Ichigo and crew make a spectacular next-generation debut
THANK THE HIGHER POWERS!!! NIS America has finally given Bleach fans a next-generation game and one to be proud of. How does such an insanely cool, action packed anime with a slew of games not have a great gaming adventure yet in the States till now? A mystery indeed, but one that need no longer be pondered as Bleach: Soul Resurreccion is out and quite fun to play. What does Ichigo has in store for fans and can noobs jump into an established franchise this far into its storyline? Let’s try to answer those questions now.
Gameplay – Soul Resurreccion is a third-person, hack-n-slash action game where gamers assume the role of Ichigo and other various members of the Bleach universe. Gamers level up their characters in the main story mode which is littered with side missions that remind of an action-RPG and gaining new skills seen in the anime just make it all the more appealing for fans of the franchise to keep playing. The battles unfold between Soul Reapers and the baddies, Arrancars, in story mode as well as mission mode (to level up) and an online ranking system called Soul Attack. There is a character map to help gamers customize, to a degree, how their characters advance, a nice piece of creativity seen in more standard RPG’s. Collecting soul points will become addictive. The ability to unlock new characters and master more than just button mashing combos keeps the action fresh through the numerous missions; it’s well done when a Bleach skin could have been slapped on the Dynasty Warriors engine, well done NIS. An action adventure with RPG elements, a great story and license with plenty to unlock … and it controls great, this is a winning formula.
Graphics – While the cel-shaded environments are beautiful there is a level of shading and polish seen in the anime and other anime games that is missing in this Soul Reaper adventure. The game looks outstanding as each character is dead-on their anime persona but there is just something a bit lacking. The special moves and attacks are flawless and look great with all the signature moves fans could want included and the environments leap to life, pulled from the anime and manga; they look outstanding.
Sound – The soundtrack does not offer much in terms of memorable tunes and the lack of the sweet opening and closing themes from the anime is a shame. The voice work is solid as the anime voice cast does their thing quite well and the Japanese cast just seems, well they rock. Music not so great, voice cast is great so it’s a bit of give and take on the sound front.
Design – Licensed games are interesting as the character design, especially for an anime, is already set but this one is pulled off excellently. The game looks solid and while last that certain something in the shading department the likeness of characters, their movements, attacks and design is just plain solid. Translating the world of Bleach into a game that keeps gamers hooked with upgrades, missions and leveling up is rock solid. The game remains fresh and appealing even hours in which is quite an accomplishment for a title with so much already set on the design front from the source material.
Miscellaneous – Three downloadable episodes, 190-192, come with the game and offer a glimpse into what Bleach is all about. More can be seen over on VizAnime.com for free if gamers don’t mind reading a bit of subtitles.
Overall Soul Resurreccion is a great title for fans of Bleach and a solid title for action adventure fans looking for some hours to kill. The design is great, characters and voice work memorable and action is rewarding. Like Naruto, Bleach how now entered the fray of next-gen anime based titles that deliver the goods.