Cut-scene annoyances wouldn't be so much of a problem, but the first half of the game is so exposition-heavy, you spend much of the first four hours waiting for your cue to start fighting again. It's far too stop-start. That wouldn't matter too much if it was a super-long game, but I saw the end credits roll after 8.5 hours (and I was taking my time to explore the environments and take on the one-off fighting challenges in Muspelheim as I discovered them). But if that sounds too short, hear this: Aside from the fact there's more action, variety and sheer quality exhibited in just one of the last four hours than most games pack into 30+, the end really is only the beginning.
Not only do you get to test your mettle in the 'Lost Chapters' after the game has technically finished--there is absolutely no way in hell (or more accurately the areas around its gates) you will achieve anything higher than an average of Silver rank on your first play-through. Getting good takes dedication, practice and concentration, but those who persevere will be rewarded with one of the slickest, most graceful action games available.
Finally, the technical accomplishment really cannot be understated. In its finer moments, Bayonetta 2 could pass for a PS4 game and nobody would complain. The 60fps action is magnificent, with the screen bursting with special effects, scattered halos, enemies, bits of enemies… even parts of their armour. You can often see your hits knocking off chunks of defensive shielding, exposing painful-looking fleshy bits for you to hack at (or roast). It's also pleasant to note you can still see the Devil May Cry ancestry, in everything from the demon doors that seal each combat area to the feel of the character movement.
Bayonetta 2 is sheer class. Yes, it takes a little too long to get going, given its length, but the final four hours are relentlessly, breathlessly exceptional. Granted, it's all just 'more of the same' with a shorter haircut, but we're talking about more of one of the best games ever made. And seeing as the Special Edition of Bayonetta 2 comes with a Wii U conversion of that gorgeous original, Nintendo certainly has the ultimate Bayonetta experience in its portfolio. And that's something it should boast about as loudly as possible.