Review: Bleach: Soul Resurreccion
posted on 07.30.11 at 02:32 PM EDT by (@salromano)
For the fans

I’ve never been one to watch the Bleach anime or read the manga. Anime and I mix on very rare occasions. While Bleach revolves around evil spirits, souls, and all of this supernatural activity, I find myself enjoying anime more in tune with reality, such as Kenji Kamiyama’s Eden of the East. So going into Bleach: Soul Resurreccion, I naturally wasn’t very familiar with the story. And Soul Resurreccion‘s Story Mode didn’t do much in helping me understand.

The first of many problems with Story Mode is that it doesn’t know how to tell its tale. Unless you’re a Bleach fan, you probably won’t understand what’s going on. I know because I had my Bleach fanatic friend next to me as I was playing, helping me comprehend the story’s key points. Basically, Ichigo Kurosaki (above) and the Soul Reapers of the 13th Court Guard must defeat Sosuke Aizen and his army of Arrancars, who threaten to destroy the peace of both the Soul Society and World of the Living. There aren’t very many cutscenes that illustrate the story. Before you jump into a stage, after choosing an episode in Story Mode, you’re presented with a narrated wall of text that highlights what occurred before the stage and what’s occurring as you’re beginning the stage. While you’re actually playing, the only other bits of story presented (until the stage’s boss fight) are small selections of dialogue from other characters that appear on the bottom of the screen (they’re voiced). Once you get to the end of the stage for the eventual boss fight, you’ll see a minute-long cutscene of your character and the enemy speaking. You’ll go into battle, and in most cases, knock half his health down before there’s another small cutscene, then go back into the fight and finish them off.

Grimmjow in battle

Story Mode is short. It has fourteen episodes to play through, a few of which (two or three, I think) are straight boss battles. On Normal difficulty, boss battles can be won in two to three minutes. It’s easy — most of the time, you don’t need to worry about your health, as you’re doing most of the striking anyhow. On Hard difficulty, it’s a different story. Out of the few times I tried to play a stage on Hard, I couldn’t reach the end, so I decided it’s not for me. But on Normal difficulty, you could clear the story in 3.5 hours, tops.

I’ve heard Soul Resurreccion‘s gameplay constantly compared to Dynasty Warriors. Playing the game, I could understand why. But what Bleach does differently is offers non-repetitive, and even more so non-generic, hack-n-slash gameplay. The game offers a wide selection of 18 characters (they’re unlocked as you play Story Mode) who all have their own unique set of attacks and specials. Square is your basic attack, Triangle is your special (which consumes parts of your Spiritual Pressure bar — usually a projectile), Circle is your super special (which consumes all of your Spiritual Pressure bar), X is to jump, R1 is to defend, R2 is to dash, and L2 activates your Ignition Gauge (which you can use to perform your ultimate attack). You could mix these up in your own way, and perform a nice array of combos. There aren’t many, to be honest, but it’s still fun, nonetheless. The vastly different fighting style of each character keeps the game fresh.

Though, while gameplay is non-generic, environments are. Throughout the 14-episode Story Mode, you’ll play through only a small amount of environments. Episode 1 for example, is set in a desert environment. While episode 2 jumps to a castle environment, episode 3 goes back to the desert. Of course, it’s completely re-routed, but everything feels and looks the same. Not much detail was put into creation of the environments, either. Everything is bland and plain; it feels as if the world is not alive. One desert stage would be filled with gray blocks (which are destructible), the other with red pillars. The stages become a bore to the eye after a while, and it feels like you’re playing the same stage over again.

Harribel uses her special

Aside from Story Mode, the game offers a 28-stage Mission Mode, each mission with their own clear conditions and difficulty levels. Even with the extra missions, which have no relation to the story, the stages all look and play the same as those from Story Mode. The same can be said for the type of enemies you face. There aren’t very many enemies, and some of the newer enemies you’ll come across fight the same as older enemies, but are merely re-skinned or re-colored. Simply said, the game’s no less than repetitive.

What may keep you playing is the game’s leveling system. As you play through Story Mode episodes and Mission Mode stages, you’ll earn Soul Points for your character. These Soul Points can be used to level up that character in what I can only describe as a Final Fantasy XIII Crystarium-esque leveling system. Leveling up one trait will allow you level up the traits around it. Level up that trait, and its surrounding traits will open, as well. Traits include: vitality, Spiritual Pressure, attack, defense, and abilities. You can’t exactly learn new abilities, but you can apply new features, such as the ability to counter upon defend, to your existing abilities.

Character variety keeps Bleach: Soul Resurreccion a different experience, but frankly, that’s all it has going for it. Bland environments, a short incomprehensible story, and an overall repetitive structure keeps the game from being on the level of anime video game titles such as Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm. This game is for the fans, who I’m sure will pick up the game whether they like it or not. A bonus, the retail disc includes a PlayStation Network voucher code for three episodes of the Bleach anime from the PlayStation Store. The game supports both English and Japanese audio, as well.

5/10

Bleach: Soul Resurreccion was reviewed on a PlayStation 3. Story Mode was played to completion. Mission Mode was also played, but not to completion. Bleach: Soul Resurreccion launches for PlayStation 3 on August 2, 2011 for an MSRP of $59.99.

  • Rafi

    Nice review !!

    Already playing the game and 100% agree with you….
    And now i waiting another review from gematsu !!….

  • http://www.espadakiller.wordpress.com EspadaKiller

    I guess this game is more of a fan service to Bleach fans than pulling in more fans for the Bleach franchise.

    But to me, I like Bleach (i read the manga and watch the anime) but after playing the demo I’m quite disappointed with the gameplay. If only the gameplay is the same or almost the same as the 2 Naruto games on the PS3 (and countless Naruto games on the PS2/PSP) then it would be awesome.

    But oh well nice review btw, hoping to see more game reviews from you ;)

    • Sal Romano

      @EspadaKiller: Thanks (and to you, too, Rafi) for the positive words. We’re trying — or I’m trying, rather. We just got Catherine in — we requested to review it over a week before it launched, but it just arrived yesterday. Trying to play through that as fast as I can to get up a review. Though the fact that I have things to do today are stalling my progress.

      For next month, we have El Shaddai and Deus Ex reviews, which should go up before release (at least, that’s the plan).

  • http://www.espadakiller.wordpress.com EspadaKiller

    I just bought Catherine as well, and to be honest the difficulty is >_>

    Good luck on completing Catherine haha!

    El Shaddai and Deus Ex, awesome if you can get reviews before the release date for these 2 games. Keep the reviews coming!

    • Sleepygamer

      @EspadaKiller: I agree with you on the difficulty in Catherine

  • Leonix7791

    Yes we need more reviews for this place :)

  • punkmike

    nice review, but it is a little disappointing to find out that soul ressureccion turned out to be another bland fan-service game, but I’m not surprised just a little let down.

  • Panicradar

    I stopped reading after Eden of The East…I never thought Id find another fan…O joyous day! TvT

    • Sal Romano

      @Panicradar: Eden of the East is probably the best anime I’ve ever watched.

      • zerolegacy0

        @Sal Romano:Eden of the East is a great show but, if that’s the best anime you’ve ever watched I could probably give you some recommendations that will blow your mind.

        On a side note, I noticed that a lot of people here are anime fans, and most of them tend to like Japanese games over western ones.That’s why I love this site so much.

        • Sal Romano

          @zerolegacy0: Throw ‘em at me.

          • zerolegacy0

            @Sal Romano: Since I don’t know which shows you have already seen I’ll just list ones I know to be good.

            These shows are widely regarded as some of the best anime ever made:
            Ghost in the Shell (another show by Kenji Kamiyama)
            Cowboy Bebop
            Akira
            Neon Genesis Evangelion
            Now here’s few titles that are a little less known:
            Samurai Champloo
            Black Lagoon
            Texhnolyze
            Paranoia Agent
            Monster
            I could go on, but I wanted to keep the list short and sweet.
            I hope at least one of these pique your interest, let me know if you watch any.

            • whiteferrero

              @zerolegacy0: you forgot the anime of your avatar. :D

              • zerolegacy0

                @whiteferrero: lol yeah TTGL is one of my favorites, but Sal said he liked anime that were more realistic. I probably could have named 100 more anime if I wanted to. Things like: Spirited Away, FLCL, or even K-ON! if he was a hardcore fan.

            • Sal Romano

              @zerolegacy0: My friend Danny’s suggested I watch Paranoia Agent time and time again and I’ve never gotten around to it. I’ll probably watch that first. Will look into the rest of the list, as well. Thanks, ZL0!

  • punkmike

    there is another Eden of the east fan on this site. I’ll give you a hint, his user name is punkmike ; )

  • Aldridge517

    Expected.

  • RyougaZell

    I was thinking of getting this game. I guess I won’t :)

    • Azure’Sora

      @RyougaZell: Everything is too gray in this game..