Hitting The Bleach

Bleach: Shattered Blade
Reviewed On
Available For

Contrary to what many people will think about my reviews of 3rd party Wii titles, I really do like playing the Wii a lot. The problem is that many developers do not know how to take advantage of the Wii’s unique control scheme.

While Nintendo is able to use the Wiimote and Nunchuk to perfection with masterpieces such as Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, other developers create titles that turn out to either be a myriad of minigames or waggle fests.

Some, such as Transformers, make the Wiimote turn an otherwise average game into a disaster by messing up the controls. Then there is the possibility of making a weapon based fighter on the Wii.

I can see the possibility of using the Wiimote to wield a sword, but it seems to work better as a first person perspective. However, when Polygon Magic tried to make a Soul Calibur type fighting game in the form of Bleach: Shattered Blade, they thought that by using the Wiimote as a sword, used mainly for chops, slashes, and thrusts, that it would make an enjoyable fighting game.

Sorry, but in my opinion, no.

In the end, what Bleach feels like is more of one of the waggle fests that I mentioned earlier. When I made a single attack it seemed like my character wanted to continue slashing on and on again. The combat does feature sort of a "rock, paper, scissors" formula where chops beat slashes, slashes beat thrusts, and thrusts beat chops, but it still feels very basic.

The final product feels like a simplistic fighter where the main objective is to fill up one’s Bankai gauge (similar to the Super gauge in Capcom’s Street Fighter series) and unleashing the unbreakable attack to easily decimate your opponent. In the end the game’s shallowness will draw people away and lead them back to Mario Galaxy.

Bleach features the standard fighting game modes: episode/story mode, arcade, versus, and tutorials. Special galleries can be unlocked by way of the Urahara shop, but you will lose interest so quickly it’s not even worth looking into.

I know the Wii is not designed for good looks but games on it shouldn’t look at the same level of the PS2. That’s how Bleach looks. Thankfully it will run in 480p EDTV, but why doesn’t it run in 16:9 widescreen?

The Bleach game is based on the popular anime series of the same name and features some of the same characters. For those of you who don’t know the series, it is based on the hot-tempered 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki, the hero of the popular fantasy-adventure Bleach. He has the unsettling ability to see spirits who are unable to rest in peace. His sixth sense leads him to Rukia, a Soul Reaper who destroys Hollows (soul-devouring monsters) and ensures the deceased find repose with the Soul Society. When she’s injured in battle, Rukia transfers her sword and much of her power to Ichigo, whose spiritual energy makes him a formidable substitute Soul Reaper.

Apparently the author and illustrator of the series both worked on the game, so although outsiders like me might not appreciate the game, those of you who are Bleach fans might. And fortunately there is decent voice acting to go along with the standard anime theme.

But unless you are a true fan, then $50 is too much for a simplistic, shallow fighter such as Bleach. It would fare better as a value title, but even then it might be pushing it. There are better fighters coming out for the Wii soon with Smash Bros. Brawl being among the list. It will be better to wait for them to arrive than to play this waggle fest.

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