|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Treasure||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 7, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The fighting mechanics remain virtually unchanged since last year and have held up quite well. You will be able to use the D-pad to move your character around and the buttons for simple attacks. The touch screen is used to trigger special Spiritual Pressure attacks. You can also use the touch screen for special Sprit Cards that will temporarily boost your characters stats or lower the stats of your opponent. You can unlock more powerful spirit cards as you go through the game, and you can build custom decks using your favorite cards.
The graphics are also improved slightly since Blade of Fate. The characters sport a little more detail, and some of the new environments look a bit more polished than those in Blade of Fate. Although, it should be noted that the sprite-based graphics do pale in comparison to some more modern DS titles, but that is primarily because the game was originally released over two years ago in Japan. But for its time, the graphics are quite good, and manage to stand up well, even by modern standards.
The sound in Bleach: Dark Souls is quite good. The background music is sampled directly from the anime, and the English voice cast does all the voiceover. My one complaint about the sound in this title is the repetitive in-battle voiceovers. Because each move is tied to one specific sound, if you are trying to chain together a few of the same move, the repetitive sound can get very annoying.
Although Bleach: Dark Souls is not that big of a departure from last years Blade of Fate, there are enough new features to bring fans back for more Bleach. This title has the great control and excellent assortment of play modes that made the original title so impressive, and it adds more characters and a new story mode to make the whole experience feel new. Even if you arent into the manga or the anime series, Bleach: Dark Souls is an excellent 2D fighting title and is unrivaled on the DS in the US market. Bleach: Dark Souls is definitely worth your time, and unless you hate fighting games, you are pretty much guaranteed a good time with this.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor