‘Bayonetta’ Switch Impresses on the Go, but is Less Bewitching on the Big Screen

Tom Regan
Games Nintendo
Games Nintendo

As much as we love Super Mario Odyssey here at FANDOM, countless bus journeys spent stomping on Goombas soon has us craving a slightly more…visceral gaming experience to occupy us on our daily commute.

Sure, DOOM on Switch briefly helped satiate our uncontrollable bloodlust, and Enter The Gungeon kept us busy rolling and gunning, but once we’d blasted through all of Mars’ demons and had our fix of gungeon-ing, there was little else to really challenge us on the go.

Well, thankfully for psychos like us then, it appears that fast-paced action games on Nintendo’s new hybrid console are actually a lot like buses.

Just like the frustratingly unreliable form of public transport, next week, gamers will suddenly have two brilliant little action games pulling up at once on Switch. We are, of course, talking about Bayonetta and its underrated sequel.

Bayonetta and its eye-popping sequel can now be played anywhere, and we couldn't be happier.

Developed by Devil May Cry creator Hideki Kamiya, these wonderfully insane experiences see players taking control of the titular witch as she fights off hordes of angels who want to drag her back to hell.

Playing a bit like Kamiya’s other beloved series, Bayonetta is all about fast and fluid combat and chaining together spellbinding attacks into never-ending combos. Naturally then, it’s a series that lives and dies on its technical performance. So far, we’ve lived with Bayonetta 1 and 2 on Switch for a week, and we’re happy to say that both games run far better here than they did on the lacklustre Wii U.

When it comes to playing on the go, these Switch ports seriously impress. Unlike on Nintendo’s last console, both games run at a rock solid 60 frames — even when you’re playing in handheld mode. While the two struggled to hit even 50 frames on Wii U, this time around, battles feel wonderfully fluid, performance is nothing short of flawless.

The insane screen-filling action is just as brilliantly bonkers as you remember.

Unlike many of the ports to Nintendo’s console, developer Platinum Games has even got the rendering at 720p on the Switch’s sharp screen, we found ourselves often stopping and gaping at just how gorgeous these games look on the go. This is especially true of Bayonetta 2, with the formerly Wii U exclusive’s improved lighting and sharper textures really standing out on Nintendo’s  impressive little 7’ display.

When it comes to TV performance though, it’s hard not to come away a little disappointed. In a bid to save battery, while docked, Nintendo’s hybrid has access to significantly more GPU power than it does in its underclocked portable state.

Yet, bafflingly, there seems to be no noticeable improvement to image quality when playing either Bayonetta game on the big screen. With past Wii U ports like Mario Kart 8 running at 1080p while docked, and even the sprawling open-world landscape of Breath Of The Wild allowing players to explore its luscious locales at 900p, it’s disappointing to see these two brilliant games not properly optimised for big screen play on the Switch.

Sadly though, the game renders at the same resolution both handheld and docked.

Still, despite the TV resolution being a little disappointing, it’s hard to get too annoyed when playing both of these classics on the go feels so brilliant. Despite both games lacking the production values of certain PS4 and XB1 AAA titles, they feel just as brilliant to play as they did when they were both first released.

If there was ever any doubt, these flawless running ports prove that the Bayonetta titles are still two of the greatest action games ever made, and we’ve started to fall in love with them over again.

With just over ten days until release, there’s still time for a pre-release docked performance patch, but we aren’t holding our breath. You will be able to read our full review of Bayonetta’s Switch debut next week.

Tom Regan
Having written for everyone from Trusted Reviews to The Guardian, Tom is a London based writer who can't stop talking about games. Now he's joined the team at FANDOM as gaming editor, we have to constantly remind ourselves that he's not actually Ed Sheeran.