Bleach: The Blade of Fate Review
Bleach: The Blade of Fate box art
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. 9, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

When you sign on for the first time, you are given 1000 points and a level ten ranking. It is up to you to set up ranked matches to raise your level. You can also set the rules and match settings, such as whether you will allow certain special power-ups or how a winner is determined.

Bleach: The Blade of Fate screenshot

But let's say you're not the competitive type. There is also a free play mode and a friends-only mode where you can just invite your friends to play a few rounds with you. Honestly, this online functionality blew my mind. Bleach: The Blade of Fate has the most extensive online capabilities that I have ever seen on a handheld. I was very surprised by how much it reminded me of playing games like Gears of War or even the multiplayer mogul Halo. It really is that level of intricacy. And I'm sure that several of you reading this are very skeptical of this, but I challenge you to rent this game or borrow it from a friend. You'll probably be just as surprised as I was.

Now that I have introduced you to the many amazing and surprising ways that you can play this little handheld game, let me give you some insight into how the battle system works. On the surface, you'll be doing a lot of button-mashing. However, the touch screen provides several shortcuts to perform special moves which are powered by spiritual power accumulated throughout battle. You will also have access to what are called "spirit cards" through the touch screen. These cards change certain status ailments and do everything from limiting your opponent's ability to jump, to increasing your defense, even swapping spiritual power with your opponent. In total, there are more than 100 of these Spirit Cards, and each one can be played strategically to boost your chances of winning.

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Graphics in this game are also very good and ditch the sprite-based approach (as seen in the two Jump games for the DS) in favor of a more streamlined 2-D approach. The result is a better visual representation of the characters from the anime. The only parts of the graphical content that are a little below par are the various stages, which look very bland and almost identical. But everything else is constructed so well in this game that I can totally forgive a few bland stage designs.

Overall, I can't stress how much I was really surprised by this game. Though I am an avid anime fan, I really don't expect too much from anime games, and I'm only wowed by one very occasionally. But this game exceeded all expectations I had, not only for an anime game but for any handheld title. It's multitude of modes coupled with the great gameplay and ultra-immersive online modes really make this one stand out from the crowd! I can honestly say that I highly recommend this one!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Exciting Multiplayer fighting action. Up to four players will enjoy the fighting action via Wi-Fi connection. This game supports the Download Play feature where one player has a cartridge and transmits the game to another player's Nintendo DS which allows them to play head-to-head.
  • Variety of multi-plane 2D fighting arenas. Players can switch between the foreground and the background battlelines to chase after or escape from opponents. Large cast of popular characters. Players will select from 28 of their favorite characters who are all voiced by the actors from the anime series. Special attacks to master. Players can inflict massive damage on opponents with special Combos and Super Power Attacks taken directly from the series.
  • Seven thrilling gameplay modes. Story, Arcade, Versus, Training and Challenge modes along with two unlockable modes which will provide hours of replayability and keep players coming back for more.
  • Story arc builds off the TV series. The central storyline stays true to the anime series, offering players an immersive experience. This story is also supplemented by extra unlockable chapters which serve as a prequel to the anime storyline.

    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    4.0
    Graphics
    Looks very good on the DS, characters are true to anime form, and there's a fair amount of detail. Stages however, are very bland.
    4.5
    Control
    Extremely tight with a considerable amount of combos and special moves that are pretty hard to master.
    4.0
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    All the original voice actors are here, and opening music is pretty good. Stage music is passable.
    4.9

    Play Value
    There's so much to this game! From the 20+ individual story modes to the local and online multiplayer options, this one will keep you swinging your zanpaku-to for quite some time!

    4.5
    Overall Rating - Must Buy
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
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