAP to make a YouTube video showing off the game, bonuses, and how I got it early. Then once the excitement fell, I put the game in my DS and invested a lot of time into it (around 20 hours, so far- and that’s 2015 time!)
So what was this game you may ask? It was Okamiden. This cute, incredible, and stylish game had rekindled my love of handheld gaming. I became incredibly psyched for the 3DS, which I unfortunately couldn’t get at launch. I did finally get the 3DS for Christmas of that year, Cosmo Black, with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Super Mario 3D Land, and both were terrific games. I was madly in love with the 3DS and bought quite a few games for it including Ridge Racer 3D, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Sonic Generations. Despite loving my 3DS, and the games I have for it, it often finds itself resting in it’s carrying case with a few game staples. I liked Mario Kart 7 well enough, but it wasn’t as good as Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and later, Mario Kart 8. However, my 3DS does see more use than I ever expected though, as now on Thursdays after work, my friends and I go out to eat at a 24 hour gas station, and play games there- typically Pokemon X/Y, Pokemon Alpha Ruby & Omega Sapphire or Super Smash Bros. for 3DS though sometimes a round or two of Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition will pop in and sometimes even my non-gamer friends will jump in and play different games we share with them and we always have a good time, staying out way later than we probably should into the wee morning hours.
The 3DS has given me games I never thought I would get the chance to play like Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon and introduced me to series I had never tried before, like Animal Crossing and Ridge Racer. My love affair with handheld gaming has had a checkered past- both times of great interest and great apathy. I tend to take less risks on handheld games, typically sticking to “safe” games like Pokemon, Mario Kart, and similar titles. It was great to see a handheld version of Smash Bros. even if it is inferior to the console version, but it’s an even trade to be able to take a fantastically fun game anywhere you go, and I guess, that’s the true appeal of handheld gaming. Perhaps, I’m not as apathetic towards handheld gaming as I thought, and revisiting my experiences has made me appreciate it more as I’ve gotten older, but no matter what the case, I know I’m not in love with handheld gaming anymore. I can still enjoy it from time to time, and can still have fun with it- but if given the choice I can safely say I would take a home console over a handheld any day, and that’s okay. Maybe you feel differently, and that too is okay. In the end we are all gamers, playing video games, loving them, and having fun playing them- and that’s what it’s really all about isn’t it?
The original Bayonetta launched in 2010 for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 to very positive reception. It refined, and redefined the kind of hack-n-slash action game play made so famous and so well loved by the Devil May Cry series- and with good reason. Both games were created by Hideki Kamiya (formerly of Capcom/Clover Studios), and Bayonetta was his attempt to push the limits of hack-and-slash action games beyond reality. Despite positive reviews and a strong pedigree, the game didn’t sell very well- and became another cult classic, hidden gem. I can honestly say, I never thought I would see a true sequel to Bayonetta, one of my favorite games of the last console generation.
Flash forward a bit, Nintendo has unveiled their new console- the Wii U and a slew of 3rd party and 1st party games. One game became the center of controversy though, some excited and joyous, others outraged and furious, all equally shocked. Bayonetta 2 was happening- and it was going to be a Wii U exclusive title. Some were outraged that such an elusive and wanted game would be on a Nintendo console and wanted to know why they couldn’t play it on the more popular “hardcore” systems, and Platinum games stepped up to answer that question. Essentially, what it boiled down to was funding. After the first game’s poor sales, Platinum nor Sega (who published the original Bayonetta) could afford to make a sequel. Platinum tried to get funding from Sony and Microsoft, neither party accepted the offer. To everyone’s shock, Nintendo stepped up and offered funding, and development assistance in exchange for exclusivity, and the rest they say, is history.
But Bayonetta 2 now had some rather large shoes to fill, can it improve upon a near perfect game as its predecessor? Would it become a system seller to “save” Nintendo’s new system or prove it to be a capable powerhouse? I think the answer I think is a “mostly yes”. It greatly surpasses the first game in nearly every aspect, and definitely proved that the Wii U was no joke, like many had assumed rather unfairly. It hasn’t become a system seller, but is definitely one of the best exclusives on the machine, and has taken it’s place in my personal “Top 10” games of all time. With that said, let’s take a more in-depth look at this truly fantastic game.
Graphically, Bayonetta 2 is simply amazing, and demonstrates the power of the system nicely. It runs at a smooth and consistent 60fps and I noticed no slowdown during any of the numerous boss fights and horde mode style encounters. No matter who or what was on the screen, the game played silky smooth. The environments are incredibly detailed, beautiful, and varied featuring cityscapes, unique architectural towers, buildings, island areas, the underworld, and paradise itself. Some of the bosses and views within the world are truly breathtaking. The characters look great, Bayonetta (that new hairstyle is something else!) and Jeanne are as full of sex appeal as ever, Rodin as bald, and powerful, and of course, Enzio as slimy (maybe slimier?) than ever. While the original had a dull color palette lots of browns and grays, Bayonetta 2 is full of color and vibrancy, its an impressive showing by Platinum and Nintendo on all fronts here.
In the sound department the game fares just as well, the main theme “Tomorrow is Mine” is catchy dance pop at it’s finest. At first it wouldn’t seem like a fitting song for killing hundreds of angels and demons, but you quickly realize that it gets your blood flowing just as much in the middle of an intense battle. All of the voices return from the first game providing a great ensemble, however, Loki, one of the new characters doesn’t fare quite so well in the voice department. His voice is shrill and forced at best, and downright grating at worst. Thankfully, he doesn’t speak too much throughout the game, it’s a minor complaint to say the least. Bayonetta in particular, has some of the best work in the game, the actress’ delivery is spot on, and dialed in perfectly for each scene. The soundtrack is full of great tunes, they fit the game and its theme and will most likely find their way into your head, even once you stop playing the game.
Bayonetta 2 features a wide array of extra content, allowing the player to listen to tracks from the game as well as a cutscene theater, allowing any cutscene to be replayed. Concept art for characters, environments, objects, 3D models, and all of the verse cards seen in the game are available for your viewing pleasure. Just like in the original game, tons of the lore is readily available- bestiaries, both angelic, demonic, journal entries provide a more in-depth look at the world than we are shown in game. Bayonetta 2 has its own take on the trophies/achievements of the other systems, called “Bewitchments”, in total there are 30, with the majority of them being easily obtainable, or obtained with a minor mastery of the game, though a few can be quite challenging. Also included is a multiplayer mode called “Tag Climax” where players team up and take on challenges that increase in difficulty by how many halos are bet on the match, its co-operative, and competitive at the same time, encouraging both players to work together, while also competing for a high score, this mode allows players to make large amounts of in game money at a rapid pace. It’s also the only mode where you can play as Balder and Rodin.
However, none of the content mentioned so far has actually effected anything within the game, but there is plenty of that too. Purchasable in the shop are costumes for Bayonetta, typically sexy or comical in nature, Platinum and Nintendo gave us a little extra by including Nintendo themed costumes that can slightly change the way Bayonetta fights, or in a special case, changes an entire section of the game. The included costumes are: Peach (summons Bowser as a wicked weave), Daisy (summons Bowser as a wicked weave, and I believe it’s different than Peach’s version), Samus (gives Bayonetta the arm canon, and changes “The Beast Within” ability to Samus’ morph ball), Link (using certain weapons allows you to control the Master Sword), and Fox which replaces all of Bayonetta’s guns with miniature Arwings, each one featuring a member of Team Star Fox as a charm dangling from the end). The Fox costume is the one that majorly changes an entire chapter of the game, but I won’t spoil which one, in case you haven’t experienced it yourself it. Also included are Nintendo costumes in which Bayonetta has her hairstyle from the first game.
That brings us to the last, and most obvious extra content of Bayonetta 2. Included with the retail edition of the game, is an enhanced Wii U port of the original Bayonetta. Without a doubt it is the definitive version of the game, and it also features all of the previously mentioned Nintendo costumes within it as well. I’ll save reviewing the first game for another time, but this was a very generous offer, and something Platinum nor Nintendo had to do and it’s a huge plus to be able to play both games on the same system!
Finally, we can talk about the story, controls, and gameplay of Bayonetta 2. We’ll start of with the story, it’s a little convoluted featuring some time paradoxes, time travel, and altering of the future / past. It’s a bit hard to wrap your head around, and almost makes me feel like the story of the series has just created an infinite time loop or something. Thankfully, this isn’t a very story driven game, this game is driven by kicking a lot of ass, and Bayonetta does just that. After completing the main story you unlock both Jeanne and Rosa for use in the story chapters, each have their differences from Bayonetta, though they play mostly the same. The controls in this game are simply flawless. At first, I was unsure about the behemoth Wii U Gamepad for a such a precise and fast paced action game, but my fears were alleviated. I never found the Wii U Gamepad to hamper the experience, and after playing for hours on end and killing the battery, I would switch to the Wii U Pro Controller, and though it still performed well, I often found myself missing the girth of the Gamepad. I never found myself to be at odds with it, and found to be far more comfortable for extended periods of play compared to the Pro Controller. I don’t own a Wii Classic Controller to comment on how well it performs, nor did I use the touch screen of the Gamepad, except to get the Bewitchment for touching Bayonetta during cutscenes.
The controls are all incredibly responsive and I never felt the game was difficult due to poor controls. Bayonetta always did exactly what I wanted to, when I wanted her to do it. The controls are essentially identical to the first game and honestly didn’t need much adjustment. Gameplay is where Bayonetta 2 really shines. This game from start to finish (and even after) is flat out, plain and simply- FUN. You’re given a nice variety of enemies to fight, both angelic, and demonic all the way up to “God” himself and the self-titled “Queen of Hell”. Most of the weapons are new and varied with only a couple returning from the first game- and each one has their own strengths and weaknesses, they are nicely balanced. None feel useless, and similarly, none feel terribly overpowered. Basic elements like Witch Time and Crafting have returned, though Witch Time has been altered slightly, and isn’t as overpowered as it was previously. One new combat feature, featured only in a few stages, is the Umbran Armor mech, which as it sounds, is a giant mech-like creature powered by magic, and with the right items equipped they can seriously break the game with even basic combos. Through purchasing an item in the shop, you gain the ability to summon one during any chapter of the game. The combos are fun, and it’s interesting to see all of the different ways you can combine powers, moves, weapons, and items to rack up insane damage and SSStylish!!! combos.
Bayonetta 2 is largely a fair game in terms of difficulty- overall it’s easier than the first even on the highest difficulty settings, and using items mid-chapter no longer penalizes you making it easier to achieve better ranks. I had no problems playing each new difficulty mode, and they felt like a fair challenge upgrade, though I must say, the jump from 3rd Climax to Infinite Climax is a much larger gap than from 2nd Climax to 3rd. After running through 3rd Climax fairly simply, I regularly got my ass handed to me on Infinite Climax, but it never felt cheap, it actually encouraged me to get better, and learn more intricate combos and develop new tactics to take out new foes and play the game in a different way than I had before. Finishing the story unlocks 5 “Lost Chapters” which are survival challenges, 1 – 3 being relatively easy and 4 & 5 being near impossible without serious dedication and practice.
All in all, there isn’t too much more I can say about Bayonetta 2. It’s a genuinely fun and addicting game. It’s well made, fair and challenging. I’ve spent nearly 40 hours playing the game, and I still have things left to do. I’m still missing a few Bewitchments, and I’ve never unlocked all the Tarot cards. I know I’ll go back and try to wrap it all up eventually. It’s just that good, and that fun. Not only would I easily place this game in my top 10 of all time, I will preemptively go on record and declare it the best game of the 8th console generation, I honestly don’t see how a video game could surpass it. That might seem insanely hyperbolic, being that we are barely into the new generation, but I feel this game is just that good- and if I play a game better, I will admit to it. So, let’s just leave with the words of the HappyConsoleGamer- BAYONETTA 2 ROCKS!
Final Score – 5 out of 5.
It’s official! The website officially enters our public beta TODAY December 15th, 2014! We expect to launch the finalized site sometime in January, what this “public beta” allows us to do is begin posting exciting new content, while still working on some aspects of the site behind the scenes, small things like- making sure each banner page lines up with the background 100%, adding a stylized logo to each variant will come slowly but surely. I could’ve painstakingly done it right now but I really wanted us to start putting content out before 2015, but it will be done! As well as possibly adding in lesser known consoles, older consoles (currently they only go back to the NES/SMS), and potentially handhelds.
One of the first things of note, is that we now have a registered domain name! http://www.agaminggenesis.com! This is a new and exciting aspect of the launch and definitely adds to the legitimacy of the site as a whole. Potential things for the future include bringing on other writers, and if interest is there- a podcast. For now, the content you can expect before the end of the year will a staff compiled article- “Our Favorite Games of 2014” and my review of the fantastic “Bayonetta 2” for the Nintendo Wii U. Both pieces should be up and on the site within the next couple of weeks, and definitely before the new year.
As we prepare for the full site launch, and for the new year we plan to bring you some great content from all contributors. We hope you enjoy our work, and what we do- and we thank you for joining us on our long journey to becoming an established review site. Whether we become a runaway success or not, what it is truly all about are the experiences and the happiness that come from playing video games.
Happy Holidays, and Happy 2015.
Hey everyone! AJ here and boy has it been a long time since we’ve done anything with this site. To be completely honest, I’ve been working so much with my “new” job over the last year that while I’ve been able to buy tons of new games, I haven’t had the time to play games, and haven’t been able to even entertain the thought of writing about games, or making videos full time again.
But lately, I’ve reinvigorated my love of gaming, and while I still don’t have ample amounts of time, I do want to be more active in talking about my gaming passion. I’ve decided to completely revamp this blog, including a totally new design. The new design and full fledged re-launch will begin in January 2015 including an actual domain (no more of this .wordpress.com business!). Until then, myself, and staff will be putting out articles (blogs, reviews, previews, opinion pieces, etc) during the transition, essentially being a “public beta” to gauge interest from readers and staff members alike.
If all goes well, I could make this a small brand, including a podcast if the interest is there. If anyone is interested in writing, or even freelance contributing- feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include sample works! We are incredibly small time, and might not go anywhere, so its obviously a non paying thing, but I sincerely hope you will at least have a look.
All in all, I hope the full relaunch is 2015 is the start of a great new direction for the site, and gaming in my life. My personal first piece back will be a review of the outstanding Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U, it doesn’t have a set release date yet, but it should be within the next couple of weeks.