Bleach: The 3rd Phantom Review
Bleach: The 3rd Phantom box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Tom Create 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SEGA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 15, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

As far as production values go, The 3rd Phantom stands up fairly well. The visuals use very high-quality sprites during battle sequences, which feature tons of detail and resemble those used in the previous Bleach games on the DS. The sprites look especially good during battle scenes, where sprites spring to action for attack-specific animations. The only disappointing facet of the visuals is that the plot scenes only feature still images of character faces against generic-looking backgrounds. Although the character designs look a lot like those in the show, watching still images for long periods of dialogue can get boring.

Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot

The sound quality in the game is also good in parts, but like the visuals, it just doesn't get it right all of the time. The background music samples some of the tunes from the anime and varies nicely from moody plot scenes to high-energy battle music. However, the game features some infrequent voice-over work that only plays during battle. The decision not to voice the plot scenes definitely takes away from the experience.

Although Bleach: The 3rd Phantom is a competent RPG, it isn't on the same level as its fighting predecessors. Both Blade of Fate and Dark Souls on the DS had stellar fighting controls and superb online modes that put them head and shoulders above any other fighting franchise on the DS. Though I applaud the developer for going in a different direction with the third entry in the Bleach series on the DS, the transition to RPG has not produced the same type of excellence that the fighting series has.

Advertisement

Though this game will certainly please longtime fans of the franchise with it's original story, the lackluster RPG format relegates this title to the "fans only" designation. If you only care about the story, than Bleach: The 3rd Phantom is an adequate title. If you are expecting gameplay akin to the first two entries, however, you will surely be disappointed.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.7
Graphics
Sprites have a lot of detail and character art is true to the show. Although plot scenes are not animated, they don't look bland.
3.2
Control
Tactical RPG controls are fairly typical but function well.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Background music is nicely varied but voice-over is infrequent.
3.1

Play Value
The game isn't particularly long or challenging, but the double storyline could be enough for fans to come back to.

3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Gamers choose between two playable lead characters for two unique gameplay experiences with over 30 hours of gameplay in Story mode alone.
  • For the first time in the series players create and command their own team of eight Soul Reapers.
  • Over 50 characters that can be selected to join in battles, each with their own special attacks and some with Bankai.
  • After completing Story mode, players will continue to power up their team in Bleach Tower mode which contains 30 levels and contains a wireless multiplayer mode for two players.
  • Players will find rare Bleach items including Health Boosts, Spiritual Pressure enhancements, weapon items, and hard-to-find Bleach characters in story and Bleach Tower mode.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge Bleach: The 3rd Phantom screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook