Platinum Games are the best video game developer in the world – Reader’s Feature

Bayonetta – one of Platinum’s best (pic: Sega)

A reader offers a potted history of Bayonetta creator Platinum Games and explains why they’re his favourite video game developer.

I realise this might not be the best timing for this feature because all PlatinumGames has done this week is annoy people with what I agree was a pretty lame April Fool joke (not that I wouldn’t love them to do a 2D shooter, mind). But they’ve since said that it was just a joke and that there’s going to be a proper fourth announcement that is a real game, so I’ll totally forgive them when it turns out to be yet another mind-blowingly weird and amazing game.

I remember when I first found out about Platinum, it was a feature in Edge magazine where they were previewing their games and explaining how they were the same team behind Ōkami and God Hand and were breaking out on their own to form their own company. I was immediately excited by the prospect, especially as Devil May Cry was one of my favourite series and Bayonetta seemed to be a spiritual sequel.

Their first game, which I bought, was MadWorld, which featured a completely unique black and white (and red) art style inspired by Sin City and looked like no other game out there. It was a really fun update of old school beat ‘em-ups like Streets Of Rage and not the sort of obvious crowd pleaser you’d expect a company to make for its first game. Because it was only on the Wii it was a flop, but not selling would soon become the norm for Platinum.

Bayonetta did okay when it came out but nowhere near what it should do, as in my opinion it is still one of the best video games ever made. The fluidity of the action, the imagination behind the art, and the incredible combat and boss battles… only its sequel rivals it and it’s miles ahead of what Devil May Cry ever was. I also loved that it was so complete, filled with unlockable extras, including weapons that completely change the whole combat system, and not a whiff or microtransactions or DLC anywhere.

They followed that up with Vanquish which, if only it had been a bit longer, with more enemies, would’ve done for third person shooters what Bayonetta did for character action games. Then Anarchy Reigns came along and tried to make an online multiplayer game, but as a beat ‘em-up instead of a shooter. All of Platinum’s are different, with only one sequel in 12 years, and I love that about them.

This led to them getting a gig doing Metal Gear Rising, which was also fantastic, with some of the best sword combat ever. But even with the Metal Gear name still wasn’t that big a hit. The Wonderful 101 was kind of like a mad, cartoon version of Bayonetta and while dragged down by gimmicky Wii U controls should polish up to be much better in the upcoming remaster.

That was their first work with Nintendo, which led to Bayonetta 2 and the disappointing Star Fox Zero. I can admit they don’t get it right every time and around that time they also started doing licensed work for Activision on The Legend Of Korra and TMNT. Both were bad but Transformers: Devastation was surprisingly great.

Then came their big break in 2017 with the surprise hit of NieR:Automata. Don’t get me wrong, the game is great and one of the best things they’ve ever done, but who would’ve thought that a sequel to such an obscure game would be their first major hit and lead to the whole franchise being revived. Which brings us up to their most recent game, Astral Chain, which despite zero promotion from Nintendo turned out to be one of the best games of last year.

At the moment they’re working on The Wonderful 101: Remastered, Bayonetta 3, Babylon’s Fall for Square Enix, and Ultraman homage Project G.G. Plus they’ve started a second studio and are going to start self-publishing, so they own all their IP. Things are looking up for Platinum and it’s about time. Lots of people have their favourite developers, but they’re mine and I’ll be automatically interested in everything they do, since as far as I’m concerned they’re the best developer working today.

By reader Watson

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email and follow us on Twitter.


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