Quite honestly I have no idea why I picked up Bleach: Shattered Blade for the Wii on Wednesday. I am not familiar with the manga or anime series at all, having been turned off after working Anime Weekend Atlanta last year and being up to my ass in Bleach cosplayers. I suppose I was just hopeful after Dragon Ball Z's excellent Wii debut and my love of the Naruto fighter series for the Gamecube. As you might be able to tell from the video above, I was in for a bit of a let down. The Wii controls for the sequel to Japan's Bleach GC: Tasogare ni Mamieru Shinigami make the game ridiculously easy. Mind you i was playing on normal mode...in hard mode the enemy AI actually fights back. I suppose in easy mode they simply surrender before the fight begins.
The controls are far too simple for a serious fighting game. Shake the Wiimote to slash while manoeuvring with the control stick on the nunchuck. Holding down A and shaking does a power attack, while holding B summons forth a special attack. There is no jump button. None. Nada. Bleach men can't jump. As you hit and get hit the bankai meter fills, and once full giving the 'chuck a shake activates your bankai, which ranges from your character glowing slightly to your weapon becoming a giant freaking skeletal snake. I know this is straight from the series, but it's kinda sad when your opponent suddenly fills the whole screen and your only response is to glow menacingly at them. Rawr! I glow!
In an attempt to mix things up a bit, when two characters' power attacks land at the same time, a little rock, paper, scissors-type mini-game ensues, with vertical, horizontal, and stabbing attacks. At the end of five rounds of this the character with the most wins performs a special attack. Interesting at first, but once I kicked the difficulty up to hard it felt like entire rounds were made up of an endless string of these. Highly annoying.
With cutscenes comprised of still pictures with captions mixed with in-game cinematics, I wasn't all that impressed with the overall presentation of the game. Still, for fans of the anime and manga there is plenty of extra content to unlock on top of a grand total of 32 playable characters. You win coins by playing through arcade and story mode which you can use in the shop to unlock extras, so you at least they've got the fan service down pat.
As for the awesome new character created for the game...well, here he is.
Such power. Such fury. Such whimpering like a little girl when he dies. Note that during this fight I was really holding down A and not B, the sheer awesome emanating from the boss mixing my alphabet up.
I wouldn't recommend Bleach: Shattered Blade to anyone but the most fervent fan of the show. It's a simple little fighter with almost no gameplay depth whatsoever. Any game I can beat simply by simulating masturbation with the Wiimote needs to tweak it's difficulty level somewhat. Either that or I am just really good at it.
I meant the game, you perverts.