Sony is going an entirely different direction with Bleach: Soul Carnival. The screenshots make Bleach: Soul Carnival look like a cutesy 2.5D fighting game, but it’s actually a Double Dragon style beat ’em up. Bleach: Soul Carnival starts with players picking an area and partner characters to join Ichigo. So, this is how Bleach: Soul Carnival crams 80 something characters into the game. I had Rukia, Orihime, and Uryu in my group. Pressing triangle made Rukia jump in with a static vertical wave of energy. Uryu teleports in and shoots a three arrow fork by pressing up+triangle and Orihime heals Ichigo by pressing down+triangle. Each partner character has a reload time so you can’t have Uryu hovering over you like a gunpod. However, the refresh times for Rukia and Uryu are fast enough that you can make combos with them.
Ichigo can start out with a sword slashing combo then when you’re real close call in Rukia for a multiple hit energy wave and when another enemy approaches bring Uryu into the mix. It’s possible to have four characters on the screen at the same time. I didn’t notice any slowdown when this happened either.
Pressing the L button makes Ichigo call out his hollow powers which slows down time. I never feel a need to use Ichigo’s powers during my time with the demo because the basic enemies didn’t put up much of a fight. Perhaps, the first stage was too easy. If you’re into games like Viewtiful Joe you might want to give Bleach: Soul Carnival regardless of the license.
Images courtesy of Sony.