After keeping fans waiting since its original 2021 release schedule, action RPG Bleach: Brave Souls has finally dropped for PlayStation 4. The faithful adaptation of the iconic manga and anime series from author Tite Kubo has finally reached the gaming console, supporting controllers and cross-play with other platforms.
The new game from KLab is now digitally available in 148 countries and territories around the world, accessible where the PlayStation Store is. Currently, Brave Souls comes in seven languages: English, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, French, and Thai. This new port also allows players the same access to their account, as previously possible with PC and mobile devices.
Players for PS4 are the latest to join the growing Bleach: Brave Souls community. The Japanese game developer and publisher KLab first released the role-playing game (RPG) for Android and iOS devices in July 2015 in its native Japan, before going global in the following January. As of October 2017, the game already has 25 million downloads worldwide–a figure that would double up to 55 million global downloads of the app.
It then released the PC port of the game in August 2020. The global release, however, did not include mainland China. In the PC version of Bleach: Brave Souls, available via game distribution platform Steam, players essentially gain access to the same regions as with the original smartphone app. Its difference, however, lies in the controller support on top of mouse/ keyboard controls, higher-resolution graphics, and cross-platform support.
A Complete, Immersive Bleach Experience
Bleach: Brave Souls is a free-to-download video game with in-app purchases available. It has received generally positive reviews across Steam, Google Play Store, and the Apple App Store. It was praised for its range of content, most of which are accessible even to non-fans of the Shonen Jump series. It recreates the same story from manga and anime, filled with impressive artwork, animation, and action.
The game boasts simple controls and 3D graphics, leaving players to focus on a smooth and fast-paced hack-and-slash experience. It allows for single-player mode or online co-op with up to four players. Each player can build three-member teams composed of Bleach characters, allowing you to create teams not found in the source material for near-limitless possibilities. Every character has their own move sets and unique special skills, and all lines are voiced by their respective original Japanese voice actors.
In Brave Souls, players also have the opportunity to develop the characters and fighters the way they see fit. Its character improvement system revolves around fighting and gaining experience points used to level up your favorite Bleach characters, improving their base stats. Further improvements are available through the game’s Soul Tree, letting you improve certain stats.
BLEACH is a Japanese manga series from Tite Kubo, its writer, and illustrator. It follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki who follows in his parents’ footsteps becoming a Soul Reaper (Shinigami) after a chance encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a female Soul Reaper. From then on, Ichigo and Rukia gain more allies as they fight against the Soul Society–an organization that oversees Soul Reapers–and beyond.
For players of Bleach: Brave Souls unfamiliar with the lore, you can start with familiarizing yourself with the main characters:
Ichigo Kurosaki - a tall, orange-haired boy. He starts his journey by accidentally becoming a substitute Shinigami. However, he grows accustomed to his new powers and eventually discovers the destiny that awaits him.
Rukia Kuchiki - a soul reaper temporarily assigned to Ichigo’s town to exterminate otherworldly monsters known as Hollows. As she temporarily lends her power to save Ichigo’s life, she assumes life as a normal human.
Orihime Inoue - an orphan and Ichigo’s childhood friend, Orihime eventually develops spiritual capabilities and even the immensely powerful capability to alter reality to her liking.
Uryuu Ishida - making his entrance as an antagonist early in the series, Uryuu becomes an ally and a rival to Ichigo. He is eventually revealed to be a Quincy, an endangered race of Hollow hunters and historical foes of the Soul Reapers.
Yasutora “Chad” Sado - a Japanese-Mexican character, he’s one of Ichigo’s friends who discover the ability to envelop his arm in an armor that allows him to fight Hollows with the rest of the team.
Since it was first serialized in 2001, Bleach remained one of the best-selling manga series. It was popularly known as one of the Shonen Jump Big 3, together with Naruto and One Piece. The original manga ran until August 2016, with the chapters compiled into 74 volumes. By 2018, two years after it completed its run, Bleach sold over 120 million copies of its manga volumes
The series also received wide acclaim, such as the 50th Shogakukan Manga Award in Japan, and was nominated at the 2006 and 2007 American Anime Awards. Aside from English and Japanese, the Bleach anime series was also adapted in other languages including Spanish and Russian.
Other Bleach Video Games
There have been several video games based on the Bleach franchise. A number of games feature side-scrolling and 3D action elements, although there are strategy RPGs included. Like Brave Souls, most Bleach games also follow the story of the source material while others simply feature beloved characters. The Bleach game properties cover various series launched for different consoles. Below are some of the most notable entries in the video game franchise.
Bleach: Blade Battlers - A 3D cel-shaded fighting game developed by Racjin and published by Namco for the PlayStation 2. You get to play as one of the 36 available characters and fight until the other player’s health is depleted. It supports up to four players in cooperative and versus modes. The game was also among the first Bleach games ever released, being made available for PS2 in 2006.
Bleach: Soul Resurreccion - A single-player action-adventure experience, this 2011 game was also from the same developers and publishers. Released for the PlayStation 3, Soul Resurreccion is an increasingly challenging game where you navigate in a 3D space and fight against opponents from the Bleach universe
Bleach: Soul Carnival 2 - Released for the PlayStation Portable in 2009, Soul Carnival is one of the most popular Bleach-inspired video games. It feels similar to Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi franchises in terms of its beat-em-up nature. There are more than 120 characters to choose from, each having their own move and skills sets in addition to personality and story elements–all wrapped in a martial arts-style gameplay package.
Jump Force - Not explicitly a Bleach game, but features four characters from the series. This fighting video game released on multiple platforms pit characters from different Shonen Jump series such as Naruto, Dragon Ball, Black Clover, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, One Piece, and more.
The release of Bleach: Brave Souls for PS4 is proof that the Bleach community is still alive and kicking. With a new platform available for players, the beloved franchise will find a new subset of players who will inevitably get connected with Ichigo Kurosaki and the rest of the gang. As the hype around the global RPG game continues to rise, fans have something to look forward to especially as the supposed final story arc, The Thousand-Year Blood War, arrives later this year.