8-bit Bayonetta released free on Steam as April Fools’ surprise
Sega has bucked the trend of lame April Fools’ pranks this year by doing something that’s actually cool. The game publisher has released an 8-bit version of the popular 3D action game Bayonetta on Steam. While the 2D game is very limited in mechanics — “Jump! Shoot! Score! Being bad never felt so retro,” the description reads — it is completely free to download, making it a nice surprise for fans.
As little more than a mini-game, 8-Bit Bayonetta has players controlling the heroine, with their actions limited to jumping and shooting at constantly approaching enemies.
This mini-game has a long-running history as an April Fools’ Day gag. Platinum Games, Bayonetta‘s developer, teased back on April 1st, 2010 that it was working on a 2D take on the action title. It was little more than a joke, of course, but fans were genuinely disappointed that they’d never get to play it. Then, in 2015, Platinum really did create an 8-bit version as a simple browser game, hiding it on their website’s 404 Error page.
It’s this same browser game that is being offered for free on Stream, but there’s still more to the surprise. There are a handful of achievements that point to a teaser page from Sega, which includes a countdown to April 11th.
Fans are hoping this will lead to the announcement of a new sequel, but more than likely it will be a Steam release of the original Bayonetta. There’s a small chance it could be ports of both Bayonetta 1 and 2, but the latter is unlikely seeing as how it was funded by Nintendo and released solely on the Wii U.