This is my first video game review here as I’ve really been shying away from them lately. I just don’t have the time to devote to playing everything anymore. However when I found out that NIS of America was bring the new Bleach game to the states, I made sure my calendar was completely clear so I could get my hands on it.
First and foremost, I am a HUGE Bleach fan and have been for years. I not only watch the English dubs on Cartoon Network with my son, but I regularly watch fan-subs as well, so I’m usually well ahead of the English story. In short, I’m a pretty big Bleach fanatic. While some might think that would skew the rating on my review, they’d be wrong – I love these characters because they’re so deep. I wouldn’t give a good rating to anything that didn’t hold up to the anime and manga expectations.
That being said, if you’re not a Bleach fan this will probably pass under your radar – and not without reason. While the world of Bleach is a masterfully written story, very little of that shines through here. If you don’t know who the characters are before starting the game, you probably won’t know who they are when you’re done with it either. If you have no idea what Hueco Mundo is, or what the difference is between Fake Karakura Town and regular Karakura Town; well you won’t pick that up here. Apart from the three or so paragraphs of information that gets narrated before each chapter to let you know what’s going on and the simplistic banter (only a line or two every now and then) there’s nothing to tie the story together for a Bleach “noob”.
If you do watch and/or read Bleach regularly however, you’ll be able to instantly pick up on where each mission is in the grand scheme of the story. Whether it’s Ichigo facing down Grimmjow, or Kenpachi vs Nnoitra, there are enough major fight scenes for you to re-enact that those alone make it great for a Bleach fan. The action in the game is fast and furious (not the movie), and while it does take a few cues from the Dynasty Warriors games, it also does quite a bit to improve on them.
One thing that’s great (and that drive me insane) is the ability to upgrade different characters by using the experience they gain by playing them. There is a whole field of upgrades for each character, and for a completionist like myself – it’s maddening. The game rewards you by playing well and keeping a combo going by increasing the amount of experience you gain per kill (at one point I finished a level with over 10,000 because I kept my combo going from the level start to the boss fight), and it really pushes you to try different things to achieve that perfect run.
Unfortunately, the game is short, very short, only about four hours long (for the story mode), and maybe another three to four hours with the mission mode. Unless you’re like me and want to upgrade each of the characters to their max level, there’s really no point to going back through everything once you finish with everyone.
Something else they got right though is the artwork. Bleach Soul Resurreccion looks gorgeous if you’re a fan of cell shading. It looks like it was ripped right out of the manga, and each of the characters looks as close to perfect as they can. Even the backgrounds in Hueco Mundo are really good (Fake Karakura Town looks pretty boring unfortunately), and very reminiscent of the manga/anime.
So there you have it, if you’re a Bleach that’s been waiting for a game to do the series justice, this is as close as you’re going to get right now. Yes it’s short, and yes it has it’s flaws, but it’s fun and great if you just want to throw down. If you’re looking for a challenging and deep game though, you may want to look elsewhere. For me, I give the game four stars out of five.
- The artwork is amazing
- Combat is fast and fun
- Characters feel just like they should
- The game is extremely short for a retail purchase
- The depth of story isn’t explored
- Level up system, while fun, artificially extends gameplay
You can get Bleach Soul Resurreccion from Amazon for $59.99