PS3 Preview – Bleach: Soul Resurrección

Fans of Bleach have been eagerly awaiting the localization of one of the more popular video game releases in the series, Bleach: Soul Resurrección. In just a few short months that day will finally be here, and North Americas will finally be able to get their hands on the highly anticipated game. After putting in some time with the localized version, I can say that while it’s definitely not breaking any new ground when it comes to the action genre, it’s definitely not going to disappoint those already invested in the manga.

The story mode is hardly heavy on narrative, but it gives enough context so that fans will easily be able to figure out what’s going on. The chapters are only 10 to 15 minutes long, and it’s actually possible to complete them in less time by just skipping around enemies and only fighting the battles that are forced. Doing so will result in a low-grade, however, and with such an emphasis placed on earning a high score, it sort of negates the point of playing to skip battles.

Levels themselves are incredibly linear, with few chances to go off the beaten path. It’s obvious that the developer is a big fan of Devil May Cry and Bayonetta—the gameplay is very much inspired by popular action games, with an emphasis on big combos and varying between melee and ranged combat. This might get old if there weren’t multiple characters, each of which felt quite different to play as.

Ichigo, for instance, has an obvious focus on melee, with strong combos and weaker ranged attacks, whereas Uryū Ishida is essentially the opposite. I found myself adapting to each character, finding their strengths and using them to gain more points and a higher score. By the end, I was getting combo attacks with hundreds of hits, battling dozens and dozens of enemies at once. Even with a large group of foes on-screen at once the game never chugged, and the frame rate stayed silky smooth even during massive battles.

What I played so far is just the tip of the iceberg. As I said before, it’s definitely not going to turn any heads for those already checked out on the concept of a Bleach game, but it’s definitely going to be a great piece of fan-service for anyone already excited. Luckily, the August release is rapidly approaching, so there’s only a little more waiting left before you’ll be able to jump into the cell-shaded shoes of some of your favorite characters for some over-the-top combat.