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E3 2014: Platinum's Bayonetta Port is Shockingly Comprehensive for a Freebie

Platinum's pack-in is a welcome anomaly in the Age of the Remaster.

When news first hit that Platinum would be packing the original Bayonetta in with the sequel on the Wii U, my immediate thought was that it would be a comparatively basic port designed to satiate fans. Boy, was I wrong.

According to Bayonetta director Yusuke Hashimoto, the port will include all of the bells and whistles of the sequel, including Wii U gamepad support and touchscreen functionality. And as shown in the demo, it will also include special costumes based on Nintendo characters like Link and Samus.

"That was something that Mr. Kamiya wanted," Hashimoto said with a smile. "He drove us a little crazy with his demands."

The now completed port has been in the works for roughly a year and a half now, and was first conceived with the blessing of Nintendo. According to Hashimoto, the reasoning was simple: "We thought it would be awesome to let fans play both on the same console."

Platinum ended up outsourcing much of the project to a little-known studio based in Osaka called Bee Tribe, with "every aspect of its development" being overseen by Kamiya. The result might well be the definitive version of the original game, and it's being packed in with Bayonetta for absolutely nothing (assuming that you buy it at retail). By pretty much any measure, it's an incredible value.

In this day and age, it's also an unfortunate anomaly. After years of being nickel and dimed, I feel like we've all become kind of accustomed to getting shaken down by large publishers. But according to Hashimoto, all of Bayonetta 2's content will be available right out of the box. There will be no DLC whatsoever.

"I feel like there's enough content there for one and a half games," Hashimoto boasts.

It's kind of sad that I'm so surprised by Platinum's approach, but that's just the world we live in these days. Most publishers wouldn't think twice about putting a comprehensive port like Bayonetta on sale for $39.99. Plenty of others would pack in one or two of the Nintendo-themed outfits, and sell the rest as DLC content. Maybe I'm being too cynical, but in the Year of the Remaster, generosity on this level is almost unheard of. I'm almost wondering what the catch is.

At the end of the day, I suppose this could be construed as a calculated attempt by Platinum to compensate for the Wii U's low install base and move copies of Bayonetta 2. But even if that's true, it's great to see them going above and beyond with the port. For fans of the series, it is now an essential purchase.

I'll admit, I'm surprised. I would think that a small studio like Platinum would want to squeeze every possible dime out of a project that has been in the works for more than two years. But then, I suppose the goodwill of its fans is also a big part of the equation. And more than most, Platinum seems determined to pack as much value into its games as humanly possible.

"We don't know when to stop," Hashimoto says with a shrug. "There's so much we want to do. We're just greedy."

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