Because I love the Bleach series and I want to give it (back) the fighting game glory it deserves!
For 6 years, Eighting was making Bleach fighting games, all falling under the Heat The Soul series, the latest being Heat The Soul 7.
The game was Eighting latest entry for the fighting series before they stopped abruptly, probably a rushed decision by SONY, since they still had the license and even made another game by another developer. The gameplay was very good for capturing the spirit of the anime and at some points, it was held in a high regard among japanese players as far as “anime fighters” go. The gameplay even affected Eighting’s other anime fighter series, the Climax Heroes series.
So, for HTS, I present the changes I’d make to make it a more legit and in the process, more enjoyable and better fighting game and hopefully a great Bleach fighter.
For those who want a more elaborate guide on the game, it can be found on gamefaqs here. The basis for everything I’ll be talking about will be Heat The Soul 6, not 7 for the reasons that 7 is too boggled and way too buggy at times, not to mention unfinished due to the abrupt end the series had to come to.
A.)Controls and gameplay!
01.)Return to Heat The Soul 4 game speeds. And keep the freaing 60FPS intact, the framedrops and reduced speeds of Heat The Soul 7 are shameful to look at. Also the buffering speed and animation cancels from that game.
02.)Adapt the Freerun system of Super Climax Heroes on the series, as it is. The way it was designed to quickly change distances and even act as a 2.5D fighter up close seems to be perfect for the Heat the Soul series, especially with its all directional inputs combat. The major problems of Heat The Soul series were the arenas being very small, with no seeming variety nor any way to either effectively escape the opponent’s range quickly in any way. The way the freerun system works allows the characters to do quick manoeuvres and run around the enemy to avoid their attacks, effectively removing the “broken status” that several characters with ranged attacks have, like the Quincies.
03.)Remove projectiles and special attacks from the moveset of some characters and instead add them Special Attacks in the Release Reiatsu button. Instead of having the button simply charge and release Reiatsu, now the characters can have special attacks mapped on them with the help of directional inputs.
04.)The characters should have far more Guard options, either by modifying the ones presented in Heat The Soul 7 or adding new ones :
I.)The normal Guard we already have up until now, hold down to keep it up, constantly using Guard Guage while the Guard is up.
II.)Just Guard : guard at the exact same time a normal or heavy attack connects to perfectly guard an attack without the loss of the Guard Gauge.
III.)Counter Guard : While Guarding and the opponent is hitting, the player must press an attacking button to initiate the Counter Guard and stun the enemy momentarilly at the cost some Reiatsu.
05.)The R and L triggers are used to activate Support Effects like in Heat The Soul 4, using that exact system when a player chooses to play in Single mode.
06.)The Release Reiatsu button is no longer just a way to gather Reiatsu or just release it to stagger an opponent but also a way to inject special attacks in movesets or simply execute super moves. Each character has four Special attacks now(usually their signature moves from the original sources, the projectiles etc) executed by a pressing one of the four basic direction in conjunction with the Release Reiatsu button. Each special attack drains a bit of Reiatsu. The cost of each attack is usually different.
07.)Have the Soul System from Heat The Soul return for single mode. Just like in Heat the Soul, there exist three different modes, Death God, Vizard and Arrancar, with each one having different properties.
I.)The Death God Soul is presented by a Red soul, it gives the players the ability to hold two supports at the same time and have them be mixed for a new attack or effect, by pressing the R and L Triggers at the same time when both are availiable for use. Also, the user gets 4 reiatsu bars instead of just 2.
II.)The Vizard Soul is presented by a Yellow soul, it gives the players the ability to hold one support but the reiatsu bars now max at 8 gauges instead of 2.
III.)The Arrancar Soul is presented by a Blue soul, it grants the players the ability to directly absorb Reiatsu with the R trigger from the player and restore their own as well as the ability to negate and absorb all projectiles into life and reiatsu with the L Trigger.
08.)The options should now include three options when fighting, instead of just the two we have from Heat The Soul 6, Single or Tag mode. Now, the options should be Single, Tag and Custom Soul mode. Basically, remove the custom souls from those two options and give it a category of its own.
09.)Instead of simply releasing reiatsu in a combo, the Release Reiatsu button now also acts as a combo extension button for some combos.
10.)The way the characters act now when selected is a mix of Bleach Heat The Soul 4 & 6 : Each character will have his / her own slot and within that slot, all of his / her form will exist, be they Normal / Shikai / Bankai / etc. The player is able to choose any form to play as without restrictions, as long as said form is not a finisher attack. If the form the player chose can advance further, they can do it as many times in a match without limit, as long as they have 2 reiatsu bars full. For example :
One player choose Ichigo’s normal form, with the huge broadsword. During a match, he can use 2 reiatsu bars to transform to Ichigo’s Shikai form. From then on he can use 2 more to transform into Ichigo’s Bankai form and two more if he wishes to allow Ichigo to transform into his Vasto Lorde form.
A transformation is activated by the player pressing the Select button when the character has 2 full reiatsu bars and is able to transform. The indications for that are the reiatsu bar flashing and the number indicating how many reiatsu bars are full is changing colours constantly.
11.)A match is now split into two rounds but in the same vein as the Heat The Soul 4 matches were fought.
Each match can be split into up to three sections, since each character has two lifebars.
12.)The Power-Up mode that was introduced in Heat The Soul 6 by pressing both Triggers at the same time is gone from the game. Instead, the players will have just less ending frames and vulnerable frames to make for a faster game and with a lot more cancels.
B.)Options and Fixing!
01.)Take the difficulty from Heat The Soul 6 and make it even better.
02.)For a Tag match to end, one team must lose both members. This “Lost 1 of the team, GAME OVER” crap that Eighting picked up and used in Bleach Heat The Soul is moronic and assinine. Get rid of that rule and make it like Tatsunoko Vs Capcom.
03.)The Life Gauge should function like it does in Super Climax Heroes, only a bit faster.
04.)Fix some incosistencies in the graphics that persist ever since the 1rst game and add some more facial and body animations.
05.)Add even more variety to the arenas, the Heat The Soul series at their start at least, had arenas of varying size to make fights more interesting. Some modifications and additions should be done.
06.)Bleach is one of those series that has great costume potential. Heat The Soul 4 had the best idea of how it could be used and started the trend. Each player has a their normal costume and their alternate colour costume and from then on each character has a slew of costumes availiable to him or her, usually borrowing from the source material and if Eighting feels like it, from chapter covers.
07.)The way the costumes work on transformations is that the slected character’s costume number (1, 2, EX1, EX2, EXetc…) corresponds to the transformations costume number. If the transformation does not have more than two costumes, then it automatically selects either the normal colour(1) or the alternative colour(2) based on what number the EX colours are. If they are odd numbers, the transformation will have the normal colour and if they are even numbers, the transformation will have the alternative colour.
08.)If the game goes into the time skip, they should seperate the Time Skip characters with their pre-TS incarnations.
09.)Fix a lot of movesets to match the original material, as well as some colours.
And that’s pretty much it, I can only hope it will ever get made. 🙂 Have a good day everybody and see you soon. 😀