Bayonetta 2 has remained one of Wii U's most anticipated titles since it was announced as a format exclusive (and the team behind it are
emphasising that heavily), and in 2014 we finally get to see Platinum Games bring the stylish action adventure to Nintendo's console... and watch a thousand GamePads disintegrate.
Bayonetta 2's built much the same as the 2007 original, as a witch with weapons takes on hordes of angels by way of a third-person adventure with an in-built precision-based combat system the combo branches of which could cover a billboard. Twice.
Say what you will about Bayonetta's dress sense (at least now she looks a little less like Sarah Palin), but her multi-stranded combo moves and the tightness of that fighting system are currently the best in the business. The leather and tongue-in-cheek smuttiness are just window dressing. The game's core is all about maximising your scores for better rankings through perfectly-executed and sustained combos.
The addition of new weapon sets (two of which you can equip at once, and flip between them with a touch of a button) means there's new techniques to put even those who've exhausted combo chains and fingers in the first game through their paces.
We were concerned for the Wii U controller's casing holding out under such a barrage, but after playing a short demo earlier this year, we think Nintendo's got a robust enough joypad to take on the several hours and multiple missions that'll make up the game.
The story's relatively unknown at this juncture, but in truth it's the least important part of the package. We'd be hard pressed to tell you the full arc of the first game, but could happily bang on about gigantic bosses, multiple enemy types, fantastic creature design and the oddest jazz-fusion soundtrack for an age instead.
Bayonetta 2 looks to be as unrelenting in its pace of enemy encounters, as if it's almost expecting you to have just come off the credits of the first. Proof comes in the opening sequence, which has you battling angels while on top of a fighter jet that's flying through a city, tackling a behemoth as it runs alongside the train you find yourself on top of, and finishing with a skyscraper fight as you run up its length and eventually topple the beast that's wrapped itself around the building's spire. And that's just the first fifteen minutes.
In that regard, Bayonetta 2 has much similar with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the Mercury Steam sequel that comes bundled with rock-hard battles and a solid combat system from the off. You'll be sweating more from your finger dexterity workout than you would with any fitness game you can care to name.
There's another reason to look forward to the game, and that's down to the team behind it. Platnium Games formed in 2008 from the ashes of Capcom's Clover Studio, forming an independent studio which included those names responsible for heavy-hitters like Devil May Cry, Okami and Viewtiful Joe.
We were there when the newly-named firm announced their multi-game partnership with Sega in 2008, and there was conviction and belief in what they were doing - crafting the type of games that fans had celebrated for years, and steadfastly opposing the descent into mediocrity the industry seemed to be sliding towards - from both them and those watching.
Bayonetta 2 continues that belief of no compromise to creative vision, as it, as with the team's past titles, is seemingly born out of the creators' passions rather than built to fit publisher demand or current market trend. Something Bayonetta's series creator, Hideki Kamiya was complimentary of when we interviewed him about his latest release, Wonderful 101 at Gamescom.
"To be honest I am also looking forward to the future. It's not like I have an unlimited stock of ideas in my brains, so it's really a matter of giving it my all in the game that I'm working on and once that's finished think up more ideas and give it my all again. And it's this kind of process that leads to the creation of our games. Now that the 101 is finished I'm sure that I will start thinking about new challenges and new ideas. And I hope that the game Gods come down to me and give me some sort of inspiration and hopefully I can develop some sort of new idea and something that would be enjoyed by everyone.
"And last but not least I would like to say that I'm very thankful to Platinum Games," he continued. "They are a company that really focuses on the creativity on the development team and they really give that flexibility and freedom to experiment and try new ideas. So, thank you to Platinum Games."
Whatever comes next for him and the studio, at least Wii U will have another quality title in 2014 and we'll once again be able to perform eye-catching combos in a world like no other.