Review – Bleach: Soul Resurrección

Bleach: Soul Resurrección has slashed its way onto the PS3. Should you prepare for battle, or should you take a pass? Read our review to find out.

 

For fans of anime and manga, the Bleach series has been known to entertain readers and viewers alike. Bleach: Soul Resurrección follows Ichigo Kurosaki, the Soul Reapers of the 13th Court Guard, and a number of Ichigo’s friends. They must band together to defeat Sosuke Aizen and his army of Arrancars. If you know the series well, then you know the storyline. If you are new to the series, the game wont do much to help you understand exactly what’s going on. Understanding the story isn’t necessary, so no need to worry about that. Story telling is attempted by screens of text and cut scenes right before boss battles. Over one hundred episodes of the series are condensed into fourteen story missions, so don’t feel bad if you can’t seem to follow along.

Ichigo Kurosaki

Through the Story Mode, you’ll unlock different characters and earn Soul Points. Every time you take out a bad guy, or destroy an object, Soul Points are released and you automatically absorb them. No need to chase them down, since they’ll come to you. These Soul Points can be used to upgrade the character that earned them. The upgrade system is reminiscent of Final Fantasy X’s sphere grid. Spending your Soul Points can increase your life bar, pressure bar, and unlock new moves for that character. Each character has to earn their own Soul Points, so there’s no sharing between them.

Mission mode unlocks after you get through chapter ten of the story mode. There are 28 total missions, and these generally consist of hacking your way through a bunch of enemies and then taking down a boss. Each mission has a Battle Condition that must be adhered to. This can be anything like no jumping, your pressure bar doesn’t regenerate, or a set time limit. With only fourteen story chapters, the Mission mode does extend the life of the game somewhat.

The last mode to play is Soul Attack. These are nine missions that you can play through that give you a limited amount of time to earn as many Soul Points as possible, and finish the level. Your score is then uploaded to the PlayStation network where you can see how you match up against other players all over the world through Leaderboards.

The game is clearly in the hack and slash genre of gaming. At first glance, it seemed all we had to do was keep pressing square, and our foes fell before us. Once you start upgrading your character, better combos become available and just button spamming becomes detrimental to your game play. Combos became much more effective if you learned to time the presses, and meet the combo requirements. Each character also has their own unique Ignition move that can take out a large number of bad guys within an area. These are all well designed and fun to watch. Earning a Miraculous 500 hit combo while using one of these moves is pretty cool. Your hit combo can increase the rate at which you collect Soul Points, so keeping that going is a definite plus.

The level designs for the game are very limited. There are only a couple of level themes used in the entire game. You are either in a city environment, or a desert environment. These environments are very minimal, with little to no details. That’s a little disappointing given the resources available on the PS3. Character design and enemy design seems to take center stage, and maybe that was the intention. Some detail to the levels would have made for a better experience in our opinion. Overall the graphics were decent. Not as good as other exclusive PS3 titles, but decent enough that they weren’t hard on the eyes. This being an anime title, it looked as good as an HD anime episode should look.

The audio for the game sounds top notch. You can select to have the characters speak in either English or Japanese, with subtitles for either if you want to try to follow along. Each specific move by each character has that character saying the same thing. If you find a useful move that you’ll use over and over, be prepared to hear that character say the same thing over and over and over. The music for the game has a nice techno sound to it, with plenty of base if you want to crank up your subwoofer. The music may get a little repetitive. The tempo will rise and fall as you go in and out of battle, so that does help break the monotony.

For those that received first run copies of the game, a code is included so that they can download three episodes of the Bleach series from the PlayStation store. The episodes are 190, 191, and 192. The game cases aren’t marked, so you may or may not get a game with codes if you wait to pick up this title.

NIS America’s Bleach: Soul Resurrección is a fun game, but with its short story mode, and hard to follow story line, it really left us wanting for more. It is well executed and a very playable game, but it screams for a multiplayer mode where you can fight your friends, or even work alongside them. The game is a great idea, with great looking characters and animations, it just needed more.

Hopefully NIS America can help this game grow with free DLC.

7