Bleach DS: Souten Ni Kakeru Unmei review

Drink deeply for there's no childproof lid on it

Instead, you slide a sweat-lubricated finger from the standard array of attacks (light, medium and heavy) on the face buttons and dish out a number of quickly deployed (and recharged attacks) or opt for a heavyweight but slowly-charging energy-bar drainer.

And whatever the complexities (and the constant need for a screen-cleaning cloth) of this method, it instantly levels the playing field and lends a depth and subtlety to the fighting.

Now the elaborate and all powerful moves have to be earned, rather than learned, which serves to encourage amateur gamers as well as rewarding pros, who can still craft chains and combos.

Above: You can play almost entirely via the cards, except for the need to block and move

Of course, some of these refinements are lost in the Wi-Fi and wireless play simply because of the demands of including four fighters on screen. So, while the solo mode is solid, the lag online can be fairly hefty, particularly when everyone decides to deploy their processor-hogging powers. While it doesn't really spoil the combat, anarchy reigns over accuracy as mayhem takes hold.

However slowly things can go online, alone things remain crisp, quick and brightly defined. The controls are sharp, the sprites beautifully drawn and the characters balanced enough to force constant changes in tactics and moves.

The only problem that may dog importers is the need to read some Japanese either to know which cards are on offer or to avoid getting trapped in the Story Mode with its varying demands.

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DescriptionMostly traditional fighter, but use of stylus and net play makes it feel new