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So I often do reviews for games on GameFAQS and they wont take extended reviews until 7 days after the game came out so I figured I would put the first draft here and give you all my thoughts on this game. So lets begin.
Soul Resureccion is the first Bleach game for the PS3 and covers all of the Hueco Mundo arc through FKT. The game is divided into three modes, Story, Mission and Soul Attack. This review will be quite extensive covering all 21 characters strengths and weaknesses, the story mode and mission mode and a little section for soul attack.
Story mode is going to take you from Ichigo's entrance into Las Noches up until Aizen's defeat. Unfortunately, while this may sound extensive, it skips a whole lot. There is no battle against Aisslinger and Medezppi, there is no Renji and Uryu against Szayel. You face the top 7 Espada and no Privaron Espada or anyone else. There are 14 missions here. Many of them you will be playing Ichigo but you get to control, Rukia, Uryu, Hitsugaya, Byakuya, Kenpachi, Kyoraku, Sui-Feng and Yoruichi in a chapter each. Progressing through each level is little more than defeat the enemies and get to the boss. Beat the boss and win. Occasionally it will trap you in an area and ask you to defeat certain enemies before you can continue but that is about all the variation you are going to get. This was a big disappointment. With as rich as the Bleach universe is and how detailed all these fight are you would think that there would be some in mission objectives. They also change some of the details of these fights, for instance, Hachi is nowhere to be found when Sui-Feng fights Baraggan. No Lisa and Hiyori to help out against Harribel. They completely ignored the Visoreds and it seems Yoruichi defeated Aizen's first form by herself. I don't mind that these characters did not join in on the fight but even the cut scenes dont show them. The order on some of these is messed up as well. Harribel, Baraggan and Starrk are defeated before Ulquiorra. The other problem here is the environments. They are all recycled. Every battle in FKT takes place in the same level design, same with all in Las Noches and so on.
All the bad stuff about Story Mode aside, it is a very fun game to play through. I hear a lot of comparison to Dynasty Warriors. I have never played DW so for me, I say it is a cross between God of War and Ninja Gaiden(shameless plug). It has the combo system of God of War in which it does not matter if you take a little damage so long as you keep the combo going. To indicate the combo, there is a timer bar that will get smaller as you run out the time to make your next hit. The more hits, the higher the multiplier for gaining soul points- your currency for leveling up. Every character has their square button melee(except for Starrk- more on that later). Some characters have unique melee such as Rukia cast a binding spell on her third strike or Aizen does a large circular swing, knocking back enemies on the 4th hit. The triangle button is used for spirit attacks a.k.a what you will be spamming. Spirit attacks are usually long range attacks that use spiritual pressure. O button is for special attacks, they are powerful moves that eat up almost all of your spirit pressure bar. Often, characters have varying special and spirit attacks when they are in the air or when they are on the ground. You also have an ignition gauge which builds when you fight. Tap L2 when it is ready to receive a huge boost in power that will last for a minute or two. All your attacks get suped up and will do massive damage. Hit L2 again before you run out of gauge and you perform a single massively powerful attack that is the characters signature move in most cases. For Ichigo, it is the Hollow enhanced Getsuga, Sui-Feng is her Bankai, Starrk is Cero Metralleta. From Ninja Gaiden, they stole a variant on the health bar system. Your health bar will automatically regenerate as time passes but the more damage you take, the less that refills. The game plays pretty well and you are going to have a lot of fun progressing, trying out new moves and combos.The level up system is basically the sphere grid from Final Fantasy X(My favorite game of all time). You are on a board and need to spend points to move around and into other people's grids. Though one of the cheapest things I have found in this game is boss fights. Bosses have infinite ignition. They can activate ignition whenever they want, use their ignition attack and then turn ignition right back on. It is the cheapest thing you will ever see. I was doing a mission and was so close to beating it on hard when Kenpachi shows up. I started juggling him, knocking him down to low health. He then activates ignition even though he never landed a hit on me. He unleashes his ignition attack and I am brought to very low health. He then activates ignition right away again and unleashes another ignition attack to kill me. This was horribly cheap and not the first time something like this happened. One of the joys of this game I found was the voices. You can choose either English or Japanese. For a person like myself who is not too fond of the English Va's, this was perfect. I get to hear all the characters voiced by their original Seiyu's. I think the gameplay is probably the best part of this game, as it should be.
This is where you will get some slight diversity. When I say slight, I mean slight. The biggest variation I have encountered thus far is a kill 200 Hollows mission in the same repeated map. Other missions will just be a boss fight while some take away certain abilities like dash or guard or give you a time limit. I was making my way through these with ease at first but they quickly turned up the difficulty on many of them, making you fight two bosses at once. One mission makes hits from both sides a one shot kill so you need to hit before they hit you. This is where most of your time will be spent. These missions are tough and you will need highly leveled characters to beat many of the later missions. Unfortunately the vast majority of these missions is still move to the end of the level and beat the boss. Overall, the mission mode is fun since you can play as all the characters but its not all that diverse. It will certainly challenge you though.
Dreadfully, I have yet to put some time into this. It seems like its basically mission mode v2 with a few objectives in there. More will come on this as I get to it.
So here is the meat of my review. I want to take a look at all the characters and what was done right, and what was done wrong.
Ichigo Kurosaki- probably the most balanced character in the game. He has no real draw backs. Decent power, good speed, good amount of health. Plus you can spam Getsuga like him. Ichigo was done pretty well. Nothing really bad or good I can say though as he is the base for review.
- Spoiler Character 1*- Im sure you have all seen the picture from Hell Chapter of this but I wont go into too much detail about exactly what he looks like and all that. It is Ichigo with another skin. His attacks are slightly different but not all that much. He is the combo king of the Ichigo forms. All of his moves set up for another so that you can keep the combo rolling. He won't be getting Starrk like combos but he can pull off 600 hit combos without too much work.
Final Ichigo - Ichigo in his new Bankai form. Much stronger than base Ichigo and his spirit attacks are one of the only ones in the game that will continue on after killing an enemy. Very strong character though very hard to unlock. His ignition is the Final GT and Mugetsu which is very powerful but has some draw backs. It lowers you down to 25% health after you use it and for such a powerful attack, it is not very wide. It will however take out a full health boss or three if you line it up right. His main problem though is that it is hard to maintain high combos with him. All of his attacks will kill enemies very quickly, not letting you get very many hits to the combo. This makes it kind of hard to get a good grade on missions.
Rukia Kuchiki- Rukia is an odd character. This is back when she was just an unseated officer so they get her power right. She fights mainly with Kido spirit attacks. Sokatsui and Soren Sokatsui. Tsukishiro is one of her special attacks which is surprisingly strong. Interestingly, on the third strike of a melee combo, she unleashes a low level Bakudo spell. Looks like Sai. Not the strongest and enemies will break it with ease but kind of interesting. Her problem though is her defense or rather her total lack of it. She will be brought down very quickly and without upgrades, she is going to die quick and she is going to not be dealing a whole lot of damage. Not the best character but pretty true to her power in the series.
Uryu Ishida- a surprisingly good character. Uryu fights with his Seele Schneider for melee and Ginreikojaku for his spirit attacks. If you want to use purely the bow like he should, you can, he has enough pressure for that. He is quite unqiue in that his special is Ginto. You have 4 Ginto tubes and how many are full is what you use. Very good actually. Licht Regen is his air special and it is quite effective. Very solid character, a bit stronger here than in the manga but its good to see.
Yoruichi Shihoin- The beat down queen, Yoruichi is very fast and will pummel enemies to death quickly. Her attacks lack some real power though, she can hit over and over but it will take quite some time to lower a boss down. She also lacks range. If you aren't right next to an enemy, you are not going to do anything to them. Though she was a surprise to see in this game, they did not implement her very well and part of that is due to only seeing her fight a few times in the series. Overall, not the best character and although she is quick, her lack of range makes her pretty useless.
Sui-Feng (Soi Fon)- A complete shock, she is quick, agile, has decent range and power and her Suzemabachi death in two stings special is a god send. Having a hard time on a regular enemy? Just strike them twice with this for instant death. For an ignition, they gave her Jakuho Raikoben which deals quite a bit of damage for an ignition. Her main drawback is her defence. She does not have a lot of it. You need to spend her early points on improving that. Also, she is not that good with combos. Hard to level up because of that.
Byakuya Kuchiki- One of the stranger characters, Byakuya is a solid fighter. He is a bit like Rukia with the spirit attacks and his byakurai is amazing, outright killing several enemies in one strike but his specials are where its at. Ground special is Senbonzakura Kageyoshi. Anything caught in it will be dealt ten plus good strong hits. His air special is Gokei and you can rapid tap O to make it hit more. His melee is quite odd though, it send a ball of Senbonzakura blades at an enemy and the longer you go between pressing the square button for the next hit, the more height and range the ball gains. This is decent in some situations but it leaves Byakuya very vulnerable at times if you over extend the attack. This makes him hard to play and not really the best choice for a main.
Shunsui Kyoraku- There is something odd about Kyoraku. He has decent speed, good power and range but I just was not liking him for some reason. He can use Kageoni and Takeoni for specials and Bushogama for a spirit attack but he felt a bit clunky. I don't know. I suppose he was pretty good but he just felt odd to me, perhaps I need more time playing as him.
Toshiro Hitsugaya- Initially I was not a fan of him in this game. He felt weak in story mode but giving him a second chance, I found he is actually pretty good. All of his melee attacks end in Hyoryu Senbi which adds range and freezing to his attacks. Sennen Hyoro is a great special and Ryusenka can be pretty good if you can hit with it. His major drawback is a low amount of Spirit pressure, or rather his attacks consume too much of it, he has to use attacks in moderation or he will constantly run out of pressure. Hitsugaya is definetely an above average character but those big pressure consuming attacks take him down a little.
Kenpachi Zaraki- Hate me if you will but I think they did a terrible job with Zaraki here. What is the main thing about Zaraki? He has the most spiritual pressure of like anyone, right? Not according to this game. He has standard pressure and just a big huge health bar. His spirit attack is basically a yellow Getsuga Tensho. Zaraki cannot fire a spirit blast. This is terrible. His specials are alright and very Zaraki like but then he can use Shunpo to dodge. Zaraki has no skill in Shunpo whatsoever. Then they gave into fans and made his ignition attack Kendo. Seriously? That is lame to me. He is a strong character but I cry at what they did to him. Only thing I liked is that he will talk with Yachiru during missions
Kokuto- I won't bother covering up his name since its been all over that he is in the game. Kokuto is actually pretty interesting as a character in here. Word of the wise though, if you have saved yourself from Hell Chapter spoilers, do not play this game yet. It makes it abundantly clear who Kokuto is and his part in Hell Chapter. Playing him though, he is kind of what you would expect from Renji, he has a whip like melee and decent spirit attacks. His specials are odd, he kind of just powers up his blade and charges like a mad man at enemies. Decent character who could be made pretty good with some leveling.
Hollowfied Ichigo- Yes, the most popular character ever, Ichigo's new Hollow form. At first impression I thought he was horrendous but after playing as him a little more I saw he is pretty decent. His attacks are pretty strong and his specials are crazy strong and will rack up a lot of hits. He also has really good range (his Tensa Zangetsu seems longer than Ichigo's). His problem is he has about zero accuracy. Your attacks are going to miss time after time because his sword swing sends you into the air and faces you away from the enemy. He is also very very hard to level up because if you want to bring him past level 4, you need to get Ichigo to level 60 first. His cero is also pathetically weak.
Coyote Starrk- The combo king, Starrk is incredible. He is the primera for a reason and this shows why. He has no melee attack, rather square fires a bunch of shots from his guns. Occasionally Lilynette will pipe up from the guns and say something which is nice. His individual shots dont do a whole mess of damage but with as many as he fires, they rack up the damage. His spirit attacks is a regular cero and his special is the wolves. THe wolves doe not do as much damage as you would like but he more than makes up for it with is speed. His Cero Metralleta ignition is wonderful and does a great amount of damage for an ignition. True to the character and great in every way.
Baraggan Louisenbairn- Baraggan I was worried about, they could either make him way too powerful with respira destroying everything or they could make him underpowered by making respira do nothing. They actually worked it out. His time dilation field is a special attack which lasts for about 30 seconds or so and does constant damage to anyone caught in the field. His axe is slow but powerful. His Respira is both an ignition and a regular spirit attack. In spirit attack form, it is a small blast that when it hits an enemy does damage over time. This may be the greatest move for comboing in the game. It will give one hit for every time it zaps health from an enemy, usually about 10-15 times per enemy. When it defeats an enemy, it will move to the next one. Using this, I got a 1200 hit combo and that was on normal. If I cranked up the difficulty it would have been more. When in ignition form, it is a giant blast that will destroy anything in its path. Not the strongest ignition but pretty good. Overall they make him seem strong but he is definitely the Segunda.
Tier Harribel (Halibel)- I was impressed with how they handled Harribel. Most people put her down but she is actually quite good here. Her melee attacks raise the water around her, dealing damage and end with Ola Azule which is pretty good. Cascada does a decent amount of damage and she is overall pretty balanced. Around Ichigo's power level. THey did a great job with her.
Ulquiorra Cifer- So happy what they did with him. He is actually probably the weakest of the Espada characters but what I was so happy about was they did not make him overly strong like every fan thinks he is. He is the Quatra Espada. He was not the strongest character to ever live like so many think he was. His attacks are all decent. His melee ends with an aerial rise which is kind of annoying but Cero Oscuras deals an alright amount of damage. Laza Del Rampago does not deal as much damage as you would like for an ignition, powerful but many attacks are better. Overall, Ulquiorra is one of the weaker characters in the game even though he is in Segunda Etapa.
Nnoitra Gilga- Nnoitra is basically a Kenpachi clone except a little better. His attacks are very strong and his ignition, Cero Gigante does huge damage. He can throw his sickles for spirit attacks and is just overall a solid character.
Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez- Excellent character here. Grimmjow is superbly fast and though he lacks in range a bit, he makes up for it with his speed and power and attacks that force him into the enemy. He might be the strongest Espada character actually. All of his attacks tear through the enemy and I didn't even need to use his ignition attack to defeat a few bosses. Not exactly true to his self in the series but a great play.
Gin Ichimaru- Gin is another of the odd ones. For someone all about range and long attacks, his normal melee sure doesnt have it. His spirit attacks are Buto and Buto Renjin which are good but lack in power. THat his his big drawback, little power to start with an his fist few spaces on the level up board are not power. He is alright but not the best.
Sosuke Aizen- We are finally here, the beast of all the characters. Aizen in his second transformation is unbelievably powerful. His spirit attack is Raikhoho. His special is Kurohitsugi. His aerial special is where it is at though. He can summon up to three orbs that will circle him and deal damage to anyone they touch. They can also be fired at enemies to rack up damage and combo. In ignition mode, these are the single greatest attack ever as you need only jump in the air once to summon all three orbs and then send them at bosses who will be pummeled by their constant hits. In Ignition, they also deal huge amount of damage so combine those with his ignition attack, which is the only one in the game that cannot miss or be dodged and you have the ultimate boss strategy. Aizen has mad power and range but he is the slowest character in the game. He walks, he does not run or jog or anything. He just walks. You have to use dash with him. He is insane though. Easily the most powerful character in the game which matches being one of the most powerful in the series.
Overall. This game has many flaws in it between the lackluster story mode, the repetitive envrionments and so on. But it is still very fun. For any Bleach fan, this is a great buy. This was my first Bleach game and I was most pleased with it.