I wasn’t sure what to expect from El Shaddai. Coming into the demo, I was greeted by beautiful environments more symbolic than realistic. I was instantly reminded by Okami, which while being more literal, was simular in its beauty, and sure enough I have learned that Okami’s character designer was leading the development of El Shaddai.
The game has me playing as Enoch, a priest who is looking for seven fallen angels in order to prevent a great flood from wiping out man kind.
The gameplay is fairly fluid with two buttons assigned to attack and two to jump with a further two buttons assigned to purify your weapon and defend respectively. Various combinations can also change the nature of the attacks. At first, I had a little bit of difficulty landing attacks on the enemies and died fairly quickly but after I got used to the pace of the game and worked out the button combinations, I had much better results. I enjoyed that the games fodder enemies were not just few hit wonders but actually required a bit of work to defeat with careless button mashing being a sure fire way of being defeated.
The game also has side-scrolling platform elements. The standout feature of these sections are the waves which the tips of can be ridden by Enoch to transverse the levels. I am under the impression that these sections are being used to go between major game locations, somewhat similar to the side-scrolling sections of Disney’s Epic Mickey.
The El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron demo is available on the Japanese PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for gold subscribers. I played the PlayStation 3 version. The full game will be released April 28, 2011 in Japan. You can pre-order at Play-Asia.com.