• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Sep 15, 2009
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. It helps to be a Bleach fan, otherwise much of the story will whistle by your ears. [Mar 2010, p.87]
  2. 70
    A brave attempt at a new direction for Bleach games that stumbles at key points.
  3. 70
    Made for the fans. If that's you, go for it. If it's not, the DS library has several other great strategy RPGs to choose from -- go check out Final Fantasy Tactics A2 or Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon instead.
  4. Dedicated Bleach fans will find a lot to love about The 3rd Phantom but, as far as true RPG and strategy fans are concerned, its few flaws are just too noticeable to ignore. That said, however, the game manages to squeeze in plenty of Bleach lore and the battles can be loads of fun thanks to the great number of characters available so you may want to check this one out either way.
  5. 70
    Overall, The 3rd Phantom isn't exactly terrible, it's just devoid of much real gameplay to satisfy gamers looking for more meat than just a bit of fanservice and origin stories.
  6. Bleach: The 3rd Phantom is a true surprise: it's a neat and enjoyable strategic RPG especially aimed at the fans of the series who will find all their favourite characters and villains in a single cartridge. Casual players will probably be annoyed by the lengthy cutscenes and slow battles, however it's rare to play such a well made niche-oriented game.
  7. Though this game will certainly please longtime fans of the franchise with it's original story, the lackluster RPG format relegates this title to the "fans only" designation.
  8. For Bleach fans, this will be a positive though, and for those people, this will be a worthwhile story led SRPG. For others, stick with the excellent Final Fantasy Tactics A2 or Disgaea DS for you SRPG fix.
  9. The Third Phantom is a game made for the fans. If you’re not a fan you’ll find a simple RPG game.
  10. Bleach the Third Phantom is a good strategic RPG title, but it doesn't offer any important new features for the genre.
  11. Bleach fans will dig the story, but they'll also hate the weak writing. Everyone else should stick with Fire Emblem. [Feb 2010, p.65]
  12. A very slow SRPG that feels more like an interactive novel. Its characters and story might make it worthwhile for fans, but if Bleach is not your thing, steer clear of it.
  13. The 3rd Phantom is a workman-like tactical RPG which will come as manna from heaven for hardcore Bleach fans but fails to distinguish itself from the many other titles of this type already available.
  14. The 3rd Phantom isn't a bad game, but it's hampered by controls that should have taken advantage of the DS' strengths more fully and provided more options to speed up gameplay if desired.
  15. 60
    The 3rd Phantom is a game for Bleach fans. All other gamers can safely pass at this title and feel like you aren't missing anything you haven't seen already.
  16. Bleach: The 3rd Phantom is a solid Strategy RPG and fans will enjoy its 25 chapters.
  17. The 3rd Phantom is a new approach to the series on the handheld. A very slow SRPG that tries to please hardcore fans of the Bleach franchise, but it's so simple and so heavy on text that it's not as entertaining as it could have been.
  18. The game is pure fan service, and as a fan that is phenomenal to see. But as a game it just can't compete in a genre packed with such classic titles.
  19. It really is a shame, because the time spent inbetween battles completely ruins the fun and entertainment that the battles themselves produced. It leaves you with no interest in the story, characters, or perfecting your squad.
  20. It's the compound effect of its traditional design that causes the most problems. [Issue#93, p.134]
  21. The 3rd Phantom moves through never-ending conversations like a Segway driving on an expressway, and the limited text speed options never alleviate the pain. Beat a battle, chug through the monotonous free time scenes, read boring dialogue (repeat this 19 times every chapter) and move onto the next battle.
  22. Bleach: The 3rd Phantom is a strategy game, or at least that is what it's supposed to be. There just aren't much strategy in it. In the end, it's not a bad Bleach game, but it is way to shallow to be appealing to others than fans of the manga.
  23. Ultimately, Bleach: The 3rd Phantom isn't a terrible game, but it isn't a very satisfying one either. The actual gameplay is a small part of the game, and due to the high degree of fan service it can only be truly recommended for hardcore Bleach fans.
  24. Even as a fan of RPGs in general, I don't think that anything about Bleach: The Third Phantom will appeal to most people. Unless you're really dying for some new-related items, I'd avoid this title completely.
  25. 50
    Bleach: The 3rd Phantom is not going to snare fresh fans for the franchise, but at least it does not fail so completely as to be unplayable.
  26. Bleach – The third phantom is a game for the Japanese market, but not for the European one. So please SEGA, stop publishing this franchise in Europe.
  27. The switch to turn-based strategy works perfectly but only fans will tolerate the endless cut scenes.
  28. Stays firmly in the for-fans-only bin. [Oct 2009, p.89]

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