Do you remember Gunstar Heroes on the Mega Drive? Do you remember Dynamite Headdy on the same system? Do you remember Guardian Heroes on the Saturn? (Of course you won't, did ANYONE own one? I am kidding. Hello Saturn fans! Both of you...)
Well Treasure made all of those cracking titles. So what happens when Treasure get a hold of one of the most exciting manga series to hit these shores and combines it with the awesome gameplay of Guardian Heroes? You get Bleach: The Blade Of Fate of course!
If you're wondering, Bleach features Ichigo Kurosaki as the main protagonist and he can see dead people (but he doesn't sit in a bed with Bruce Willis leering over him like... well... a dead person). One inadvertent meeting with Soul Reaper Rukia Kuchiki and BANG, he's a Soul Reaper himself now and when Rukia gets captured by her brother and is sentenced to death by the Soul Society then Ichigo and friends go and save her. Cue massive four-player fights, outlandish attacks and stunning anime-style graphics. Having Treasure take the winning gameplay from Guardian Heroes and transplant it into this format and you've got a cracking way to spend hours.
The story mode is a lot more fun than it should be (when has a story mode in any fighting game really been much fun?) and the versus battles are always entertaining but the best part is being able to take your battles online over the Wi-Fi connection and battle ANYONE with your favourite Bleach character.
If I have to have a gripe with it then the slowdown in these online battles is quite sizeable. It's an excellent attempt at online fighting on the DS and the battles can be fun but be aware that the lag can be a deterrent but stick with it and it's awesome fun (unless you keep getting the world's most accomplished Bleach player and then you'll probably get so frustrated you'll never play it again for fear of facing the humiliation of defeat again...)
Hugely entertaining, bundles to unlock, superb artwork and a brilliant story mode... what more could you ask for? Bleach: The Blade Of Fate is the best fighter on the DS, without fail...
Not that there's much to compare it with...