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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Character Design Pt. 1: Bayonetta and Jeanne

BAYONETTA 2

Filed: Bayonetta 2

Hello, nice to see you again. My name is Mari Shimazaki and I’m a freelance designer.

I worked on the concept art for Bayonetta and now Bayonetta 2. Today I’d like to give you a little insight into Bayonetta and Jeanne’s new designs.

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First, let’s talk about Bayonetta, the “modern witch”, and this game’s main character. Those who played the previous title are likely to notice that her trademark hairstyle has been given a complete makeover. After talking with Hashimoto and Kamiya, the three of us came to the conclusion Bayonetta’s not the kind of girl who’d show up with the same hairstyle for her sequel. A girl can be known to change her hairstyle depending on her mood, so I guess Bayonetta was in the mood for something short. Still, knowing her, there’s no telling when she’ll decide to change it again.

Bayonetta’s overall theme this time is “Solid.”

She’s still wearing black, and I think her shorter hair gives her a generally more masculine look. While her design in the last game focused on curves, this time we see more straight lines. All of her accessories follow this, except her glasses, which I gave a slightly softer design.

There was some debate about where to show skin. Once we decided her new cape would come around to the front, we closed the front of her suit off to let the cape stand out. In exchange, we opened up a lot in back.

As water is a big theme of the second game, Hashimoto requested to make her key color blue. This turned out to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.

Blue doesn’t have the sharp quality of red, her previous key color. As it’s relatively easy on the eyes, making it stand out among all the other textures and colors in the game is a huge headache. On top of that, I had to balance it with black and silver (these colors were also decided right off the bat), which also is not easy. Ever since we decided Bayonetta should wear a sleak, black outfit, it’s always been a nightmare trying to have her properly stand out.

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With her guns, finding a good balance of color took a lot of brainstorming. Accenting blue too strongly or giving it too much space didn’t fit Bayonetta’s look. We arrived at the final design by giving them a more striking shade of blue, adding some gold to match her chestpiece, and spreading a silver luster across each gun.

We’ve given Bayonetta’s new guns some antique charms to match her new look. I drew flower cameos that I felt matched the respective gun’s color, and emotion connected to that color.

Taking a step back and looking at how Bayonetta’s design turned out, I realize we went in a direction completely opposite from the last game. That also makes me think Bayonetta’s new look is possible because of her previous one, and will stand out because of that contrast.

I think she gives off a different impression than before, but still owns the name Bayonetta.

Jeanne

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Okay, next, let’s talk about Jeanne’s design.

The keyword for Jeanne’s concept design in Bayonetta 2 is “casual.” Design started when Kamiya came up to me and said “I want to put her on a bike. Draw me a biker suit.”

Jeanne is one of Kamiya’s favorite characters, so most anything Hashimoto and I said would get shot down instantly. I just drew biker suit after biker suit until one was approved. There were actually a few more he liked, but they all maintained a relative simplicity similar to her final approved outfit.

I didn’t intend to accentuate this part of her in my concept art, but Kamiya said Jeanne looks flatter than ever. He was happy about it too, so that’s fine I guess.

Thinking of how she would look side by side with Bayonetta, we decided to give her long hair. I wish I was a witch and could just summon my hair into any hairstyle I wanted.

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Jeanne still uses her All 4 One’s in Bayonetta 2. Her charms, though, I decided to update with a personal touch. For the last game, I based her charms off each respective gun’s name, but this time I used the name of the whole set as the motif and made Three Musketeers plushes. I borrowed the color scheme from the Three Musketeers Anime.

If I gave these charms to Bayonetta, I feel it’d be a little too much altogether, but I think they add the perfect pinch of sugar to Jeanne’s design. Personally, I’m happy with how they turned out.

Okay, that’s all for this time.
Please look forward to the game’s release. See you again.

 

 

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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!

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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!

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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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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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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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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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W101 Blog Ep. 25: Tips & Tricks

The Wonderful 101

Filed: Games, PlatinumGames, The Wonderful 101

Hello everyone, it’s Ichi!

The Wonderful 101 has been out in Japan and Europe for a while now and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our fans. Thanks, everyone!
And now the game’s finally out in the US too! Yay! We’re looking forward to hearing what our American friends think of the game as well.
And even though it’s been more than 3 weeks since The Wonderful 101 first saw the light of day, we feel pretty confident in saying that probably extremely few people have been able to uncover every single secret so far.
Now that the game is out everywhere, there’s surely going to be an arms race over who can 100% the game first, so you might want to prepare a sleeping bag and a bunch of midnight snacks, because this game boasts more content than you can shake a Wonder-Liner at! (seriously)

For those of you who are just aching to explore every nook and cranny of The Wonderful 101, I have a special blog post today that introduces a lot of tips & tricks that cannot be found in previous blog posts or in the electronic manual.

The list starts off with all of the tips that are most useful when trying to get the most out of the experience, so even those who think they’ve already dominated the game can jump right in and I’m sure you’ll find something that’ll make you want to go back and see if you can improve your performance. So let’s get going!

- The High-Speed Wonder-Liner
Good news for people who like to use the right stick to control the Wonder-Liner!

liner

If you hold down the L button while pushing the right stick, the Wonder-Liner will move slightly faster than normal.
This is a small trick that you can use right from the start of the game, and if you buy the Speed Liner skill, the liner will move even faster! This might be a little bit too much for novice players, but more experienced players may find an entirely new dimension of gameplay here.

- Make Clever Use of the Dash!
Dashing is very useful when moving through stages and dodging attacks during battle, so you’ll be doing it a lot. I’m sure that a lot of you are probably holding down the Y button while dashing, so you might be surprised to find out that the leader will actually keep on running even if you immediately let go of the Y button after pushing it.

dash

You’ll keep dashing even after letting go of the Y button.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with holding down the Y button the whole time, but in some occasions this might cause some inconvenience.

climb_attack

For instance, when you’re trying to aim for a Climb Attack.
If you’re trying to avoid enemy attacks by dashing while at the same time sending out team members for a Climb Attack, pressing the Y button would only result in the members that are climbing the enemy returning to the leader.
(If you hear a whistle, this means the leader is signaling everyone to assemble)

If you want to have the leader dash without interrupting the Climb Attack, just quickly tap the Y button while moving and immediately let go again.

dash1

“Alright, guys, it’s up to you now!” Dashing while sending out buddies for a Climb Attack

If you use this method to dash, only the team members who have nothing on their hands at that moment will follow the leader.
However, the group will not be as tightly packed together as when you hold down the Y button, so all members apart from the leader might be more susceptible to enemy attacks.

dash2

If you hold down the Y button, the party will dash in a more compact formation

On the other hand, if you hold down the Y button, all team members will huddle up around the leader, meaning they are not as likely to be hit by enemy attacks. Even better, as long as you hold down the Y button, your team members will actually dodge enemy attacks automatically! Do take note that they will stop attacking automatically at this point though.
This means you’ll only have to worry about controlling the leader and making sure he or she does not get hit. It does have the disadvantage of Climb Attacks being interrupted, but this movement method is much more suited for avoiding attacks.

The choice is yours: do you let go of the Y button instantly to focus on Climb Attacks, or do you hold down the button to play more evasively? The way you use the dashing function actually adds a new layer to the combat!

- Locking On & High-Speed Homing
As you know, Team Attacks let you hurl your team members at enemies in order to climb them. But this offensive strategy has another function outside of setting up a Climb Attack.

teamattack circle

When a Team Attack hits an enemy, a bright ring appears.
This ring indicates that you are “locking on” to the enemy and that, if you whip out a Unite Attack, it will automatically home in towards enemy.

rising1 rising2

Even skills like Wonderful Rising can hit from a distance.

Pick off the enemy from a distance with long-range Unite Morphs, or use a melee-oriented Unite Morph to instantly move in for a beating.
Even if the enemies are not within reach, it’s possible to defeat one after another at a very high pace without having to walk around, as long as you perform a Team Attack first and then dish out a Unite Attack. This should be a great help in reducing your completion time.
This high-speed homing effect also works on airborne enemies, so if you make good use of it, you might just be able to rack up some crazy air combos…?

- The Right Stick Controls the Cave Camera
There are certain narrow places in the game, such as warehouses and caves, where the action switches to the GamePad when you enter. These places use the gyro sensor of the Wii U GamePad, allowing the player to look around the area by moving the pad around.

souko

However, there are probably a lot of you who play the game while lying down or while maintaining some other state of relaxation that could make it difficult to swing the GamePad around too much. Or indeed, there may be some of you who cannot be bothered with all this new-fangled gyro mumbo jumbo in the first place.
So to the lazier/get-off-my-lawn type of gamer, I would like to say the following: try holding down the R button once the action switches to the GamePad. This will allow you to switch off the gyro sensor camera control temporarily.

Even in this state, the camera automatically adjusts itself to the direction the characters are moving in, so you don’t have to worry too much about it, but it is also possible to use the right stick to move the camera horizontally and vertically, so you should try this out as well. (If you want to draw the Wonder-Liner inside a cave, don’t forget to let go of the R button!)

- The Secret to Taunting
Has it ever happened to you that the leader of the team shouted out something like “We WILL use force!” or “Let’s rock, dudes and dudettes!” out of nowhere?
The existence of the “Taunt” has already been hinted at, but the time has come to reveal all.

bluster1

Successfully pulling off a taunt creates a sparkly effect around the leader. Fabulous!

You can perform a taunt by standing still near an enemy during battle, facing the enemy, and holding down the left stick button or holding down the X button and A button simultaneously.
Be careful though, because jumping, dashing or attacking right after taunting will cause the effect to be canceled.

bluster2

Nothing like a one-liner to get people riled up!

Taunting has 2 effects:
- Your heroes’ attack power will go up.
Be aware that performing a taunt will not actually enrage the enemy.
The point is more to show off as a hero and to raise your party’s morale.

- By tapping the Y button, you will be able to activate “Unite Camp.”
Under normal circumstances, Unite Camp is activated by holding down the Y button.
However, it can be activated more quickly by tapping the Y button after taunting. Activating Unite Camp will completely refill your Unite Gauge, so clever use of this trick is tremendously useful in battle!

- Beware the Giant Whip
Let’s talk about those spike-armored pains-in-the-rear, the Gedie Dough-Goo.
I’m sure a lot of you think that beating them is a time-consuming and risky business, what with all the whipping and the peeling and then some more of the whipping and the peeling.

9

It’s almost like some bizarre ritual dance.

It helps to know then, that when a Gedie Dough-Goo is staggering, you can peel off several parts at once by creating as large a Unite Whip as possible.
If the Unite Whip is large enough, you can take off a huge chunk of the Gedie Dough-Goo’s armor, and it’s even possible to completely strip him naked in only two staggers.

unmantle

I hear spiky armor parts fetch a nice penny at the local pawn shop.

Did you know that the moment the Gedie Dough-Goo starts spinning is actually your best chance? Many players might be inclined to run away to avoid being hit, but hitting the Gedie Dough-Goo with a Unite Whip while its spinning actually makes it easier to stagger.

spin

This looks like a tight situation, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise. WHIP IT!

Get a nice, large party together and witness the devastating force of Unite Whip! If you’re not very good at drawing large shapes in the heat of battle, you should purchase the Unite Charge Custom Block.

- The Mysterious Mystery Circles
When you defeat an enemy, they very occasionally drop GEATHJERK weaponry.
They all have a limited number of uses, but they more than make up for it in terms of devastating force.

laser

These weapons can be obtained, if you’re lucky. But there might just be a way of stealing them purposely…

mystery

The hint lies in the moment the enemies appear.
Pay close attention. You might discover some kind of pattern.

weapon

While carrying an enemy weapon, its weight will greatly decrease your movement speed. If this is more trouble than it’s worth, quickly shake the left stick left and right to drop the weapon on the spot.

“No way, I wanna use this on the next enemy that appears!” you might say. In that case you should use Unite Ball, which lets you move around at high speed while keeping the weapon in your possession.

- Suspicious Figures Appearing during Wonderful Missions
You can play Wonderful Missions together with your friends and family.
Once you’ve fulfilled “certain conditions” some new figures might appear…!?

wonderful_secret

They only appear during the first mission of each stage.
If you have an idea of what these “certain conditions” may be, try scouting around the stage carefully.

But I could sit here telling you about the plethora of secrets hidden away in The Wonderful 101 until the Wonder-Cows come home (UNITE MOO!), so I’ll stop here for today, since this post is getting long enough as it is.

But!

The fun doesn’t stop here. There are still many tips & tricks I haven’t told you about!
So instead of just throwing them all your way at once, I’ve decided to split them into 2 separate posts.

So the list continues next time, with many more bits of knowledge, ranging from the “this is cool to know!” to the “what the heck am I supposed to do with that!?”

Stay tuned everyone!

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