Bleach: Soul Ignition Preview

Posted on December 25, 2010

There have been 21 Bleach video games released to date, but Bleach: Soul Ignition is the very first Bleach game on the Sony PlayStation 3. Most anime and Bleach games have been fighters, but Sony takes Bleach: Soul Ignition in a different route. The game is an action/adventure, hack and slash where players get to run around and beat up enemies.

We had a chance to download the demo from the Japanese PlayStation Network and give Bleach’s first PS3 installment a try!

Scope of Bleach: Soul Ignition Demo

Playing as Skull-Clad Ichigo in a burning, Hell-like atmosphere – the only character and level which are available in the demo, respectively – players can run around fighting different kids on enemies. When the demo starts, you’ll be greeted by dozens of Hallows initially, flying and non-flying. These all be easily defeated. After that come 3 giant Hallows. They aren’t Menos, but instead some large, generic ones. They are a little tougher to get rid of, but nothing to hard. After beating those comes the boss, who seems to be an Arrancar or an Espada. It takes a while to defeat him as he shoots purple laser beams and other crazy attacks. You can try to run away from him, but if you don’t fight back, he’ll follow you and attack. As you fight through the initial batch of Hallows as well as the large Hallows which follow and the Arrancar/Espada, there are a bunch of other Hallows that are just floating around in circles. They don’t harm you, but you can kill them at your leisure. In all, the demo lasts about 5-10 minutes. There isn’t a time limit, but it’s how long it took us to beat it in our two trial runs. You can check out a YoutTube user playing the demo below.

Controls of Bleach: Soul Ignition Demo

Using the □ (square) button, we were able to slash the enemies with Ichigo’s sword. Pressing ○ (circle) on the PS3 controller allowed Ichigo to do a special attack where he jumps up and thrusts his sword into the ground causing a whirlwind of fire. The △ (triangle) button shoots out flaming skulls from Ichigo’s sword. We assume the special will be different for each playable character in the game, and the flaming skulls will be some other long range attack.

Anyways, there is a meter for Reitsu (the name for energy in Bleach) at the bottom left of the screen. Both the special attack and long range attack take up Reitsu, however, it automatically regenerates so you can continuously fire off specials and long range attacks without any fear to recharge manually. Keep in mind, even though Reitsu is automatically recharged, it does so slowly so if you fire off too many energy-draining attacks, you’ll have to wait a few seconds before you can fire off another one. The exception to this rule is when you kill enemies, they give off green energy orbs which are automatically absorbed, regenerating Reitsu faster.

The X button on the PS3 controller in the demo is used for jumping and can be used in combination with a long range attack or the normal attack.

R1 is the block button, L1 is to lock on to an enemy, and R2 lets you dash. Dashing also takes up Reitsu. The left control stick lets you move around, while the right control stick changes the camera angle. Pressing the right control stick (R3) resets the camera so that you can see with Ichigo’s eyes facing forward. We’re 100% not sure what L2 is for, but clicking it once seemed to take Ichigo into a Bankai-like state. When pressing L2 for the second time, Ichigo shot off a super special attack that causes a massive explosion.

To go what seemed to be Bankai or fire off a super special attack, Reitsu isn’t used. instead, there is a third meter, a red meter, right under Ichigo’s icon, and next to his health. This meter charges every time you can hit an enemy, but charges very slow.

Anime Games Online’s Impression of Bleach: Soul Ignition based on the demo

We at Anime Games Online were really looking forward to Bleach: Soul Ignition, hoping for the boundaries that CyberConnect2 set with the awesomeness known as Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 could be broken by Sony’s new Bleach game. Unfortunately, after playing the demo for the game, we have lost much hope.

Bleach: Soul Ignition seems to be extremely linear where you literally just run around and beat up the enemies, most of which are generic Hallows. Going through the demo was, honestly, very painful. There was no depth, no strategy that needed to be used. Just launch the special attack a few dozen times and the demo is over. If you, Ichigo, got hit, and the enemy kept attacking, then your at the mercy of the opponent to stop or else you can’t do anything. Same thing goes the other way – if you keep attacking, your enemy can’t block or escape until you stop attacking. There isn’t any Reitsu management either. As we mentioned before, Reitsu automatically regenerates. So after launching a special attack, wait two seconds for Reitsu to regenerate (the time which it takes for the enemy to get back up) and just fire off the special attack again as soon as they are up. The only combo that could be performed consisted of hitting the □ (square) button in quick succession on the ground or in the air. Holding the left control stick in a specific direction or pressing another button didn’t really change it.

The camera work is horrible. We often found us getting hit from behind and being unable to reset the camera so that we could see the enemy! Pressing R3 resets the camera in the direction Ichigo is facing, not from where you’re getting attacked! As for graphics, for a PlayStation 3 title, they were terrible! They seemed very PS2-like. It did not seem like there was any attention to detail. Ichigo looked very last generation and the environment looked very bland.

The only bright spot for the game seemed like the music. It was that fast-paced rock-type music us fans expect to see in Bleach. The voices, well Ichigo’s voice, was also the one we’ve come to know and love from the anime.

We really hope only the demo is this bad and when Bleach: Soul Ignition releases in 2011, it’ll be a million times better. If the demo is any indication, however, it looks like Sony is headed for a failure.