Bleach: Soul Resurreccion hands-on preview

The Bleach series is a little difficult to properly convey to the casual observer. What started with the story of some poor guy who happened to have the ability to see ghosts has spiraled out into something far, far more involved. Massive battles, epic turns of allegiance, angry quasi-teddy bears, faces that may or may not be skeletal, clashes with enemies that would as soon fell a skyscraper as take on another challenger. These are the things of Bleach. And they are woefully inadequate in terms of actually describing what Bleach actually is.

The short version (and trust us, we're seriously whittling things down here) is that normal "I see icky things" Ichigo is well entrenched in the world of the Soul Society (don't sweat that; it's deeper than we can explain here), of felling Hollows (big time bad guys; they've got a pretty gaping hole in 'em, that's how you know), and generally getting along with fellow Shinigami  types (they’re the whole Death God folks). Also, they are, all of them, awesome in varying degrees.

And so, on any given week, Ichigo and friends square off for half-hour-long tussles with increasingly ridiculous consequences. “Ridiculous,” is, of course, used in the most reverent sense, but often the scale of the battles (or even just one-off attacks) is so huge that one might wonder how it would translate to a game. In Japan, it’s apparently translated quite well, with Sony Computer Entertainment handling the publishing duties for a handful of titles that have sold well on the back of a phenomenally popular manga (and, of course, the anime).

Here in the States, though, folks are used to getting their mainstream anime fix by way of channels like Cartoon Network (or, more precisely the late-night Adult Swim block), have had to either summon the gumption to import the games and brave the language barrier, or just sit back and hope someone would give the latest HD offering a proper localization.

And that’s where NIS America comes in. Having seen the Japanese sales for Bleach: Soul Ignition in their native Japan, the American wing of the strategy RPG mainstay has opted to bring things over under the title Bleach: Soul Resurreccion. Don’t let the Latin-infused moniker throw you; this is still the same hack-and-slash epic already gifted to Bleach-starved fans abroad.

There’s really not much to explain – take the familiar button mashing fun of Dynasty Warriors, fold in plenty of story-heavy cutscene exposition, and throw in plenty of big baddies and quickly felled mobs alike and you have the basic idea. From there, it’s a matter of simply picking your character (though plenty were available, we stuck to the obviously-announced Ichigo) and plowing out into the desert to hack away at Hollows.

There’s no questioning the Dynasty Warriors influence. Ichigo has a standard quick attack that can be linked and/or finished with a ranged one by tapping Square a few billion times and ending with a press of the triangle button. Should one opt for just that triangle attack, it sucks energy from a special attack meter but spits out lancing walls of energy – useful for taking down airborne enemies, say. Along with an infinite dash that can be used for fast traversal across both ground and air and a lock-on/block move that helps with quick dashes, Ichigo is generally concerned with just hacking enemies to bits. Lots of enemies.

Generally speaking, that’s the bulk of the missions. Though there's a heavy story influence, it has yet to be translated, so we had to skip past the reams of text and watch quizzically as the shout-fest cutscenes played out. Thankfully, there was plenty of eye candy to distract us from our frail grip on the Japanese language, and in much the same way CyberConnect 2’s Ultimate Ninja Storm Naruto games did, Soul Resurreccion looks stunningly close to the anime, with plenty of clean, smooth lines and some slick high-action bits.

Those really only crop up at the end of levels, though, when one has to square off against a boss (and here we saw an interesting variety ranging from a trio of towering shrouded Hollows, to more grounded – literally, with vines and all – baddies). In the mean time, the bulk of each mission revolves around slaughtering hundreds of one-hit-kill Hollow grunts, with the occasional moment where an energy barrier will be thrown up while mini-bosses or harder enemies make an appearance and have to be taken out.

Though our hands-on time with Soul Resurreccion was rather brief, what we played certainly helped scratch the Dynasty Warriors itch that tends to crop up from time to time. The addition of cutscenes that manage to almost perfectly recreate the look and feel of the anime will certainly help sell things to fans, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to get a bit more in-depth with things before the game hits the states this August. As soon as we’ve gotten more, so will you.

May 18, 2011


  • IronHeaver - May 20, 2011 6:25 a.m.

    Acerlux: I cant agree more, weres the One Piece game the fans have been waiting for? Not the lame to average ones weve goten so far, Im talking the five star treatment like this games getting. Also I love Bleach so this is definitly on my want list :D just please dont suck >.<
  • freakyfro99 - May 19, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    Awww yeaaaahhhhh. Although I kinda hope the games don't go into the current saga. this fullbring business is crap...
  • jackthemenace - May 19, 2011 8:45 p.m.

    NO! NERO's Voice actor! (No offence to the guy, I just seriously dislike Ner). That said, I'd be happy as long as I can FINALLY play is Izuru Kira, even if the BLEACH games DO tend to be a bit crap.
  • 4fromK - May 19, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    interesting. the cell shading looks really nice. I pray you can change the voice acting to jap with subs though, because I hate bleach's english dub.
  • R-ape - May 19, 2011 12:35 a.m.

    I know that empty backgrounds and layouts in this game are faithful to the anime, but it's still a turn off for me. Looks kinda fun though.
  • animeman - May 18, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    Cant wait am a huge fan of the series and have been waiting for a PS3 Bleach game for a wail. I even own a couple of Bleach imports for my PSP.
  • Acerlux - May 18, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    Where the hell is my HD One Piece game? If Bleach and Naruto can get decent adaptations, then so can One Piece.
  • FauxFurry - May 18, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    This isn't what one normally thinks of when PS3 exclusives are bought up. There's not nearly enough pale skinned brunettes of European descent present for that. Whatever. It beats having to settle for making Bleach characters in Soul Calibur 4...maybe.
  • aman123 - May 18, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    Please don't ruin this for me :( Please don't let this suck.
  • Kyo - May 18, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    I'm so glad it's coming out this year lol I played the japanese demo a while back and it was fun(as hell for me) so I can't wait to actually play the full game.
  • Moondoggie1157 - May 18, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    I want to be excited, but every game that i get excited for (past couple years) never lives up to my dreams... Still excited though. Maybe my standards are too high? If I am paying 59.99 it better be good... But I digress... This game looks wicked.
  • Crabhand - May 18, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    Looks really cool. *Notices the PS3 exclusivity* Oh well, nevermind, I guess I can get it if I ever buy a PS3. By then I will probably forget, though.
  • shadowreaper72 - May 18, 2011 9:12 p.m.

    Dynasty Warriors and Bleach? Hell I'll hit it.
  • Rinaldvonizeburn - May 18, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    Oh hey look it's naruto Shippuden: Ninja storm 2 with skins! JK JK graphics look similar so I JK'd about it JEEZ CHILL GUYS CHILLAX

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