Bayonetta 3 has been one of the Nintendo Switch’s most anticipated games for years. After years of nothing, last fall it finally got re-announced and in July 2022, players received new information on the game in trailers. As it’s launching on October 28th, players still have to wait, though.
During that time, players can definitely check out other action game classics. Bayonetta is one of many excellent action games on modern platforms and these games feature style and finesse of equal qualities. They’re more than worth the player’s time as one of Nintendo Switch’s biggest titles inches forward.
Astral Chain was actually announced and released after Bayonetta 3 was announced. This annoyed a lot of Bayonetta fans, but the game is still one of the Switch’s most exciting action games. The player takes control of a police officer named Akira Howard in a dystopian cyberpunk Earth. They end up merging with an entity called a Legion with a device called an Astral Chain.
What resulted was a game in which the player controls the Legion and the officer simultaneously. This allows for unique combat, especially as the Legion has multiple forms. There are also adventure game investigation segments. The developers at Platinum clearly like the game, as it cameoed in Bayonetta 3’s trailer.
NieR: Automata was developed by the staff behind Bayonetta and Astral Chain and is coming to Switch soon. Unlike those games, this game is partly an RPG. However, it still has action mechanics and a great female protagonist so Bayonetta fans won’t be wanting for anything. The game takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where robots and androids fight in an eternal war.
The player controls the android 2B at first, but other characters become available later. The player is given a lot of upgrades and weapons they can equip her with. This allows for a lot of unique combo potential based on load out. Pair this with large action set pieces and this “RPG” actually has more action than most action games.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
There is no shortage of great characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which added a lot of strong characters in its DLC. However, none are quite as legendary as Bayonetta. Bayonetta entered the Smash Bros scene at the end of Smash 4 and quickly took over the competitive scene.
In Ultimate, she isn’t nearly as powerful as she used to be. However, she remains an excellent representation of how she plays in her action games. Her combo-heavy style allows for her to dominate opponents and then charge up for punishing attacks. As Bayonetta 3 will also be Switch exclusive, Smash actually serves as a great companion to the series.
Streets Of Rage 4
Bayonetta is a series that takes a lot of inspiration from classic SEGA arcade games of old. Director Hideki Kamiya has shown his appreciation for games like Space Harrier in similar levels in Bayonetta 1. In a sense, 3D character action games are quite similar to classic beat-em-ups like Streets of Rage, which has continued into the modern day with Streets of Rage 4.
While obviously lacking all the pomp of a 3D game, Streets 4 has a lot of similar mechanics to 3D brawlers like Bayonetta. Combos are key, and the game expects the player to manage large crowds of enemies. The game includes multiple playable characters and secrets to find and collect. In a world full of 3D action, this game stands apart as a great modern reinterpretation of the past.
Devil May Cry V
Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Bayonetta, also created the excellent Devil May Cry game series. He ended up leaving Capcom before Devil May Cry V was released, but the game is still a culmination of ideas introduced in the first installment. Starring three playable characters with tons of unique weapons and attack styles, Devil May Cry V was one of the best action games of the 2010s.
The game stars Dante, Nero, and the new character V on a quest to destroy a giant demonic tree. The game takes mostly in urban environments, just like Bayonetta. While large swathes of enemies are common, there’s still a high level of skill required. While the series ended up diverting noticeably from Bayonetta’s style of action game, it’s still a great play for fans of the genre.
God Of War 3
The recent God of War games turned the series into more of a traditional action-adventure game. However, classic God of War was much more similar to hack-and-slash adventures like Bayonetta, and God of War III was likely the pinnacle. It had all the brutal violence of the previous entries with the highest graphical fidelity the PS3 in 2010 could offer.
This game finally sees Kratos’ rampage end the god themselves. This leads to huge large-scale boss fights with divine entities in impressive set pieces. While originally released for the PS3, a remastered version was also released on PS4. While the plot isn’t as deep as Kratos’ recent adventures, players will find God of War III frenetic and exciting.
Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter was a series that took a long time to win mainstream popularity. It had obtuse systems and bizarre mechanics that limited its appeal as an action game for most characters. But Monster Hunter World was the game that broke that trend and its many weapons and systems became super enticing for a player out to start hunting monsters.
The Switch has the game Monster Hunter Rise rather than World, but World is better for newcomers. Either is a great addition to any action fan’s lineup, however. The large monsters seem threatening, but learning the mechanics to deal with them is incredibly satisfying. Add in the many weapon styles available and there’s a game with a lot to offer to every action gameplay style.
Devil May Cry HD Collection
As mentioned, the Devil May Cry series has a strong link to the Bayonetta series. Thankfully, the HD collection of the first three titles (or the titles individually) is available on most modern platforms. In fact, the Switch version is actually updated compared to other consoles. Its version of Devil May Cry 3 includes the instant style switching of later games.
The collection is still great value on any console it’s bought for. The HD upgrade works great for DMC1, which had a lot of graphical quirks. DMC1 also shares the most DNA with Bayonetta, as well owing to being the one Hideki Kamiya worked the most on. They’re all great Playstation 2 classics that have left a mark on gaming.
Bayonetta 2 + 1 Bundle (Switch)
Obviously, when it comes to games to play before Bayonetta 3 releases, there are few games better than the original Bayonetta games. Anyone looking to play the third should definitely pick up Bayonetta 2 on Switch. The game is frequently bundled with the original and both are essential adventures for the Umbra Witch.
Bayonetta 1 plays wonderfully as an action game. However, its plot is somewhat esoteric, which is why the second game is so essential, as it simplifies it. As 3 likely features the return of characters from 1 and gameplay elements from 2, players should make sure they have played these classics.
The Wonderful 101: Remastered
The Wonderful 101 was one of the underrated classics of the Wii U. It was a game by Bayonetta developer Platinum with impeccable style and a crazy concept. The player would control a large number of different superheroes all at once. They would then use them to combat giant enemies using the Wii U touch screen and fuse up into giant forms called Unite Morphs.
Critics were wowed by the game’s sense of style, but the poor sales of the Wii U ended up making it a financial failure. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, though, the game was able to escape the Wii U. It was brought to most platforms in 2020 and remains one of Platinum’s strangest titles. It has all the action one would expect from Bayonetta, but with tons of unique charm on its own.