Bayonetta 2 preview: First play of Wii U exclusive

Bayonetta 2 is one of those fast-paced arcade games that's borderline bonkers. The now Nintendo-only sequel to the original arcade smasher is set for launch on Wii U in 2014. Good job, as Ninty needs some of those grittier titles to grace its flagging console. Pocket-lint played through a portion of the game at this year's E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles, California, and found ourselves rather wrapped up in all the madness.

Like we say, madness is the word. Bayonetta 2 has a slathering of Japanese kink throughout its design - the long-legged heroine clad in leather leggings as a prime but not exclusive example - but plays like an on-rails arcade classic. It's the kind of game you'd almost expect to see in a slot-machine arcade where crowds gather round to get a look in at the huge monsters and fast-paced action.

Bayonetta 2 feels a little bit like Nintendo's counter to Sony's exclusive God Of War. The path-plotted levels in Nintendo's title have a rigidity that's not so common in many of the latest free-roaming games - but it's this very arcade style which gives the game its own angle and will appeal to plenty of gamers looking for a blast of quality.

 

And a blast it is. From guns in high heels to giant - really giant - other-worldly monsters and special move attacks which occur from purple portals into other dimensions (so it seems), Bayonetta 2 needs to be seen to be fully understood. Even then we're not sure it makes sense as there's so much going on at any one moment that it's often tricky to quite figure out what the heck is happening on screen.

But a little bit of play and you'll soon have things pared down. Kick, punch, shoot, dodge and combos of each - including super-charged attacks - combine for a title that requires fast reactions and avid button-bashing. The layout on the Wii U Gamepad felt natural and the centre screen can also be turned on or off for swipe-based control.

Hand-to-hand combat on the back of a fighter jet speeding though a skyscraper-laden city; a giant dragon-like beast of Godzilla proportions; curious masked warriors with superhero superpowers: this is a Japanese arcade title at its maddest.

Some will love it, some will hate its rigidity, but Bayonetta 2 ups the ante compared to the earlier Wii title in its new high-res guise. And while high definition doesn't quite meet highbrow, if it's a maniacal button-bashing session that you're after then there's plenty of fun to be had with Bayonetta 2. But you'll need to hang in there - the title won't be available on Wii U until 2014.