Sad that the anime and manga have ended? Well let's relive those great moments now where you are able to play through them as if you are the main character.
Well, look no further than Bleach: Brave Souls by KLab Games. This hack and slash style action game follows the manga story of the same name, whose main character is Ichigo Kurosaki, the substitute soul reaper from Karakura Town. You the player, get to play through and relive the events that brought Ichigo to the steps of power and be there in the end to his ultimate fate. In this review, I will cover gameplay, creativity, customization, as well as my thoughts overall. At the end, I will give the game an overall score. So without wasting so much time with the intro. Let's get this show on the road.
First off, let me get something straight. I LOVED the Bleach Manga, even though near the end it all felt like the story fell apart and that there were too many hands in the proverbial cookie jar to tie up actual story arcs, but it is what it is. When it comes to brave souls, it is your typical mobile game. You can play it on the toilet, when you are between classes, and when you can't figure out just how to make stuff work correctly on WordPress. It is a no brainer here with your virtual joystick on the left side of your phone, and your five attack buttons on the right which include; Basic Attacks, Strong Attacks, Area Attacks, Quick Attacks, and your Special. The levels are all maze-like, but predictable and there is always a cursor that will guide you in the right direction once you clear a battle. The game has certain guidelines for completing a course 100% as well as respective awards in the form of Soul Gems that you can use to buy new characters, new accessories, spend leveling up your stats, or even use to expand your character slots. The boss fights are simple as all you have to do is win through attrition; it is three versus one in the end after all. Finally, there is a "ticket" based system where you can play as long as you have the tickets to do so.
Now that we have that covered we can move on to how the game actually MOVES. It plays out like a playable storybook in the fact that, usually before the level starts there will be dialogue, as well as before some boss fights you will get the dialogue interrupt. At times there will be "free levels" where all you have to do is watch a small cut-scene that is comprised of stills from the anime. The game will actually play itself if you tell it to which makes it more of an "idle" game than most where you have to beat a level to unlock that feature for farming. While in auto play mode it allows you the freedom of actually doing some real world stuff like; you work, cook, or whatever else it is that you can do within the span of a minute. Your team will consist of three fighters and you can have up to 6 teams in total with near endless combinations.
To finish out my gameplay, let's cover the multiplayer aspect that the game brings. There are two other game modes that exist with the Story which include; VS Battle, and CO-OP. In VS Battle it is you versus the world in glorious PVP, and in this PVP mode it is not play to win, it is based on of your stats and let me tell you something...speed is king. In CO-OP, it is all about teamwork; wave after wave of enemies will be sent to shut you and your team of actual other real people down. If you keep your head down and attack when you get an opening, you can be king of a lobby and farm high-end mats and characters easily. So overall I do really enjoy the gameplay aspect of this title, and reliving a story I grew up reading is superb in every aspect.
It's fast paced, with aggravating bosses and events. What more could you want in a mobile game?
Creativity & Customization
Brave Souls holds what I love in my mobile games. It is simple, it's flashy, and there is tons of stuff to do all the time while you play. Brave Souls has over 50 base characters that range from their basic form, all the way to their shiny FINAL FORM. There are also special events during holidays or certain periods to drum up interest that introduce variations of the base characters like Halloween, or other holiday specific drops. In addition to that, there are also a number of different accessories that while not giving a physical appearance change, will change the characters attributes drastically.
There are also ways to upgrade your character or to give them specific attribute boosts at certain stages by sacrificing units to be bonded to the base character, permanently giving them a boost. This leads up to some pretty effective combinations throughout the game as well as some interesting team-ups that make any knowledgeable Bleach fan cringe or squeal with joy.
With enough flashy and colorful misdirection, this game could make a blind man have a seizure.
While fun and flashy for a bit, this game falls short in terms of being engaging at all times. Don't get me wrong there's a TON of stuff to do, from events and PVP, to CO-OP and farming for your favorite character. It just feels like it misses the mark when it comes to an explanation of the controls or system mechanics. Evolution materials are hard to get for any casual player, but the game does reward you significantly if you keep striving for that next tier of perfection. There is the fact that the game also boasts a user base of OVER 17.7 MILLION...so something must be going right. After all my praise and worry my final verdict is...
Fun and Flashy, moderate pacing with a great nostalgia factor. I would recommend this game.