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Ever since the Wii hit the streets, gamers have been dreaming of sword fighting.

They’ve been yearning to hack away with the remote and see the actual speed, angle and direction of every thrust translated directly on to the screen.

“Bleach: Shattered Blade” comes closer than most other games, but it still falls short of this dream.

The T- rated game by Sega is based on the Japanese anime series “Bleach,” which tells of a spiritual battle between sword-wielding Soul Reapers and evil spirits. The series’ cel-shading is carried into the game’s animation, which should make fans feel at home.

The story mode, such as it is, involves 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki and other Soul Reapers who seek to collect shards of the Sokyoku, which holds tremendous “spirit energy.” After a very brief explanation of why a particular character is searching for the blade’s shards, he heads out for a series of one-round fights that culminates in a boss battle. There’s never a clear explanation of why each of these foes must be fought. It comes off as a succession of unrelated battles separated by unusually long load screens.

The basic battle system feels pretty similar to those of other fighting games, except that most of the combatants use blades. Slashes, uppercuts and jabs with the Wii remote result in corresponding moves by the character on screen.

However, the results will be rather disappointing to those eager to see every thrust and parry replicated on the screen. There’s only a rough correlation between the direction and angle of the remote and the on-screen sword. In any case, the action happens so fast that a player ends up simply waving the remote back and forth, in and out or up and down. Buttons and the joystick are used to block, rush and activate special attacks.

Other game modes include player vs. player and player vs. console matches. Without the disjointed narrative and weird spiritual overtones of the story mode, these come off as a bit more entertaining.

On the Web: www.sega.com/gamesite/bleach/

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