By Spencer . August 1, 2011 . 6:40pm
Instead of retelling 100+ episodes of the anime series, Bleach: Soul Resurrección opens with Orihime’s rescue. If you’re new to the series, don’t expect an explanation about why Ichigo can turn into a Hollow or even what a Hollow is. In this sense, Racjin designed Bleach: Soul Resurrección for fans. However, I think the same fans might be miffed that popular characters like Chad, Orihime (even after you rescue her), and Renji aren’t playable. Arrancar like Baraggan, Tia, and Ulquiorra add diversity to the roster, which is tilted towards Ichigo. You’ll be able to play as a couple of his forms Bleach: Soul Resurrección.
NIS America localized Bleach: Soul Resurrección and retained the Japanese voiceovers (you can also select English voiceovers in an options menu). However, the game’s original intro didn’t make the cut. I suppose a few codes redeemable for downloadable Bleach episodes bundled in the retail version make up for that.
With the facts out of the way, let’s get to the action. Bleach: Soul Resurrección will draw comparisons to Dynasty Warriors since both titles are 3D brawlers where enemies gang up on players rather than put up a decent fight. Some larger monsters can inflict pain on say Hitsugaya (who starts out with a smaller life bar), but their attack patterns are predictable and easy to dodge. Bleach: Soul Resurrección differs in two subtle ways. Unless green walls lock you into a fight, you can (literally) fly through the game’s levels. Dashing feels fast and it’s unlimited so travel time over large areas is shortened. Also, Bleach: Soul Resurrección’s slash system takes a cue from… Gungrave.
Each Hollow slicing hit raises your combo meter. Get it above 100 and you earn bonus soul points for each cut. This green essence lets you level up your character. Score attack fans take note, you can still keep your combo going even after you tear through all of the Arrancar in an area. The trick is to slash background objects such as columns or giant rocks. Pretty much everything lying on your path to the boss can and should be destroyed because you can extend the slash meter and more importantly earn soul points quicker. The challenge is, perhaps, not as much about fighting the brainless enemies (I suppose spirits don’t have minds anyway…), it’s about keeping your combo meter going even if that means wildly shooting getsugatensho energy waves.
You’re going to need those soul points because Bleach: Soul Resurrección is a grind through style game. Not during the story mode, those chapters basically for character unlocks. Mission mode is the meat of Bleach: Soul Resurrección and that’s where base Rukia or Uryu isn’t going to cut it. Bleach: Soul Resurrección has a more open ended take on the sphere grid, but each character begins trapped in an area with nodes to unlock. Until you get to a certain level you can’t leave. Once you exit, you can walk around the board and sneak into another character’s area and utilize their nodes.
Missions tend to have the same structure – kill everyone and then defeat the boss. With a full ignition gauge you can blitz through most bosses too. This super powered state can be extended with enemy kills and conveniently placed red power ups during boss fights. Once you whittle a boss’ life bar down to about a third you can finish it off with a super move. Bleach: Soul Resurrección begins to get repetitive especially if you want to build up other characters because soul points aren’t shared. Having only a few environments to explore doesn’t help either.
Bleach: Soul Resurrección looks like the anime series and that’s quite an achievement. There’s room for improvement for a future title, Racjin can work on mission diversity and of course adding more characters.