Bleach: Soul Resurreccion

Sometimes a Substitute is a Good Thing

Bleach: Soul Resurreccion feels as though it should have Dynasty Warriors ahead of it.
Author: Scott Rodgers
Published: September 3, 2011
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Iím not a huge watcher of anime and I canít tell you the difference between 99% of the series out there, but I have watched Bleach. Iím not quite sure why, but something clicked with the series and I was drawn into watching it. So when I found out about Bleach: Soul Resurreccion was coming out I just had to play it. Iíve heard the horror stories of how the series translated into previous games but this met the eye test. It didnít hurt that it looked oddly inspired by Dynasty Warriors and if youíve read any of my stuff on this site youíll know I canít get enough of mashing the square button. All I really wanted to do was beat up dudes as Kenpachi Zaraki and blow up stuff. B:SR met these low requirements but it seemed to lack much...for lack of a better term, soul.

The very first thing anyone will notice about Soul Resurreccion is the distinct graphical style. It looks just like it was pulled from an episode of the anime and the animation is spot on. Each move, from the Getsuga Tenshou to the Senbonzakura, has its own distinct look and stays true to how it works in the show. This means that the action is stopped for special moves to show short scenes (ie: Ichigo donning his hollow mask). Even though each character and enemy (especially the Menos Grande) has been lovingly recreated, the backdrops leave a lot to be desired. I played through the 14 mission story mode and saw there were only three backgrounds, literally. While you wonít spend much time paying attention to them in battle, when you have to run from one area to the next it becomes a bit tiresome. Thatís where the lack of ďsoulĒ comes into play, because you can literally sprint through an entire level, get through the mandatory parts (which will wall off the entrance and exit), then sprint to the levelís boss. It also doesnít help that the campaign doesnít have any real cutscenes short of the combat related ones. The entire story is told through pre-mission text and in battle everything is explained by charactersí (playable and nonplayable alike) incessant babbling.

If youíve played any of the Dynasty Warriors games you can guess where the bulk of the gameplay is: grinding. The campaign is roughly an hour and a half to two hours in length but mission mode is where youíll be playing most of the time. Each character has their own massive grid to level up with soul points that are accumulated from battle. Since you can pick and choose your path of leveling up (as long as they connect, of course!) you can make your characters fit your combat style. Of course, if you aim for trophies be prepared to pump in a lot of hours (way too many for me even consider it) into each characterís tree since you have to unlock everything. As a side note; to fully develop a some one's tree you have to unlock every playable character and you can only unlock some in mission mode.

Even though it seems like there isnít a lot to the game there is plenty to keep players engaged. There are only three difficulties: normal (which I suggest playing through the campaign with, otherwise youíll get smoked), hard (best used after beating each mission, regardless of ranking and to level up), and very hard (for trophy enthusiasts only, maddeningly difficult). Youíll have to play through on each difficulty if you plan to platinum but I found normal and hard to be more than enough. Though the campaign is brief and requires you to play as specific characters, mission mode is sort of the ďfree playĒ game type. Some of the missions have their own challenges (one hit kills, fight two bosses at once, no spirit attacks or super moves among other things) and there are a drastic upticks in difficulty from the campaign. This is one of those games that each person will get something different out of. If you just want to play everything once and unlock the characters then youíll easily be able to plow through everything in two or three days. If you want to take the time to painstakingly level up each character and see everything there is then this one could easily last you the rest of the year.
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