Review by Musashi920
"A good anime-based fighter"
If you don't know what Bleach is then you are probably not an anime fan. Bleach is a popular currently running anime and manga in Japan. The main character Ichigo gets in some trouble and ends up being a Shinigami(death god). Basically a grim reaper it starts off. But for some reason Shinigami are basically superpowered samurai. In this game you get to pick and choose between different shinigami and their mortal enemies the Hollows(evil souls).
The Fluff: You get a unique storyline not from the anime. Its not so significant that should go out and read a translated script. There is story mode, tag mode, single mode, the latter 2 having survival and time attack version. None are significantly outstanding.
The Good: If you're a fan of the anime you will love the gameplay because you get to control quite alot of characters from the show. Not just any lame characters either but characters that are worth using and you would want to use. Characters that can bankai can bankai mid battle like in the DBZ budokai games. After you get 2 power bars you press L and you transform. This game has really simple controls and with easy to pull off combos. No quarter circles or holding motions in this game. Simply press a direction and an attack button to start off a preset combo. In tag mode bankai is replaced with switching out with your partner. And pressing L+R gives you a double special.
The Bad: If you are a hardcore fighting game fan that likes the tight control or button smashing of games like SF:3rdStrike or MvsC2 or KOF series this is not the game for you. After characters bankai there is no limit whatsoever as to how long they stay in their released forms. They do more alot more damage and if you do a super in bankai form it takes more than half a bar from the opponent(2bar 1 round matches). This wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that about a little more than half the playable characters do NOT have a bankai form. If playing against another if one picks a bankai-able character then you better to or you just might lose based on that. To add to the unbalance of Bankai, in Tag battles you can't bankai instead you can just directly pick for the character to already be in bankai mode, with no penalties for it. The balance of the characters is really really off. Certain characters have no projectile or long rage attacks while others have an array fast shoot long range attacks, such as rukia. Jumping isn't as effective as it is in most standard fighting games from the fact that you have use the Triangle to jump rather ackwardly. Blocking is the same for everything with no tick damage. There is no low or high blocking. It's all the same. So varying low or high attacks makes no difference. You either have to throw or hope to guard crush them. If you aren't already a fan of Bleach and are looking for a fighting game this will not be a good choice. Despite all these negatives Bleach5 still does a much better job than most other anime based fighting games.
The controls aren't as precise as they should be. If you button smash a combo and stop pressing buttons or try to block half way cuz you already missed it, you can't the character will continue doing it all out. Now if you take it slow paced and combo the hits as they are going this isn't a big problem. But most people will hit it off right away. Because then you risk waiting to long to press the button and they dont follow through when you do hit with the combo. You get a sense of laggy controls but its not that it is lagging its just that characters go through all the animations. There is no animation skipping like in SF or KOF here.
The cell shade graphics go really good with the anime feel to this game. Some characters look ackward though as if they weren't made really well for this game.
Nothing special but nothing annoying. Its like background music for the sake of having sound.
Overall Fun Factor: 7
If you're a bleach fan you will enjoy the game for awhile but eventually will get bored of it for its lack of technical skill required in fighting games. If you are a fighting game you might enjoy the nice graphics and fancy moves of some characters at first but will quickly get tired of the lackluster controls and gameplay. Its an overall fun game but nothing to get too excited about. In my opinion it is still better than the Naruto Ultimate games.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/06/08
Game Release: Bleach: Heat the Soul 5 (JP, 05/15/08)
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