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Review: Bleach: Soul Resurreccion for PS3

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Bleach: Soul Resurreccion

Title: Bleach: Soul Resurreccion
Price: $59.99
System(s): PS3
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Publisher (Developer): NIS America (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
Pros: Multiple gameplay modes, lots of opportunities to level up, 21 characters to choose from, looks great, fantastic voice acting and it does a good job of recreating recent events from the anime/manga. You also get episodes 190-193 free when you buy it. There’s also English and Japanese voice options. Mission and Score Attack modes can get quite challenging. Characters’ bodies and clothing show damage when their HP gets really low.
Cons: A lot of fan favorite characters are absent. Gameplay can get repetitive. No multiplayer. Only a few different kinds of enemies. Commentary can be easy to ignore or overlook if you’re busy fighting.
Overall Score: Two thumbs up, 90/100, A-, * * * * out of 5

While Naruto has been the king of shounen anime video games that have received North American releases, Bleach hasn’t exactly been out. There have been multiple DS and Wii games inspired by the series that received English releases. However, we’ve never seen one on a Sony platform outside Japan. NIS America has changed all that, by bringing Bleach: Soul Ignition to North American PS3s as Bleach: Soul Resurreccion. I’m sure Bleach fans were hoping for one of the Bleach: Heat the Soul games, but Bleach: Soul Resurreccion is definitely worth a look.

Bleach: Soul Resurreccion

Infiltrate Hueco Mundo, save Orihime and stop Aizen

As mentioned in Gamertell’s previous preview, Bleach: Soul Resurreccion takes place after episode 145 of the anime, where Ichigo, Uryu and Chad have headed into Hueco Mundo, to save Orihime who has been captured by Ulquiorra Cifer and taken to Las Noches, Aizen’s base. From there the game doesn’t exactly follow every event in the series. Some battles are left out during the 14 Story Episodes, which is to be expected since Soul Resurreccion loosely covers what happens between episode 145 and episode 390.

Each episode is inspired by or based on a few episodes, with a brief introduction telling what happened leading up to that moment. Players then follow a predetermined character through his or her battles against Arrancars and Hollows. It’s a fairly typical hack-and-slash, with dozens of enemies on screen to attack. The goal is to cut through as many as you can, as quickly as you can, occasionally overcoming certain mini-goals as you dash towards the area’s boss battle.

Bleach: Soul Resurreccion

Bleach fans will be pleased, though others may find it occasionally tedious.

The first thing you’re going to notice in Bleach: Soul Resurreccion is the character roster. For a series where the last fighting game, Bleach: Heat the Soul 7, had 84 playable characters, there is undoubtedly going to be high expectations. Bleach: Soul Resurreccion only has 21. What will probably sting even more is that fan favorites, like Renji Abarai, Kisuke Urahara, Shinji Hirako, Chad and Orihime aren’t playable. After playing, I can understand why Sony chose to make the characters that are there available and why some others may have been omitted, but it feels like something’s missing when characters who have been playable in almost every Bleach games don’t show up.

It isn’t all bad though, as the characters don’t all play the same. There are standard sword fighters, like Ichigo and Kyoraku, hand to hand fighters like Yoruichi and Soi Fon and distance specialists like Uryu and Byakuya. Actually, Byakuya is especially interesting as the distance of his attacks varies based on your timing while attacking. Sterk, on the other hand, wields only guns and is a distance fighter, but his attacks don’t have the same reach as Uryu’s. Kenpachi is also good to use if you need a challenge, since he has high HP and minimal range, but really no ranged attacks. (Plus, his Kendo special move is funny. Devastating, yet funny.) It really helps make Bleach: Soul Resurreccion stand out and feel unique, and give players opportunities to test out new strategies in the Mission and Score Attack modes.

See, Bleach: Soul Resurreccion comes with three gameplay modes. The main mode, Story, has 14 episodes. Here’s where you’ll unlock playable characters and missions for the Mission mode. In each episode, you’re forced to play as a predetermined character. Mission mode is similar to to the Story mode’s episodes, except you’re given a challenging task, occasionally with restrictions, and can complete it with any character you like. Score Attack is similar to both, except you’re trying to obtain the best scores possible with any character and reach a high position on the online leaderboard, all within a certain amount of time. (Warning: You may want to get to at least level 30 with a character before even trying the first Score Attack challenge.) All three play in a similar manner, with the Mission and Score Attack offering the most replay value and challenge due to the number of Soul Points, which can be used to upgrade characters, you can earn, the fact that any character players want can be used in them and some of them being really, incredibly difficult, even on the Normal difficulty setting.

The only real failing in Bleach: Soul Resurreccion is that despite the different modes, it’s just so repetitive. You’re going to have to do a lot of Story, Mission and Score Attack mode replaying if you want to max out one character. I don’t want to even think how much time completionists would have to spend getting all 21 characters up to a decent level. Also, that leveling can be mandatory in some cases. You won’t be able to beat a three star difficulty level mission with a level one character. It’s the same problem that comes up in games like Dynasty Warriors. True fans of the series won’t have a problem with it though and even casual players can overcome that hurdle by just pacing themselves when they play.

Bleach: Soul Resurreccion

An anime-inspired beat’em up worth buying.

Bleach: Soul Resurreccion isn’t the Bleach PlayStation game fans expected to see localized and released in North America, but don’t let that taint the experience. It’s an admirable action game that’s easy to get into and master, with ample motivation to keep returning to replay so you can complete all the Story Episodes, Missions and Score Attack challenges. The fact that many characters offer different play strategies makes it even better. Besides, anime fans will squeal with delight when the realize the cel-shaded graphics make it actually look like they’re playing through an episode from the series. As an avowed and long-time Bleach fan, I was sufficiently pleased with how Bleach: Soul Resurreccion turned out.

Note: Gamertell was provided a review copy of Bleach: Soul Resurreccion for this review.

Site [Bleach: Soul Resurreccion]

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