"Hack, slash and defeat your rival with your Wii Remote and Zanpaku-to" is the slogan branded on the back of the box, but can the latest beat-em up from Sega deliver the goods on the Wii? We get hacking and slashing to find out.
Bleach: Shattered Blade on the Nintendo Wii is a classic Street Fighter style beat-em up with the added bonus of the Wii Remote.
Instead of learning a massive combination of button pushes on the controller you've got to stand in front of the TV and swipe your Wii Remote as if it is a sword (or as they call it in the game, a Zanpaku-to).
Using the Nunchuck to move and block, the Wii remote doubles as a sword allowing you, just as the slogan says, to hack, slash and defeat your enemies.
Adding to the mix are critical and special moves (activated by the press of the A or B buttons) and each of the 32 playable characters has different moves and skills.
There is a storyline, something about collecting shards of a sword to raise a dead powerful, but friendly spirit, and by defeating other opponents you get to take their shard, but it doesn't really add anything to the game.
Do enough attacks, or even get attacked enough and your Soul meter fills up allowing you to raise your "Bankai" from the spirit world and bring down the real pain.
Characters have different "Bankai" and these range from merely a glow for some characters to a massive skeleton serpent for others.
As with all games the more you play it the more you'll open up unlocked areas such as costumes, characters and fighting arenas and although the episode element to the game is incredibly short - it took us just 20 minutes - you will have to do this 32 times to complete it with every character available.
Luckily the episode mode isn't the only mode here and there is arcade, versus and training modes to mess around with and you can imagine the fun that can be had hacking and slashing your opponents if there are two of you in the living room doing it at the same time.
As for that hacking it's great fun if not a little tiring as you stab, chop and slash your way to victory. The quicker you work the more chance you have of getting in a blow and it's certainly a good workout as well as good fun.
Bleach: Shattered Blade is your classic Japanese beat-em up with the added bonus of a motion sensor controller to allow you to really get in the action.
While the graphics aren't the best we've seen and as usual not a patch on anything from the PS3 or Xbox 360, in fact we think they are worse than Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast, although the cartoon Manga style does help disguise this.
Likewise the cutscenes and story element to the game are virtually non-existent.
Of course you'll be too busy thrusting your arms, waving your Nunchuck and Wii Remote to worry about such little details like poor graphics or storyline.
After all if you are doing your job properly, the screen will be filled with more flashing lights than the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square.
So should you sign up for Bleach? Of course you should. It's great fun, just don't expect the episode levels to challenge you one bit.
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