Bleach: Shattered Blade
I didn’t know it, but Bleach is a big hit in Japan and the Usa. Where I’m from, it’s a bit more difficult to find the manga or anime series but Bleach has fans everywhere. Not strange, as Bleach has mixed everything from Dragonball Z to Naruto. The average Japanese clash of the nonsense with stupid stories, a load of bull and straight forward looking guys with strange hair.
A successful anime series always gets its own game. Most of the times it’s a game that wasn’t really necessary in the first place. I hate those half baked poop deck games. The title half baked poop deck games was invented for games such as Bleach: Shattered Blade. Let’s start with the story, which seems to be written by a monkey with a head. It was an orange head with a purple feather, and it sure is remarkable that monkeys can write, but that doesn’t mean they can just rip off everything from Dragonball Z till Naruto and Samurai X.
After some adventure that the characters only talk about in the game, our heroes get stuck in another dimension. To get back to earth, they have to find the missing shards of a mysterious sword. Of course, you’re not the only daredevil who wants to hold this sword in his tiny little Japanese hands. When talking doesn’t do the trick, they decide to fight for survival and ultimate power. And so it begins..; you get stuck with some interchangeable characters who talk the most stupid intros ever heard in a fighting game. No harm done until now, because a story isn’t exactly a reason to buy a fighting game.
You buy a fighting game because you want to fight. And when it comes to fighting, Bleach sure does look like Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 for Nintendo Wii. I’m willing to look the other way on this one, because better stolen well than invented badly. While they were stealing from Dragonball Z, it is safe to say they must have left something behind because what I’ve seen is nothing close to the quality of some recent Dragonball Z games.
After an hour of playing Bleach, it occurs that all the character have the same moves or moves that appear to be the same. Sure, there are some minor differences between characters, but overall, it are mostly the looks that change. Not to mention that the moves are too limited for a fighting game. Shaking your wii-mote equals slashing with your sword (or other weapon) and whirling your nunchuk gives you new powers. These new powers give you the ability to transform into a stronger version of yourself, much like the Saiyan powers in Dragonball Z. Being stronger means being able to perform stronger moves. Not that you’re gonna need them, because I found it rather easy to defeat all the opponents with just shaking the Wii-mote.
The graphics are fairly ok, but not as good as Dragonball Z. It’s far from ugly, but it misses a big amount of speed, fluent gameplay and tons of charm. The backgrounds are too sober behind the characters, and the characters themselves are too boring to begin with. They could have escaped out of any anime series available. The biggest problem of Bleach isn’t the gameplay, it just misses its own face.
Episode mode lets you experience the story chronologically, but it’s already finished in half an hour. You can still play it with other characters, but that’s like eating stinky fish two times a day. The sounds also deserve to be mentioned. The background music is the same as we know from thousands of other fighting games. Why developers seem to think this monotone and cheap rock music suits fighting games remains to be a mystery. The voice-overs are totally unacceptable. The beginning of a sentence is loud, and after some words the voices start to lose impact until you hardly hear anything at all. Too bad, because the dialogues are so bad it gets funny again.
Do yourself a favour and buy Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2. If you already got a Tenkaichi game, do yourself a favour and stick with that game. Something tells me Tenkaichi 3 is going to be more of the same. I sure hope the quality of the Bleach series is a lot better than this game.