The Bleach anime has gotten pretty popular over here in America (there were plenty of fans in costume at a recent convention I visited) and Sega isn't missing the opportunity to capitalize on that popularity. Bleach: The 3rd Phantom
will be coming exclusively to the DS this fall, and will introduce an original spin-off story written by the creator of Bleach. The game itself will be a strategy RPG with over 50 playable characters, so if the mechanics work well you'll certainly be getting your money's worth. The DS has established itself as a solid platform for niche and mainstream RPGs, so this game will have some established competition to deal with.
SEGA ANNOUNCES BLEACH: The 3rd phantom
For NINTENDO DS
Hit Anime Series Slashes its Way into the Strategy RPG Genre
SAN FRANCISCO (April 07, 2009) – SEGA® of America, Inc. today announced that BLEACH™: The 3rd Phantom™ videogame will be available exclusively for the Nintendo DS™ portable handheld system. Based on the critically acclaimed animated series, BLEACH: The 3rd Phantom marks the first time the series ventures into the Strategy RPG genre. The game features an enormous cast of BLEACH™ characters with voices lent by the actors from VIZ Media’s award winning animated series.
A spinoff from the main narrative, BLEACH: The 3rd Phantom’s videogame exclusive storyline has been created from the ground up while being supervised by Tite Kubo, the author and creator of BLEACH. Shedding light on events that transpire before the animated series begins, players get to choose who they want to play as the story centers between two fraternal Soul Reaper twins, Fujimaru Kudo and his sister Matsuri Kudo.
With a cast of over fifty playable characters, players will discover a wide range of dynamic personalities as they journey through the game. In order to unlock certain characters, gamers must manage personal relationships through in-game dialog interactions and various other conditions. Fans will encounter the familiar faces of Ichigo, Aizen and Rukia alongside never before seen characters developed specifically for the title. Arturo, the SEGA exclusive Arrancar, makes his return from BLEACH: Shattered Blade™. As players fight against the Arrancar and Hollows, they will gain experience to further customize their character’s abilities. With each character having their own unique skills and strengths, players will be able to adapt to any situation as they build an army of up to eight Soul Reapers.
“With the tremendous success of the past three BLEACH videogames, we are very excited to introduce the newest game in the series” said Sean Ratcliffe, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America, Inc. “BLEACH is the perfect game for a Strategy RPG. With such a vast variety of customizable features, characters, and exclusive storyline, gamers everywhere will experience a whole new way to play BLEACH.”
“We are thrilled to once again partner with SEGA for the development of a new BLEACH videogame” states Andrea Gonzalez, Licensing Director, VIZ Media. “We are proud of the success of both the manga and the animated series from VIZ Media and are thrilled with the success the previous two SEGA games continue to enjoy in North America. We look forward to great fan response to the release of BLEACH: The 3rd Phantom.”
BLEACH: The 3rd Phantom employs a traditional Strategy RPG gameplay format with an added bonus of anime styled combat during in-game battles. Gamers will enjoy the best of both worlds as the graphics in the field map feature outrageous renditions of BLEACH characters while in-game battles are rendered in beautiful 2-D graphics taken straight from the animation. Once gamers complete the story mode, a bounty of unlockable content awaits them. Multiplayer is also featured which allows up to two players to battle head-to-head via Wireless Mode.
BLEACH: The 3rd Phantom on Nintendo DS is slated for release in North America Fall of 2009. For more information on the BLEACH manga or animated series please visit http://www.bleach.viz.com. For more information about the game, please visit http://www.sega.com/bleach.