The first battle in Bleach: The 3rd Phantom serves multiple purposes. It acts as a tutorial, introduces the main characters and to also sets the stage for the first few chapters of the game. We learn how Bleach: The 3rd Phantom's stars, Fujimaru and his twin sister Matsuri, became shinigami.
The story begins with 5th Division Captain Seigen Suzunami, his Vice Captain Sosuke Aizen and 12th Division Captain Kisuke Urahara. Hollows always have caused trouble around the Soul Society, though mainly in the residential Rukongai district. The three are investigating the area for hollows and come across them (naturally).
The battle is fairly easy, and introduces players to combat. You select a character with the D-pad and "A" button, then select the first option to move, the second to attack, third to unleash special attacks, fourth to charge the reiatsu gauge, fifth to use an item or last to wait.
The hollows are no match for Suzunami, Urahara and Aizen, so they quickly dispatch them. It is then that they hear a commotion from a nearby home. A massive Mad Eater is attempting to attack two twin children. The brother steps in front of the girl to protect her. When all seems lost, the three shinigami arrive and Mad Eater takes off.
The two children, Fujimaru and Matsuri Kudo, are taken to Suzunami's house, where he and his sister Konoka nurse them back to health. The twins are then given a choice – they can be adopted into the family, stay in the Seireitei and become shinigami, or they can head back to the Rukongai district they came from. Of course Fujimaru and Matsuri stay (there'd be no game if they didn't), and the story fast forwards to when they have graduated from the academy, and are now learning and patrolling the Rukongai districts under Kaien Shiba.
Images courtesy of Sega.