Those who haven’t seen season seven of the anime series Bleach will likely find it impossible to follow the plot of Bleach: Soul Resurrección. The developers know their audience: Only serious fans are likely to enjoy this mediocre, highly repetitive hack-and-slash game.
Soul Resurrección offers no attempt at exposition to get players caught up. At the start of each level, you get a blitz of names and undefined terms like Quincy, Hollow, and Arrancar, plus a tiny story recap. As you progress through the dull landscapes killing hordes of monsters, you’ll occasionally get some highly distracting dialogue from characters who are apparently following you around, offering nothing but their concern or encouragement.
Levels are highly repetitive, taking you through a small selection of settings as you kill waves of bad guys and destroy all scenery in search of soul points that level up your character. Bad guys like flying fish and towering robed monsters are beautifully drawn and force you to consider elevation as you fight. Unfortunately, they’re also dumb and weak. So long as you have a basic proficiency in moving and blocking, you’ll make short work of them with some fast-paced button-mashing. The only real challenges are the end-of-level boss fights, but even there, just watch out for a bit after their power-up animation plays, then go in for your kill.
Beating levels in story mode unlocks missions that follow the same basic format as the main story, adding some minor restrictions, like preventing you from dashing. After killing your way to the end of the level, you’ll fight a boss which can be unlocked as a new playable character in future missions. Players control a variety of characters throughout the story, but the differences between many of them are slight. There’s no real challenge in learning how to play a new character, and after spending a fight figuring out the new tricks, it’s easy to just go back to pressing the square button over and over. Each character only has a few catchphrases; they constantly shout these as they fight, which gets old fast. Bleach: Soul Resurrección might work well as a fighter, where you could challenge your skills against another player. Instead, it’s just a game that goes past mindless to dull.