Bleach: The Shattered Blade is a 1-2 player fighting game that pits 32 of the Bleach characters against each other in multiple modes of game play. In the story mode you start out by being able to choose one of the three characters which include Ichigo, Captain Toshiro Hitsugaya and Renji Abaral. The members are all trapped in the Soul Society and their only hope of escape is to collect all the shards from the executioner’s Sokyoku blade. Once all the shards are collected, then you can use the blade’s power to force open the gates that lead back to the real world.
Once you have select your character their story is told briefly and then it’s on to the action at hand. Graphically the game is on par with other anime fights like Dragon Ball Z and Naruto. They all use the now standard cell style graphics with the black outline. The game still looks pretty good on the Wii. The animation is smooth and very fast. There are some really nice special effects and explosive canned animations for special attacks and Bankai super attacks. The backgrounds aren’t all that great however. They vary from the out world style locals to inner city backdrops. There’s nothing flashy or detailed at all here. The main focus was obviously on the characters. The sound effects are what you would normally expect for this type of game. We get lots of clanging, pounding and yelling noises from the characters when they attack. There’s even an unlockable option in the game to hear all the real actors character’s voices from the game. The music is decent, with some techno and rock sound tracks.
The meat of this game is the fighting action. This is where Bleach delivers the goods with some intuitive controls and decent balance between the characters. Surprisingly, the Wii remote works wonders for this game. You move the Wiimote in conjunction with the A, B and C buttons to pull off basic and special attacks the do massive damage. By shaking the nunchuk controller you will fill your Bankai meter. Once completely full you can pull off each character’s Super Special attacks for even more damage. There is some strategy involved in blocking and dodging attacks. Since you can literally run circle around your opponent, it’s wise to keep moving forward, back and circling your opponent to avoid getting hit and to unleash your own attacks. Once you’ve mastered this kind of movement, the game is pretty easy to beat. The game is fun, but in small doses. If you’re arms aren’t in good shape and you don’t have a lot of stamina (like myself), you won’t be playing for long. Swing the Wiimote around for a couple hours can be tiring. As I mentioned before, there are a lot of unlockable content. You can not only get the voices, but new “school costumes” and art gallery photos of the anime. Of course you can unlock all the characters by playing through the Arcade and Story modes as well.
Overall Bleach is a decent game. If you are a fan of the show, then it’s definitely worth a look. There’s also a version of Bleach on the DS as well, so you might want to check that game out too.