Wednesday 14 June 2006
Arms go up, arms come down. Arms go up, arms come down. Few things in this life give you the same warm feeling inside as watching the standard 2D cheering crowd and their two frames of animated celebration. For once you spot these stilted dolts in motion you know what will follow; side scrolling, re-scaling, flat but bright sprites battling it out with juggles, acrobatic impossibility and huge combos.
Yes, from the moment the first frantic, hugely enjoyable but slightly chaotic battle of Bleach begins, you know that while the school is old, this class is definitely new.
Above: The zooming, leaping sprites are fluidly animated
Because while Treasure have embraced all the time-honoured elements of the often fiercely protected 2D fighting genre, there is more going on underneath the garish garnish of twin-level duels and explosive effects - for they've also added in a few new neat touches in the shape of Wi-Fi and stylus-activated special moves.
With each battle being played out on the top screen alone, the bottom one is home to a card-based system that allows you to deal from a deck of power-ups, as well as triggering your most powerful attacks - without resorting to memorising huge streams of button presses.