Friday, 3 April 2009

[169] Bleach: Dark Souls DS Review

Here's my review of the latest Treasure game: Bleach: Dark Souls for the Nintendo DS. I decided to try a bit of a more subjective approach in the style. Check it out.


In the interest of full, honest journalistic disclosure, I should reveal that I know next to nothing about the Bleach anime/manga series. I gather it is immensely popular with The Geeky Young. Those small fellows that gather in my local library and play on their PSPs or battle with Yu-Gi-Oh cards or read Death Note books, the teens and tweens I silently curse as my knees crack and back creaks from the strain of bending to pick up a Bitter Old Man comic, probably written by Warren Ellis, off the shelf. As they beam with hope and guffaw with unfettered joy, I skulk back to my shadowy hovel alone.

On one level, therefore, playing Bleach: Dark Souls is a fool's errand. Like many licensed games from the manga-anime world of geekery, it is an exercise in straightforward niche appeal. Unlike film tie-ins and other cash-grabs, Dark Souls is utter fan service. To make matters worse, it is the second game taken from the series for the DS, coming after the critically-lauded Bleach: The Blade Of Fate. I should highlight at this point that these Bleach titles have been developed by Treasure, the team behind some of the tightest, perfectly-formed games in the history of the medium (see: Ikaruga, Gunstar Heroes, Sin And Punishment, Bangai-O), a fact that gives these franchise adaptations much more notability than the pile of lazy junk out there. With both of these games, Treasure have sought to create a deep, innovative, handheld twist on the fighting genre -- taking the speed and action of Street Fighter et al, and blending them with extra gameplay opportunities afforded by the DS system.

Read the full article here.

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