Bayonetta 2, a Wii U-exclusive action game from PlatinumGames, has earned numerous accolades since its release last October. Now, it adds another prize to its trophy cabinet - The 2014 AbleGamers Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year award.
AbleGamers is a charity that "aims to improve the overall quality of life for those with disabilities through the power of video games." Each year, the Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year award highlights a shortlist of games, and an overall winner, that stand out from the crowd as being accessible for players with disabilities.
Here's what AbleGamers has to say about Bayonetta 2, which took the award for 2014:
Bayonetta 2 pulls out all the stops for accessible game design while staying true to their creative vision, revitalizing a genre known for inaccessibility, on a system inherently inaccessible, but ultimately making a near perfect example of game accessibility.
This game allows players to choose from a plethora of options with the WiiU GamePad, Pro Controller, the GamePad’s touch screen, or in any combination that is most comfortable for the player. Some might say this is a visual masterpiece with astonishing graphics, top tier subtitles, and a visual style carefully crafted to not impede the enjoyment of the game for those with colorblindness.
Bayonetta 2 stands out among other accessible mainstream games by paying careful attention to user friendly game experience. The inclusion of a one-button combat mode creates an experience other character action titles should implement. As a proof of concept, this game demonstrates that accessibility can be implemented into a mainstream AAA game without harming any of the gameplay. Popular titles such as Shadow of Mordor could easily implement one-button mode for those who need such accessibility while leaving a complicated controls for those who prefer those methods, and still award players with a top-notch game that is accessible to everyone.
Multiple control schemes interchangeably allow combat to be as streamlined as possible without degrading any of the overarching game play design choices. Touch and motion controls are optional, quick time events are of minimal impact to the game play thanks to the one-button mode, and yet still allows for more experienced players to set up challenges they deem appropriate to tackle.
Bayonetta 2 is not a style of game that should be accessible, but PlatinumGames took extra steps to make it that way, which is worth praise.
As well as the main award, each year an Accessible Mainstream Indie Game of the Year is chosen. This time around, however, it was a draw, with Always Sometimes Monsters and This War of Mine both being chosen.
Other nominees that made the eight-game shortlist for the awards are Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Pokemon: Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire, Tropico 5, The Sims 4, and Civilization: Beyond Earth.