UPDATE: Nintendo has clarified that whether you buy Bayonetta 2 at retail or as an eShop download, you'll receive an eShop code to download the original Bayonetta. That's even better than what I thought was going to happen.
We live in an age of video game developers and publishers remastering their greatest hits for the modern era and selling them all over again at full retail price. This year's E3 has seen new versions of games that first released just last year; The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V are coming back this year, for instance. Even older games are getting in on the act with The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One bundling four Halo games and Sony's announced reimagining of the original Ratchet & Clank for the PlayStation 4 (and if you can't wait until 2015 for that, there's a Vita remastering of the PS3 remastering of the original PS2 game coming out next month). In a strange way, it seems like bringing back older games for a victory lap at full price has become the norm over new titles. That's why it's so refreshing to hear that when Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U launches, it'll include a remastered version of the original Bayonetta on the disc for no extra cost. How often does that happen anymore? Kat Bailey at USgamer wonders how this happened.
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.
I tried the demo for the original Bayonetta on the PS3 back when it was released and while I liked what I played, I didn't feel the need to try the full game. I'm semi-interested in the upcoming sequel and will end up at least renting it down the line, but was put off by the fact that I hadn't played the original and may well be lost when it comes to following the story. No worries about that now! Including the original game is a brilliant idea to entice those of us who skipped it previously and encourages those who have never heard of the property and don't want to dive into a sequel blind the opportunity to catch up. I'm very glad that Nintendo and developer Platinum Games are doing things this way. I wish more studios would follow this example, but that's a very unlikely pipe dream when there's money to be made. And who knows? Nintendo may get to offer its free cake bonus and eat it too. The eShop version of Bayonetta 2 does not include the free bonus game and I wouldn't be surprised if it showed up on the eShop one day where it will definitely not be free to download.