Bleach DS 2nd [import] review

  • Sophisticated fighting mechanics
  • Still every bit as insane
  • Explosive teddy bears
  • Button mashing hecticness
  • Very little has changed
  • Music sucks

What do we love about Bleach? Fox-headed samurai. Furious banana eat-offs. A screen-engulfing caterpillar with a cherubic baby face. Death gods masquerading as Japanese schoolgirls using huge reserves of demonic energy to summon explosive teddy bears. What do we hate? That all of the above appear in the same ten seconds.

On paper - or at least in the much needed translated instructions we found online - Bleach features a sophisticated combat system that revolves around biding your time for powerful attacks or eating into attack energy for quick bursts of defensive cross-screen warping. Characters can shift between the foreground and the background and can only be attacked by enemies on the same plane as them.

Entering your first battle, all wide eyed and innocent, your mind is swirling with ideas for cunning attacks. “I’ll shift planes, dash behind him, shift back and gut the baggy samurai fool” or “I’ll bide my time leading them on a merry plane-shifting dance before unleashing my almighty ice snake on them.” Cool as a sword-wielding cucumber you press start. Chaos ensues. A flurry of sword strokes and one giant attack pig later and you’re history.

Shaken by the merciless beating, it takes a brave man/woman to press restart, but a brave man/woman strengthened with the knowledge that, sophisticated combat be damned, in the land of Bleach the nimblest button masher wins. Fast and furious is the flavor of the day. With complicated button combos thrown out in favor of touch screen special attack activation, instant gratification is on hand for all.

Battles are often decided by the speed of touch screen pawing, but this results in a brawler true to the anime’s eyeball frazzling balminess. It could benefit from some time on the quiet step, but Bleach is still a premium DS brawler.

More Info

Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Action


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