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Bleach: Soul Resurrección Review

With a deft blend of action, comedy, and paranormal intrigue, it’s not surprising that Bleach has endured a faithful following across 51 manga volumes and 15 seasons of anime in Japan. In the U.S., Ichigo Kurosaki’s exploits have also garnered an impressive audience, thanks to the localization efforts of Viz Media and AdultSwim. Despite the stateside popularity of Bleach, only a handful of interactive interpretations have made it to Western shores, ranging from three middling fighting games to Sega’s DS-based tactical role-playing title.

NIS America’s release of Bleach: Soul Resurrección hopes to remedy the situation by delivering a nimble, action-oriented, interpretation of a Soul Reaper’s duties. Set amidst a expansive plotline which occurred during the tenth through fourteenth seasons of the anime, the 13 Court Guard learns that Sosuke Aizen was behind the plot to kill Rukia Kuchiki. Anticipating an assertive response from the Soul Society, Aizen creates a legion of Arrancars which jeopardize both the Soul Reapers as well as mankind. While diehard fans should certainly appreciate the developer’s faithfulness to Bleach canon, casual hollow hunters might be puzzled by the title’s allusions to key events. Fortunately, Soul Resurrección‘s combat and character customization are gratifying enough to please transitory admirers.

Unquestionably, Bleach’s fighting is bound to draw comparisons with Tecmo-Koei’s Dynasty Warriors series. On the surface, there are irrefutable similarities. Players brush through lesser enemies with a steady tap of the square button, while pushing the triangle key typically generates a ranged strike capable of bringing down airborne foes.  A press of the L2 button allows protagonists with a filled ignition gauge to summon an alternate, more formidable persona destined  to wreck sweet havoc. One example- Ichigo dons his visored mask to attack with Hollow-powered fury. A second press of the button discharges the meter, creating an devastating assault complete with a impressively animated cutscene. Unfortunately, this forceful strike can be so potent that it can strip away half of an end-boss’s health bar.

Yet, Soul Resurrección also deviates from traditional Musou mechanics. Holding down the R2 button allows protagonists to dash across land or sky, notably quickening the pace of the game. Contact with opponents or objects while racing around has a pleasing damaging effect, allowing players to ping-pong around the landscape converting items into Soul Points, the game’s currency. Delightfully, colossal pillars and the sporadic stone wall can be crumbled, although Bleach tends to keep players on a delineated, restricted path. However, the title’s greatest advancement is it’s upgrade system, which allows characters to augment their attacks into dominating onslaughts.

Using a grid-based system similar to Final Fantasy X, players use collected Soul Points to unlock buffs- from increased health, a sturdier defense, or even a more punishing attack when crashing into opponents. With additional bonuses awarded for quickly annihilating a swarm of antagonists, Bleach‘s leveling system provides players with an impetus to head back into the main campaign’s fourteen chapters. Of course, unlocking additional members of the Soul Reapers’ 21-strong roster is also a pleasing incentive as well. Once players complete the main component, Bleach also offers 28 side missions with specific conditions for success, as well as basic leaderboard support.

Visually, Soul Resurrección tries to hold a firm thirty frame-per-second framerate, only faltering when players destroy giant environmental objects directly in front of the player. Less impressive are the game’s backdrops, which recycle three different settings across the game’s duration. Despite the minimalism and redundancy of these milieu, Bleach‘s character design and animation are skillful, capturing the aesthetics of the anime. Pleasingly, the game allows for English or Japanese voiceovers, with characters delivering plot details, without slowing the action down.

Although familiarity with Kubo-san’s work would certainly improve a player’s appreciation of Bleach: Soul Resurrección, it’s hardly a prerequisite for enjoyment. With intuitive controls, engaging action, and a solid hook to keep players coming back to Hueco Mundo, NISA’s first console-based action title is the rare anime-based game which succeeds at capturing the verve of its source material.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. Hmm, a DW-type game that Deagle likes? And it’s from NIS?

    I’m amazed this didn’t get a “A+++”

  2. Did they ever sort out if you got some episodes when you buy the game?

    • Yes, you get a download voucher for episodes 190,191, and 192 from the PlayStation Network.

  3. I need a Dynasty Warriors game like a need a second butthole.

    Good review, though.

  4. I need a Dynasty Warriors game like a need a second butthole.

    Good review, though.

  5. Not sure if it’s worth $60, but I definitely want. Desert, what price do you think is worth paying for this game?

  6. As a Bleach fan, I’ll be getting this. Sounds pretty cool. How long did you play for, if you don’t mind me asking?

    • I finished the story mode and completed about half the missions. Unlike most games I review, I do intend on going back to Bleach.

  7. If there’s a Naruto cameo, there might be a full on nerdgasm in the making. Otherwise, I’m not too interested to be honest.

  8. An Atlus and a NIS game in the same week? Deagle’s probably dancing in the streets, maybe outside SeanNOLA’s place.

  9. Two pretty long game in two days. How do you do it?

    BTW- Need help?!?

    • NISA was kind enough to send a preview disk a few weeks ago, so I’ve been playing for a little while now.

  10. Is there a 360 version?

  11. So you’ve seen the anime? Ive read two review and the review said they’re never watched a single episode. It’s weird cause those are the highest scores.

  12. A B? GTFO. Now way does this crappy game deserve more than a D+. Bleach is a lame show and the game is no better.

  13. Pretty good review. I need to finish S9 here.

  14. One Piece is better, but Bleach is ok I guess.

  15. The anime may not be that great anymore but the manga is really great. One question- does the game have the violence or was it toned down?

  16. Another good one, Deagle.

    I haven’t watchd as much Bleach as I would have liked to, so I might pass ont his one for now.

  17. As long as Nemu Kurotsuch is in the game, then all is well. 🙂

  18. Does this mean we are one step closer to BlueSwim seeing the release of a good Sailor Moon game?

    • I hope so. Just ONE, GOOD, U.S.-RELEASED SAILOR MOON GAME is all I ask. Bandai Namco America, I’m pretty sure you have the U.S. video game rights to the series, so I beg you, give me that one good Sailor Moon game in the States. I don’t care if it’s just a translated Wii Virtual Console release of Another Story. JUST! ONE! GOOD! SAILOR MOON! GAME!

      Rant over. I need cookies.

  19. How come the title is misspelled?

  20. After Aizen was eliminated I stopped caring about Bleach. Hasn’t everyone else?

  21. Good review, desert. I wish it cane with a season on DVD since my PS3 harddrive in almost full.

  22. How about a list of which characters are in the game? Do they all play different or is it like DW?

  23. It’s cool you don’t have to watch all 400+ episodes to enjoy the game. I wish more games were like that.

  24. Most sites are giving this the old C or D. B seems a little high.

    • Did you read the review? It’s a fun game without only a few problems. Deserves a B, it sounds.

  25. Looked pretty good from that video you posted.

  26. As a Bleach fan I’m glad they finally made a game I’d want to play.

  27. Just bought this today. Pretty fun game that does a good job of turning Bleach into a game.