Cities and Waterways

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hello, my name is Hiroki Onishi. I was the lead environmental artist for Bayonetta 2.

A large section of Bayonetta 2 takes place in Noatun, a city filled with waterways and rivers. In order to design Noatun, we traveled to Italy and Belgium to see cities that fit this aesthetic up close. The trip ended up being more rewarding than we could’ve imagined.

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Our journey began with a 12-hour flight from Kansai to Brussels. We planned on visiting Bruges and the Cathedral of Our Lady first, but when we arrived, we heard the Royal Palace was currently open to the public, so we rearranged our schedule to make that our first stop.

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The Belgium Palace

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In Game

The Royal Palace was perfect for helping us figure out the some of the game’s grander architecture. A lot of the places we visited prohibited photography, so we were thrilled that the palace allowed cameras as long as the flash was off. It was a great start to the trip. The building we created for Bayonetta 2 ended up being a little more stylized than we originally planned, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I think its impact on the player is stronger than before. Look forward to seeing it in the game.

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Church of Our Lady

Can you see the color reflected on the floor from the stained glass in the picture above? These kinds of antique glass have a high transparency that clearly reflects color onto walls and floors when hit with sunlight. This photo was taken in the Church of Our Lady in Bruges. If the sunlight is too strong, only white will be reflected, but if it’s too weak, the colors will blur and be indiscernible. If you don’t have the correct amount of light, the phenomenon won’t occur. We saw several cathedrals on our trip, but this was the only time we were able to catch light reflecting on the floor. I saw this and thought… I really want to recreate how beautiful this is in a game. It ended up being everyone at Platinum’s favorite location inside the cathedral in Bayonetta 2. It’s nice to be able to just turn on a game and see it any time I like.

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In Game

After we were done in Belgium, we moved on to Italy. Our time in Italy provided two breakthroughs to Bayonetta 2’s environments.

The first were these stone walkways. The picture below was taken in Florence–notice how thick the stones are and how the road curves upwards in the middle so rain will naturally flow down to the waterways on the side. On narrow roads with no waterways, the path slopes inward, so the water will collect in the middle.

We designed several paths like this for Bayonetta 2. In an action game, it’s more beneficial to the player in battle to have the camera looking downward, so the ground will usually take up a significant portion of the screen. Therefore, we put a lot of emphasis on making these textures look realistic. I think if Bayonetta really did fight here, she’d probably get her heel stuck between two rocks in the road.

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Florence

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In Game

Our other major takeaway was the tiled roofs. Most of the roofs in Italy are made with orange bricks that turn white or black when aged. Only bricks that have been newly thatched are orange. Houses that didn’t regularly repair their roofs would have nothing but white bricks. However, if you look from the distance, the city’s buildings look like they are covered in a uniform layer of orange. Our hotel in Venice had bricks low enough that you could stick your hand out of the window and reach up and touch them. They must have been considerably aged, but they felt sturdy and held in place surprisingly well. In Japan, there are places that try to imitate European style by selling pre-aged, multi-colored bricks, but after going to Italy, it terrifies me that Japanese people probably don’t understand how different the real thing is.

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Florence

The cities in Italy were full of flowers—the terraces on buildings would usually be decorated with colorful flower arrangements. I assumed this was done for tourism, but when I asked someone, they told me everyone grows them because it’s easy. They’re mostly geraniums that need to be watered or looked after very little. It’s true, we were in the city taking photos from early in the morning until late at night, but I never saw anyone watering anything. When I came back to Japan I bought some geraniums myself to see if they really were that easy to take care of. They were all right when it was still warm out, but every last one died in winter. Maybe Japan isn’t the most welcoming climate for them.

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Santa Margherita Ligure

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Venice

I saw something interesting when I was in Venice. Can you see the picture below, and how the knobs are close to the middle of the door? When I asked why, I was told it was because older locks were made separately from handles, and it was hard to fit both in the same place. The picture below wasn’t the exception; a lot of doors in Venice looked like this. They seemed like they’d be tricky to open.

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Venice

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Venice

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In Game

I think the most challenging thing we faced after our trip was conveying how important water was to the everyday lives of the city’s inhabitants. In Venice, there were no roads for cars to run on, because there were no cars—everything was handled by boats. There were no gates in the rivers to make sure travel was simple. Even refrigerators and laundry machines were carried to houses on small boats before being loaded up on push carts. We had to carry all our equipment on a boat to our hotel, and then drag everything along bumpy stone paths. It was a new experience for all of us, and it gave us some slight culture shock. Yet I think it was things like these that gave Venice a unique artistic quality that was interesting to express in the game. If anyone from Venice were to play the game and actually relate with our depiction of the citizen’s daily lives, I’d be honored.

Going abroad provides new experiences, information, and teaches you to view things in a broader, different way than before. Even outside of work, I still make an effort to travel abroad every year. If anything, just because I learn so much from it. I actually still haven’t traveled anywhere in Asia outside of Japan, but I hope I’ll eventually have the chance to. Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

 

 

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At E3

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hi everyone. My name is Akiko Kuroda, and I’m the producer for Bayonetta 2 and the Wii U port of Bayonetta. This is actually my first job as a full-fledged producer, so being given two titles was quite a sudden crescendo to climax action. I’m doing my best to make sure both games are as amazing as they can be.

As far as technical talk goes, I’ll leave that to the other staff. For my entry, I’d like to discuss my trip to the industry’s biggest gaming expo, E3. Similar to last year, we brought a playable demo of Bayonetta 2. This year we were able to announce the Wii U port of Bayonetta, and that it will be sold packaged with Bayonetta 2, which met with a very positive reaction (Thank you to everyone who showed their enthusiasm. Wait just a little longer guys!).

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Here’s a pic of one of our stations in Nintendo’s area. The wicked witch was very popular!

Hashimoto and I had a very important reason for attending this year’s E3. We were there to promote. Media journalists from around the world gather at E3, and it’s our job to make sure they leave with a story that makes gamers happy. Luckily for us, a lot of the media wanted to hear us talk about Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2. I’m sure a lot of their articles have already gone up by now. Have you had the chance to read any of them?

We were asked all sorts of questions. A favorite question of mine was, “Most games fall back on a hero rescuing some helpless female character. What were your reasons to have Bayonetta feature a strong female protagonist?” This was more a question directed toward the Bayonetta series rather than just Bayonetta 2. There were people who doubted the choice of a female protagonist ever since we first revealed the original game’s development. Our internal team, on the other hand, didn’t mind. We just thought it would be interesting to have the main character be a witch. From there, we expanded on the concept: instead of thinking about how a female protagonist would limit us, we thought about what we could do because Bayonetta was female. Of course, a likeable character is an important thing, but to us, getting the controls right is always top priority. I’m sure there might be fans out there that have some reluctance towards playing as a female, but we’re confident that we’ve made Bayonetta look and feel as great as any PlatinumGames character should.

We also had some questions about the Touch Controls we implemented for the Wii U GamePad. We were able to show the controls in action at E3 and how easy it can be to perform huge combos with some simple Touch Controls. The Touch Controls really give the game a unique new feel and it only takes a simple tap to switch over. We’re sure there are some hardcore action fans who think they don’t need them, but we recommend you try it out at least once. You might be surprised.

Of course we got questions about the possibility of Bayonetta 3. You guys are so impatient. Bayonetta 2 isn’t even out yet! But yeah, we’d love to make 3 if we could…

In addition to the regular media runaround, this time Nintendo also held a special streaming event called Nintendo Treehouse Live*, and we got to take part.

*One by one, developers introduce their titles on a live broadcast across the web.

Nintendo’s goal for the event was to present titles with a more real, at-home approach instead of just deliver something scripted. There was some prep before we went on, but most of the talk was Hashimoto doing ad-lib.

To refresh your memory, Hashimoto, director of Bayonetta 2, was the producer of the first game. Back during its development, he traveled around the world doing countless press interviews, so he’s a pretty seasoned media veteran. He can improvise and go along with each situation without ever missing a beat. That means I was left to mostly sit quietly and play the game. Still, I had to be able to show off anything he would mention at the drop of a hat, so it required some level of skill… okay? (I actually hurt my right hand before the event from practicing too much… lol)

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Believe it or not, you don’t really get the chance to convey what you want about the game, or show it to your fans in such a direct way so often, so it felt great to be able to take part in Treehouse Live, and I hope to be able to do more events like it in the future. Also, as a game fan myself, it was pretty cool to see Miyamoto-san and Tezuka-san (Yoshi’s Woolly World) up so close! I heard 60,000 people tuned in to hear about Bayonetta 2. Normal numbers for attendees at a conference stop around the 100s, so it’s hard for me to even imagine that large of a crowd.

If you haven’t seen our Treehouse Live presentation yet, you can check out a digest of it here:

You’ll get to see what we included in our E3 Bayonetta 2 demo, as well as other info we only made public there!

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I was able to score a shot of Miyamoto-san playing some Wii U. I’m just now realizing we were in the same seat with the same controller!!

Most of my work at E3 was media interviews and Nintendo’s event, but if I get the chance later, hopefully I can share even more. We’ve only got three more months until Bayonetta 2’s release as well, so keep checking here as we reveal more new information.

I spent a lot of time at the Nintendo booth during E3, but that meant being able to meet Miyamoto-san, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.’s developers, MonolithSoft’s Xenoblade Chronicles X team, and talk about a lot more I can’t elaborate on! I also got to meet Aonuma-san, the current producer of the Zelda series, and thank him for letting us borrow Link’s costume. His reply was, “Anytime you have any other interesting ideas, let me know!” I’m holding you to those words, Aonuma-san…

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Here’s a pic of me and Tezuka-san. Yoshi’s Woolly World definitely takes the cake for cutest game at E3 2014.

P.S. I’ve been making some character-themed bentos on my twitter (@pg_kuroda). Have you been checking them out? I made a special bento for this blog: the Masked Lumen from Bayonetta 2.

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Who is this guy? Well, you’ll just have to wait and find out.

I’d say follow me for more Bayonetta 2 info, but my twitter’s mostly in Japanese, of course. Follow me anyway!

Thanks for reading my blog! See you again!

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Figuring Out Damage Motion

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hello everybody! I’m the lead motion designer for Bayonetta 2, my name is Takaaki Yamaguchi. I’ve been making motion in action games for over ten years now. That fact is starting to make me feel old.

Anyway, let’s talk about what a motion designer does. We discussed this back in our old Bayonetta blogs as well, but basically, we give movement to anything in the game that requires motion. We end up playing an important role in several areas of the game—making sure all the characters don’t look like they’re stumbling around, getting the main character’s controls to feel right, making enemy movement easy to understand, and so on.

Working on a sequel, it was our job to carry over the feel of the motion from the original Bayonetta, and make it even better. For this blog, I’d like to talk specifically about damage motion for enemies. You know, that motion you see when you land a huge deathblow on an enemy and they get knocked back and explode or whatever. You might have never thought that deeply about it, but for an action game, getting the right reaction out of the enemy after you’ve pulled off a killer combo is absolutely critical. Do a slack job and the thrill of battle will turn into a total letdown. Enemy damage motion is something I’ve always regarded as highly important in the games I’ve worked on. I always am asking myself if there’s not something new I can try to create more satisfying combat than before.

My challenge to myself for Bayonetta 2 was to create the right enemy motion for each attack. We had plenty of enemy reactions that would change depending on what attack Bayonetta performed, but I wanted to take this further for Bayonetta 2. It’ll probably be easier to understand if you just see it, so take a look at the videos below.

This is Bayonetta:

This is Bayonetta 2:

What’d you think? It’s easy to focus on Bayonetta, but if you watch the enemy in both videos, you’ll notice it plays the same motion for each attack in the first video, while in the second, the enemy’s reaction changes based on the kind of attack being performed.

This is just one example from the game, but each little detail like this I think really added up to make a great feeling game overall. Doing a little research, I realized that the enemies in Bayonetta 2 have an average of 3.5x the number of reactions as those in the original.

Well, I could keep writing and posting videos about how this game feels, but obviously there won’t be any way for you to know until you’ve actually put the controller in your hands and are playing the game yourself. If I’ve driven anyone’s curiosity, please try playing the game after its release.

Until next time!

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The Bayonetta 2 Developer’s Blog Begins!

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2, Games

Hi, this is Bayonetta 2’s director, Yusuke Hashimoto. How are you?

E3 2014 is finally here, and as attendees are trying out our new playable Bayonetta 2 demo, we have even more exciting information to share with you today.

First, take a look at our newest trailer!

 

 

Adding to the bow and arrow we saw in our previous trailer, this newest trailer reveals a set of flamethrowers and one absolutely huge hammer. What did you think?

We also see more of the mysterious boy in this trailer—he seems to know something about the Gates of Hell? Then we take a peek into Inferno itself, see some enemies that definitely aren’t angels, and hear some concerning words from Rodin. Will Bayonetta be able to save the soul of her best friend Jeanne from the grips of Inferno?

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We’ve also learned more info on the game’s release date—Bayonetta 2 will be heading to the US in October 2014!

Every copy of Bayonetta 2 will come with a special Wii U version of the original Bayonetta! See how amazing Climax Action can feel playing with touch controls on the Wii U GamePad! This exclusive Wii U version will also contain a special set of costumes hand-picked by the original game’s director, Hideki Kamiya himself! From hardcore action fan to complete novice gamer, this Bayonetta is guaranteed to be a thrill ride.

All right, let’s bring the discussion back to Bayonetta 2.

Now that the official teaser site is up (http://bayonetta2.nintendo.com/), expect to be getting regular updates of exciting info right up until the game’s release. Be sure to bookmark it! We’ll be posting developer blogs with making of videos and other behind the scenes info you can’t find anywhere else right here, so don’t forget to keep checking us out as well!

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Next blog:

We’ll hear from the director of the original Bayonetta’s Wii U port, Isao Negishi. See what he has to say about how we’ve powered up the Wii U version, the thought process that went into Kamiya’s new costume selection, and a whole lot more. Stay tuned!

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Hanami!

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

BayoPose
Last week PlatinumGames held its annual company-wide hanami party. Although the name literally means “flower-viewing,” in reality hanami events are really an excuse to spend time together in the warm spring air, eat delicious food, and enjoy adult beverages. We accomplished all these things last Friday!

Overview

Timing the date for hanami is notoriously difficult. A single week can decide whether you get a view of beautiful pink petals, or bare branches. Although we missed full bloom by a couple days, thankfully the trees in Osaka Castle Park were still a sight to behold.

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The high-rises of downtown Osaka are juxtaposed with the castle. Going to work every day in the futuristic Umeda Sky Building, it is easy to forget we are so close to this historical landmark.

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Hanami gives everyone a chance to mingle with people from around the company, free from the constraints of their office seating plan. Here are Hideki Kamiya, Kenji Saito, and Yusuke Hashimoto; the three directors share a lively chat with their colleagues.

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It is considered poor manners in Japan to make others pour their own drinks. Everyone makes sure their colleagues’ cups stay full and, if they’re lucky, will get the same treatment in return.

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As expected, President Minami sits surrounded by the rest of the company. Employees take turns kissing his ring and pledging their allegiance for another year. (Just kidding, but everyone is expected to say hi and share a drink or two.)

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It is the job of first and second year employees to set up the party before the senior employees arrive.

Before

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After

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After the hanami, employees drop all flower viewing pretenses, and head to bars to keep the party going. Recharged, we are back in the office on Monday to keep doing what we love: making games!

BayoPose

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Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, Community, PlatinumGames

As you may be aware, the Blu-Ray & DVD of the Bayonetta: Bloody Fate anime were recently released in Japan, so we think it’s about  time we gave you a bit more info on the movie, which was released in Japanese theaters last year.

Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is a movie adaptation of the first game in the series, created by anime studio Gonzo (http://www.gonzo.co.jp/index.html, Japanese only), known for popular works such as Hellsing, and Rosario + Vampire, as well as for contributing animated cutscenes to various video games such as Super Street Fighter IV, the Lunar series, and the Blazblue series. That’s an impressive résumé!

It also features an all-star cast of voice actors:
Atsuko Tanaka as Bayonetta
Mie Sonozaki as Jeanne
Daisuke Namikawa as Luka
Miyuki Sawashiro as Cereza
Tesshô Genda as Rodin
Wataru Takagi as Enzo
and the inimitable Norio Wakamoto as Balder

We won’t spoil the plot for you (although you’re probably already familiar with most of it), but we do have some other nice background information to share.

Last year, shortly after the movie was released in theaters, a special talk show took place in Osaka, organized by the “Bayonetta: Bloody Fate” staff: Mr. Fuminori Kizaki (director), Mr. Mitsutaka Hirota (script), and Mr. Yuji Naito. Our very own Yusuke Hashimoto (producer on Bayonetta/director on Bayonetta 2, and helped created the draft for the movie) attended as well!

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From left to right: Mr. Hirota, Mr. Hashimoto, Mr. Kizaki (the director), and Mr. Naito

The talk show touched on some of the trouble experienced during the development of the scenario: apparently Mr. Hirota had cried out “Maybe I could do the whole thing as a 3-parter, but you want me to do it all in 86 minutes!?” before exploding in a rain of haloes.

However, it wasn’t all bad: the show also covered some behind-the-scenes topics of the Tokyo International Film Festival in October last year, where the movie was first shown to the public, as well as some anecdotes on Bayonetta’s bathing scene (!), which was decided on “instantly and unanimously” at the first meeting between the movie staff and the staff of the original game.

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After that, it was time for some questions from the audience.

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Of course the crowd was dying to know more about the shocking climax scene, but there was also a healthy amount of interest in the cast of high-profile voice actors, and the BGM used for the movie. Everyone got to ask about their favorite scenes as well, so question time just flew by, and before you could say “Phantasmaraneae,” it was already time for the giveaway!

Character designer Ms. Yokoyama and character planner/supervisor Ms. Shimazaki kindly provided a couple of beautiful signed illustrations, and there was even a surprise present in the form of a framed illustration signed by our very own producer Yusuke Hashimoto and director Hideki Kamiya!

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Excitement filled the air!

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The illustration donated by Mari Shimazaki.

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The illustration donated by Ai Yokoyama.

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And the framed picture signed by Hashimoto and Kamiya

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We’re sure it found a great home somewhere.

For more information (in Japanese) and loads of downloadable goodies, please check the site below:

[Bayonetta: Bloody Fate] Official HP:

http://www.bayonetta-movie.com/

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Bayonetta 2 coming to Wii U in 2014!

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Hi, this is the director for Bayonetta 2, Yusuke Hashimoto. Hope everyone has been well.

Did you enjoy seeing Bayonetta in the latest Nintendo Direct? You can check out the newest trailer here:

As we’re using this post to touch base with our fans, why don’t we take a little time discussing what the “2” in our new Bayonetta means. It’s a sequel: we’ve taken the characters, story, and gameplay of the original and built upon them.

In addition to the original’s gameplay system—dodging at the last minute to perform Witch Time, saving up your Magic Gauge to use Torture Attacks—Bayonetta 2 includes a new feature called Umbran Climax. Now saving your Magic Gauge also gives you the option to unleash a combo made of successive Wicked Weave and Infernal Demon summons. This wide-ranged attack can effectively give you free rein over the battlefield.

We’ve escalated the Climax Action in other ways as well, take a look these, starting with the E3 2013 trailer:

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In our playable demo at E3 last year, you got to experience fighting on a jet and taking care of a rampaging Gomorrah. Now we have our new footage of Bayonetta caught in an epic battle of summons with a masked sage. This time the action is going to take you to all different places, be it land or sky. There will be exciting new situations of all types.

Eventually I’d like to talk about the new looks we’ve given the characters, and about the story as well. Stay put until then.

We’re starting to reach the climax stage of development here at Platinum as well. I’m excited to see what you’ll think. See you again!

2/14/2014

Yusuke Hashimoto (Director)

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Bayonetta Developer Commentary Part 69: The End

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta Commentary, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

This is it, folks! It’s the end of the line! The final part of the Bayonetta Developer Commentary!
In this episode we… well, we mostly say goodbye actually. It’s been a long run and we had fun doing it, so we hope you enjoyed watching it as well!

But don’t be afraid, this is only the end of the Bayonetta Developer Commentaries. The world keeps turning!
More content is brewing, so keep an eye on this space! We will be back before long…

Thanks for tuning in, everyone!

Also, be sure to watch the “Developer Commentary” tag for previous episodes. You can get the videos delivered via iTunes or RSS as well.

Follow us for all the latest updates!

You can also send feedback about the videos to the production crew:

This episode was translated by Abebe Tinari. Give him a round of applause, everyone!

If you’re feeling in a talkative mood, why not join our Community and share your feelings on our Forums!?

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Bayonetta Developer Commentary Part 68

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta Commentary, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Here it is! Part 9 of the Bayonetta Developer Commentary Finale! THE END IS ALMOST UPON US.
Today’s episode mostly deals with Bayonetta spin-off products (sorry, that hug pillow is probably not gonna happen), so if you simply cannot have enough of our angel-slaying witch (and let’s be frank: you can’t), be sure to check out the video below!

Enjoy!

If you want to know more about the upcoming Bayonetta anime movie, clickety-click here (Japanese only).

Also, be sure to watch the “Developer Commentary” tag for previous episodes. You can get the videos delivered via iTunes or RSS as well.

Follow us for all the latest updates!

You can also send feedback about the videos to the production crew:

This episode was translated by Abebe Tinari, who does not like it when I make fun of his name.

If you’re feeling in a talkative mood, why not join our Community and share your feelings on our Forums!?

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Bayonetta Developer Commentary Part 67

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta Commentary, Community, Games, PGTV, PlatinumGames

Welcome to part 8 of the Bayonetta Developer Commentary Finale! We’ve almost reached the end!
Today’s episode is very character-focused, so if you want to know more about the colorful cast in Bayonetta, make sure to give this a look!

Enjoy!



Also, be sure to watch the “Developer Commentary” tag for previous episodes. You can get the videos delivered via iTunes or RSS as well.

Follow us for all the latest updates!

You can also send feedback about the videos to the production crew:

This episode was translated by Abebe Tinari, which is actually a real name. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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