Bleach: Blade Battlers (ＢＬＥＡＣＨ ～ブレイド・バトラーズ～, BLEACH ~ bureido batorāzu ~) is a series of Japanese-only fighting games for the PlayStation 2 based on the anime and manga Bleach by Tite Kubo. There are two games in the series, both developed by Racjin and designed by SCEI; Bleach: Blade Battlers and Bleach: Blade Battlers 2nd.
In the Blade Battlers series, the player takes control of one of many characters from the series. As with most other fighting games, the idea is to fight the opposing character, or characters in the free-for-all mode, until their health is fully depleted. Players can use their characters' special abilities taken from the series, such as Ichigo Kurosaki's ability to unlock his Bankai state or Rukia Kuchiki's control over ice with her Zanpakutō. Some of these abilities may alter the arena, such as Rukia's Zanpakutō causing the battlefield to become covered in ice and making other players slide around. In some cases, some of the characters can use other character's weapons, and thus their Bankai/special attacks (for example, Tōshirō Hitsugaya can use Hyōrinmaru and its Bankai).
The series is unique in that while it functions as an arena brawler that allows for a total of 4 player combat, characters are usually facing each other at all times added with omni-directional movement (making it akin to a third-person view). Characters have one basic combo, and 2-to-3 special attacks mapped to the Triangle button by default. Special Attacks with the circle button in neutral or Super Moves with a direction + the circle button can also be performed, and the series also features destructible environments. The characters also make use of a lives-system, as all of their lives (via having their HP bar emptied for each life) must be depleted for a match to end and/or for them to be taken out of combat.
In Blade Battlers 2nd, special attacks have been changed into special forms, resulting in the altering of area obstacles such as random attacks from summonings, shifting the area, etc.
Both games feature extensive battle modes, where characters are unlocked after beating all of the challenges. Some missions have the player perform under certain circumstances, such as a time limit. In both games there is a bonus section where the player can view character models and extras.
The first game had the unique feature of being able to edit characters' finishing special attacks (neutral circle), which could be one other character's attack swapped onto another. This allowed for various combinations of dialogue and interactions between various swapped-specials characters, though it was removed in the second game.
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