UI Design in Bayonetta 2

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hello, my name is Hisayoshi Kijima. I was in charge of UI in Bayonetta 2.

The UI (User Interface) division is tasked with making the overhead peripheral elements of the game that make gameplay easier for the user to understand. In layman’s terms, we design the vitality gauge, the lock-on cursor, the in-game menus, and so on.

Our general UI workflow for Bayonetta 2 was to have the lead UI artist, Mai Ohkura, determine artistic direction, and for me to execute on that vision and think about how to implement it into the game.

Ohkura was in charge of UI design in the first Bayonetta, and worked as a concept artist in Bayonetta 2, UI concepts included. My job was to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the first game’s UI elements and work with Ohkura and the programmers to improve UI format and structure. Ultimately our goal was to keep the Bayonetta aesthetic that was established in the first game and give it a “brush up.” To the director, this meant adding more realism to the design. Mostly, this means updating the textures of your material assets, but I found it was also important to give a reason to the UI design choices you make that feels natural.

For example, in the first Bayonetta, if you take damage, your vitality gauge turns red. It’s simply systematic cause and effect. This time, in Bayonetta 2, we created a flash of red light that hits the gauge and makes it reflect red when damage is taken.

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The gauge from the first game (Xbox 360)

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The gauge from Bayonetta 2 (now that we have a scientific reason for why the gauge is turning red, the colors have a more natural feel)

By justifying the UI this way, we felt we were able to add more realism to an inherently magical world like Bayonetta’s. Though the red light itself may come from an unnatural source such as magic, the act of the light hitting the gauge is a natural phenomenon. We used this method of thought to guide other UI design decisions in the game as well.

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The shop screen from the previous game

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Shop screen from Bayonetta 2 (layout/animation redesigned to place more emphasis on item images, making the items look like real objects vs. thumbnails)

In the previous Bayonetta, UI would use a lens flare animation effect in certain situations, and each of these situations was designed separately. In Bayonetta 2, we made every instance of lens flare to be horizontal anamorphic, so it would look like it was all taken with the same lens. We did this everywhere except in special cases we intentionally wanted to be different, such as healing animations, etc.

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Horizontal anamorphic lens flare. This appears on the vitality gauge, the combo meter, confirming something within a menu, and so on.

Another goal of the UI team was to incorporate a look into the design unique to Bayonetta 2’s aesthetic. In the previous Bayonetta, the UI design included a lot of curvature, which was influenced by the heavy presence of Paradiso in the game. In Bayonetta 2, we made the lines more rigid and gave the overall palette a colder feel (the Result Screen below is an easy to understand example).

If the previous game’s UI design was based off of Paradiso, what influenced the UI design in this game? You’ll just have to play Bayonetta 2 and try to figure it out yourself :)

I also felt it was my duty to clean up some of the harder to understand UI from the original. One example of this is the Result Screen. I changed the size and layout of the result screen for Bayonetta 2 and split the info up across two screens, which I think made things a little easier to comprehend. I also decided to put an image of a halo next to all halo-related numbers (currency in Bayonetta 2) so points and money were easier to differentiate.

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The Chapter Result Screen from the original Bayonetta

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The newly revised Chapter Result Screen in Bayonetta 2 (the first page is for award related items, the second page is for non-related items)

To improve on the feel of controls, I employed the easing technique common in recent web design: a quick start with a gradual finish. Applying this technique to UI animation gave the game’s controls a better feel. I think it helped give more realism to the game as well. To get academic for a second, easing is based on the law of uniform motion, which is like how a car starts and stops. A car takes time to build up to a certain speed, then gradually slows down to a stop. Having UI animation work off this concept gave controls a more natural and thereby ultimately better feel.

One of the more difficult UI issues was figuring out how the cursor within the game’s submenus should behave. There were two camps as to what we should do, and finding the right balance took a lot of trial and error. My priorities were developing something intuitive that has a good feel, and is easy to get right off the bat. Other members of the team thought it was more important to create motion similar to what players are accustomed to. Eventually, we were able to take the greatest common factors of both sides and create a feel that I think everyone on the team was happy with.

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A submenu (the cursor moves along the magic circle, swinging from item to item)

Finally, as this game is a Wii U title, it includes touch controls. When designing menus for button and touch controls, it takes a lot of work to find a good balance between functionality and attractive visuals. If you get too carried away, you can tweak endlessly without ever finishing. In the end, we decided to make sure that button controls had the right feel, and then moved on to touch controls, making sure nothing felt off. A lot of small adjustments were necessary for making the design and input of touch controls as uniform throughout the game as possible, but by the time we were finished, I think we were able to create controls that players will enjoy trying out. It’s not all about aligning cursors and then inputting commands like it is with regular buttons, you just give a quick tap and you’re done, so sometimes it ends up being pretty convenient. Even for the more orthodox gamers, I suggest you give it a try!

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The submenu using touch controls (one tap will replace the bottom right button explanations with the “back” button at the bottom left)

That’s all for my blog. I hope I was able to get across how things have leveled up since the original. Please enjoy Bayonetta 2, UI design included!

 

 

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Enemy Design in Bayonetta 2 (Pt. 1)

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hey everyone. My name’s Yusuke Hashimoto, the director of this game. Recently, I keep hoping someone will make a Bayonetta Amiibo for me.

I’d like to talk about enemy design, which is something I handled since the original Bayonetta.

Deciding on enemy designs in Bayonetta 2 was… not an easy process.

Why? Well—

-I have to design and be the director at the same time.
-I used too many good ideas in the first game.
-Now I have to come up with angel AND demon enemies.

I’ve got enough work as it is, so I’m baffled as to why I volunteered to be a designer. You get some crazy courage the first game you direct.

Anyway, let’s introduce a few of the enemies in this game. We’ll start with a few ideas I had for the original but didn’t have room to fit in.

Valiance

kubinashi

 

We call this guy Headless for short. I wanted him to have a powerful, solemn, sacred look to him, but also kinda be an idiot. The sword with the face on it is his actual body; the rest is just controlled by the sword. When I designed him I thought maybe the body holding the sword could be destroyed and replaced indefinitely, as long as the sword remained intact.

Next, we have the Magic Angel, who uses his staff to cast spells.

Enrapture

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I designed this character thinking it might be interesting to have someone who could change things up in battle by raising his allies’ attack power and healing other angels. With those two done, I’d hit the bottom of the idea bank I had from the first game.

To be honest, I feel like I put every creative idea I had in the first game. So, if the original’s enemies were good, why not just bring them back in the sequel and change them up some? Later I realized just how boneheaded of an idea that was. The more we developed the game, the more it became clear that a newly designed Bayonetta fighting not newly designed enemies was boring. As the director of the game, I wanted Bayonetta to fight something different. I had some trouble coming up with ideas until I realized—I should step away from using just the human frame as a base. That’s when I finally hit on something—our Centaur Angel.

Acceptance

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As you can tell from the picture, his concept is part human, part horse. He’s one of the more common enemies in the game.

In Bayonetta 2, dodging the enemy’s attack to activate Witch Time and then attacking relentlessly is central to gameplay. In order to accomplish this, it’s important to give enemies an outline and attacks that will be easy for the player to see (I assume this should go for more than just action games like Bayonetta, as well). So, for this game, we left the easiest “tells” that come with a human based design, but took some liberties with the new horse form, like putting his face on his stomach. We guessed Bayonetta’s attacks would likely land there, and it’d be fun to see what kind of reactions he’d make. I also tried to design his armor and accessories to give him a bit more of a “leveled up” appearance than the most common enemy in the original, Affinity (this is Bayonetta 2, after all).

I usually don’t keep my rough sketches, so I can’t really show you the process of how I went from human to horse, but I can say he’s probably the character I spent the most time designing. A lot of the other team members think he looks pretty big to be a common weak enemy, but I’m pretty happy with how he came out.

After finishing this enemy, the door was opened to completely revamp some angel enemy design. The next angel I worked on was this heavy armor guy.

Urbane

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I wanted this enemy to convey two things to the player through his design: he’s a power type, and has some kind of elemental attribute. So, I bulked the frame up on the top and gave him iron balls for both of his hands. In the game, he has a fire version and an ice version.

Next, let’s introduce Belief. This enemy’s been around since the premiere trailer.

Belief

muchi

 

His concept was to make him asymmetrical so it would be easier to understand how he attacks. After I started designing Belief, I realized the first Bayonetta doesn’t really have any asymmetrical enemies, so it was relatively easy to draw him and think up attacks.

Here’s a new angel that kind of takes the place of the manta angel, the underwater enemy from the first game.

Fidelity

sakana

 

Bayonetta 2’s initial location is Noatun, a coastal city full of rivers and lakes, so I wanted to create an enemy that could behave and move differently in and out of water.

Last, we have one of the bosses of the game, the Dragon Angel!

Glamor

ryu

 

Since we have a dragon angel in the first game (Fortitudo), my biggest concern for this character was to have him look and behave differently.

Well, I thought I might get into some demon designs here too, but I’ve talked long enough already, so let’s save that for next time. See you again!

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Lighting in Bayonetta 2

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hi! I’m the lead background artist for Bayonetta 2, Shohei Kameoka. This is my first time writing for a dev blog, so I’m a little nervous. Bear with me. Okay, let’s get started.

One of my duties for Bayonetta 2 was to take care of all the lighting, water, air, and other indefinite objects in the world environments. Out of all those I spent the most time on lighting, so I thought I’d share a little on what kind of work I did.

In Bayonetta 2, many of the environments have a water theme, so I really wanted to make water in the game look beautiful. I tried to come up with some key concepts for water and worked off of the following: transparent, shining, clean, cool, something you would want to feel, something you would want to dive into. Then I thought about how I could use those words to choose the right lighting for water.

Transparent, clean, and shining all convey something clear, with a strong light shining on it. Cool, something you would want to feel, something you would want to dive into… to me, these all seem related to temperature. So, combining those two ideas, you’d probably picture a bright, sunny environment. I used that image as my guide.

Well, words can only say so much, so let’s explain with some pictures.

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1) This is a stage with no lighting. There are no shadows and everything feels 2-dimensional.

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2) Here’s just the lighting of the stage. You imagine the shape and depth of the shadows, and the structure of the buildings, and give it light. You can, of course, walk around and check the map out, so you get to see if you missed a spot.

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3) This is the first image blended with the second. At this point, we’re almost finished.

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4) Finally, we add the finishing touches. We adjust some colors, and give it some glare to strengthen the light’s presence.

I think I was able to give a sunny feel to this place, wouldn’t you say? The light reflects off the water and gives it a nice shimmer. As the sun is shining strong, the water also appears very transparent. It’s summer in Japan now… and all of a sudden I want to go for a swim.

Okay, well that’s my talk on lighting! Bayonetta 2 contains a lot of environments that contrast with this one, so see and try to think about how we used lighting in other places as you play! Thanks, see you again!

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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!).

kuroda_1

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)

kuroda_2

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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Wii U Bayonetta!

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2

Hi, this is Isao Negishi, director of the Bayonetta Wii U port that comes specially packaged with Bayonetta 2!

Those who saw our Wii U Bayonetta announcement at E3 can agree we didn’t just make a simple port of the first game. This special Wii U edition gives you all the thrills of the original, plus a ton of exciting, new features.

We’ve prepared a video of how Bayonetta plays on the Wii U, so take a peek:

What did you think? Bayonetta’s world looks as stunning as ever.

Let’s discuss some of the added content that was causing a stir at this year’s E3: Bayonetta’s new costumes!

collabo_costume

One of the things that made the original Bayonetta so fun was the ability to choose from a ton of costumes—queen, schoolgirl, you name it—and this time, there’ll be even more. These new costumes are inspired by classic Nintendo heroes and heroines, all carefully checked by the game’s original director, Hideki Kamiya. Let’s just say Kamiya was very particular about how each costume should look before passing approval.

Of course, these costumes are more than just a fun change in appearance. We’ve prepared special abilities to go with each one!

BayoWU_SS_140603_005140617_1ピーチ新規追加並びは最後

Put on your Peach costume and you’ll be able to summon the flagship villain of the Mario series, Bowser!

Maybe she didn’t draw a big enough magic circle, because it looks like we can only see his arms and legs, LOL. Yet watching Bowser pummel enemies with punches and kicks is a sight to behold. That first thrill you get when Bowser slams the enemy with his fist is quite an unforgettable experience.

Personally, I love the stomp attack he has… and don’t forget to call him out during some of the climax scenes as well.

All right, next is Link.

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By equipping the Shuraba with Link’s costume on, Bayonetta will be able to use the iconic weapon of the Zelda series, the Master Sword! Wicked Weaves will create a giant Master Sword that slices enemies clean in two.

This costume also changes some of the sound effects in the game. Remember that classic Zelda jingle that plays every time you open a treasure chest? With this costume on, you’ll get to hear it! We’ve included a few other sound effects well, all taken from A Link to the Past with Nintendo’s permission. Those classic sounds really do still hold up.

Last is our Samus costume!

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Samus has gone through more than a few powered suits in the Metroid series, but we ended up using the first game as our motif, per Kamiya’s request. Fans of the series should be able to tell looking at the shoulders.

One special feature that comes with the Samus suit is the ability to put the visor up or down during cut scenes. I think you’ll be surprised how fun this is. See how good it feels to slam your visor down right after telling an enemy off, or discover the amusement in endlessly going up-down-up-down during the game’s more serious moments. This can put the game’s cut scenes in whole new light!

That wraps up our blog this time. I think you can see why I’m not hesitant to call this Wii U port a “Special Editon.” This actually isn’t everything new the game has to offer as well—you might see me here again to tell you more in the future!

 

Until then!

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Bayonetta takes the stage at E3 2014!

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Games

Bayonetta is back in a big way at this year’s E3!

Our favorite witch’s adventures take a whole new turn in the Wii U-exclusive Bayonetta 2. Pass through the Gates of Hell and take part in even bigger battles with crazier weapons as we push Bayonetta to the next level. But that wasn’t our only surprise this year.

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Your feedback was loud and clear, so along with announcing more info on the release of Bayonetta 2, we made it happen: the original Bayonetta is coming to the Wii U with all new Nintendo-inspired costumes and added features!!

Both Bayonetta 2 and the original Bayonetta will go on sale in the US in October 2014, and will be packaged and sold together! It’s the perfect way to experience the story of the Umbra Witches in a single go!

Bayonetta, and Bayonetta 2, are both rated M for Mature.

Keep your eyes on this blog for more Bayonetta news in the coming days and weeks!

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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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Happy New Year 2014

Platinum Games

Filed: PlatinumGames

Happy New Year, everyone!
And thank you for your continuously amazing support!

So how has the past year treated you?
I feel that 2013 has been a year of expansion for us here at PlatinumGames. Last year, we released 3 titles in the west: “Anarchy Reigns,” “Metal Gear Rising Revengeance,” and “The Wonderful 101.” The latter two were handled by completely new publishers for us, and I’m sure they were the first PlatinumGames experience for a lot of gamers out there. Expanding into new territories like this is an extremely positive thing for people working in videogame development, and we’re very happy to have received your support. Thanks, everyone.

2014. I think this will be a year of change for the game industry.

The PS4 and Xbox One have already been released overseas, and the PS4 will see the light of day here in Japan in late February. I’m sure the Xbox One will follow suit as well in the course of the year. The software market is sure to change significantly as well this year, and it is inevitable that we’ll get to see new environments and new technology related to videogames. In order to keep up with these changes, I think we will have to put a lot of effort into taking new challenges this year. Perhaps this is the same feeling we had when we first started PlatinumGames. We have to return to our original intentions. This is how we want to go into the New Year.

Last year, Tokyo was chosen as the venue for the 2020 Olympics. The entire country was filled with joy and energy at this wonderful news, so we get to start the New Year with fresh and renewed vigor. Since we strive to be “The Japanese Standard Bearer in Global Competition,” we intend to devote all of this new-found energy to make 2014 another exciting and action-packed year. We hope you will continue to provide us the same enthusiastic support throughout this year as well.

President & CEO

Tatsuya Minami

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W101 Blog Ep. 26: Tips & Tricks Part 2

The Wonderful 101

Filed: Games, PlatinumGames, The Wonderful 101

Hey there, it’s Ichi!

So there I was, thinking it might be nice to write some tips & tricks for you, and before I knew it, I was staring at a wall of text of about 4000 words, so I decided to split the thing into 2 parts.
So without further ado, let us commence with Part 2, the sequel if you will, of our Tips & Tricks section.

Whether you’ve already finished the game or if you’re only just starting, these are all tips and tricks that are sure to make you want to replay the game, so make sure to check them out!

- UNITE… D’OH!
I’m sure you’ve all been in situations where you needed to cancel the Wonder-Liner, such as when you messed up when drawing the Wonder-Liner around something or when switching to a different Unite Morph, or when your hand slipped and hit the right stick or something (it happens!).
Normally, you’d press the Y button to restore the team’s formation, but there are some cases where carelessly pressing the Y button could actually put you in danger.

wall

Both attacking and assembling will result in Unite Claw being dissolved. What is the team of superheroes to do!?

For instance when you’re climbing a wall with Unite Claw. Pressing the Y button will dissolve the Unite Morph, causing everyone to fall.
Or when you have a Unite Hand bathed in flames, or a Unite Sword sizzling with electricity. These special effects will be lost as well when you dissolve the Unite Morph.

If you want to cancel the Wonder-Liner without dissolving a Unite Morph, just keep calm, don’t panic, and press the left stick button. This will allow you to quickly gather all members in your team.

- Keep ‘em Comboing
Unite Hand can be set aflame by catching fire attacks or by touching torches.
A burning Unite Hand isn’t just capable of setting fire to enemies, it can also shoot fireballs to attack enemies from a distance!

firehand

Everything is more awesome when it’s on fire!

What you might not know, however, is that it’s possible to gain this fire element in places where there are no flames. Try to rack up the combo multiplier to 2.5 by continuously attacking the enemy. This will cause the true power of Unite Hand to awaken, creating a flame effect.

fire

Unite Hand goes up in flames when the combo multiplier reaches 2.5

The same thing goes for Unite Sword. If the combo multiplier reaches 2.5, Unite Sword will be covered in a coating of dazzling electricity.

thunder

Unite Sword gets electrified when the combo multiplier reaches 2.5

The electricity effect causes enemies to be paralyzed for a short while.
Once you’ve become more proficient at the game and learn how to pull off powerful combos, these element attacks are something you should definitely keep in mind.

- Shooting for Style
As you progress in the game, you will reach a shooting stage that uses an isometric point of view.
The enemies don’t mess around here, so I’m guessing a lot of players might have trouble with this particular stage if they’re trying to get the Platinum Trophy.

shooting

You can use a variety of Unite Morphs in this stage, but did you notice that it’s also possible to use Unite Guts by pressing the ZL button?

barrage

The answer to bullet hell, like so many things, is pudding.

Believe it or not, but Unite Guts actually allows you to absorb enemy bullets. Enemy bullets can also be extinguished by using Unite Bomb, but absorbing them actually extends you the tremendous service of filling your Unite Gauge. This shooting stage doesn’t require a lot of Unite Gauge though, so smart players might want to equip the “Energy Converter” Custom Block and see what happens…

But if you want to gain a high score, you’ll need to do more than just avoid being shot down. You’ll have to find a way of earning combo points somehow.
But you’re in luck, because I have just the easy “get combo points quick” scheme you require!

press

There are passages where giant weights come crashing down repeatedly.
Normally, you’d just wait for the right moment to slip through, but in fact, the Unite Hammer and its ability to “stop heavy things coming in from above” come in very handy here.

hammer

Stopping the weights will earn you points. We’ve made this too easy for you, really.

The falling weights will not only be reflected, but you will earn bonus points to boot.
Up to this point, the game had been about desperately avoiding the weights, but now you’ll want to position yourself right under there to bounce those weights back and rack up some serious points!

*Bonus*
When your vessel changes direction, exhaust flames will come out of its thrusters.
If you keep waggling the left stick, you can keep a fairly constant stream of flames going, and the nice thing about this is that they actually pack quite a punch.

exhaust_flame

Try hitting enemies that come up from behind. You can destroy them easily AND look cool at the same time.

It takes a little bit of practice to actually hit anything, but if you do manage to pull it off, it will make you look like a boss like nobody’s business.

- The Commander is Watching
If, while playing the game, your mom decides that she wants to talk to you, or if you suddenly have to go to the toilet, opening the Status Screen with the + button is a good and easy way of dealing with the situation, but did you know that the game can be paused by pressing the + button and the – button at the same time?

pause

It has the same effect in that it momentarily freezes the action, but pausing the game via the latter method does not involve the screen changing. Instead, you can just see the action still frozen in the background.
The advantage of this is that it tells you exactly what you were doing when you start playing again, so if you need to pause the game during battle, I recommend you press the + and – button simultaneously.

“Get back here this instant! The world depends on you!” – Commander Nelson

!?

There’s no escaping the all-seeing eye of Commander Nelson.
His comment is different for every single stage, so fans of the good Commander might want to pause the game even if there’s no good reason, just to see what he has to say.

- See-Through Masks
During dialogue cutscenes, the character that is speaking is displayed on the screen along with a speech bubble that shows what they are saying.

Pink Pink without Mask

Top: Regular version, Bottom: Use the ZR button to make the mask transparent.

If you press the ZR button during these dialogues, the mask of the character will become transparent, allowing you to see the expressions of their eyes.
Haven’t you ever wondered what these characters really look like underneath their masks? Even if you’ve seen particular cutscenes lots of times already, watching them again with transparent masks will make them feel fresh and… uh… less masky.

You can also hide the speech bubbles by holding down the L button, and you can hide both the speech bubbles and the character by holding down the R button.

Pink without Text Pink without Pink

Top: Hide the speech bubble with the L button, Bottom: Hide the speech bubble and the character with the R button

This is a nice feature if you want to see what’s hiding behind those speech bubbles.

- Skipping the Skipping Process
If you’re playing the game for the umpteenth time, you might get slightly annoyed by having to press the + button and selecting whether you want to skip a cutscene or not. If that is the case, try pressing the + button and the ZL button at the same time. This will allow you to skip the “Skip this cutscene?” prompt.

- Failure Can Be Fun
Throughout the game, there are QTEs where you are called upon by a Wonderful One to create a Unite Morph.

Unite Gun QTE ng

They aren’t terribly hard to pull off and you get a relatively good amount of time as well, so there probably aren’t a whole lot of players who keep failing over and over again.
Which is a bit of a pity, since we’ve actually gone to great lengths to create entertaining failure scenes. If you don’t feel comfortable making your poor heroes fail on purpose, just save the world once… and then make everything go wrong on a second playthrough! You might see some unexpected sides to the characters you’ve come to know and love.

ProjectK 2013-08-02 18-34-33-69

There’s even a QTE that you have to fail 10 times before anything happens…

- The Secret of the Sound Gallery
By now, I’m sure you’re all completely smitten with that wondrous theme song “The Won-Stoppable Wonderful 100.”
You can listen to this song until tiny heroes start falling out of your ears in the Sound Gallery that is unlocked after completing the game, but did you know there’s a way of removing the vocals and listening to the instrumental version?

Lyrics

To do so, you only have to press the right stick button while the song is playing. Press it once to have the vocals fade out. Press it a second time to have them fade in again.
This works for both the Japanese and the English version of the song. You can also check the lyrics on the GamePad screen, so there’s nothing stopping you from singing along at the top of your voice (except for your neighbors perhaps).

Also, and this isn’t mentioned on the screen, you can pause/unpause the music by pressing the X button at any point during the track. This is perfect for those moments when you’re enjoying a long track and you get a phone call or a sudden craving for donuts.

And that’s it for today, boys and girls!
Across two separate posts, I’ve introduced some of the tips & tricks I could think of off the top of my head, but I have the feeling that there are still a lot of hidden goodies in the game that I forgot to mention… In fact, I’m quite sure about it.

At the risk of sounding like a strategy guide from the 80s: “You’ll just have to find out for yourself!”

If you’ve finished the game many times already, if you’re right in the middle the story, or even if you’re about to plunge into the battle with GEATHJERK for the first time, I hope this blog post has managed to tickle your desire for adventure a bit.

Until next time!

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