Shortly after the new screenshots and confirmation of a release date this year I came across the demo for the El Shaddai Ascension of the Metatron. It seems it should not be long before the game is released in English as the demo is fully voiced in English already. Now on to what I thought of this biblical action title.
There isn’t much story to be told here, even though the Easy difficulty setting is subtitled by “for those who just want to enjoy the story”, though I suspect that is more for the full version of the game.
You are Enoch and trust into a dream-like world in search of the fallen angels, with the arch angels as your guardians. Everything around Enoch appears to be in a state of becoming monochromatic but is infused with whimsical colours.
The basic mechanics of the game is to do well-timed attacks against enemies using the X button to bring them to a point where you can purify them and steal their weapon. After you have purified their weapon, which in the demo is either a bow-like blade or a bunch of deadly paper airplanes, you must still destroy the enemy. They explode and drop orange orbs that supposedly power you up in some form, but I wasn’t appeal to ascertain what that entailed.
So after you fight two or three enemies on a small round platform you hope over gaps on a nearly transparent, murky looking corridor to another platform for another battle. I can’t say I was visually stunned by the presentation; the cel-shaded graphics actually looked quite dated and didn’t appear to be built with next-gen consoles in mind. But the presentation still worked well and it was not bothersome in anyway. The animations for battling are quite fluid and don’t appear to be pre-canned.
The most impressive part of the game is the side scrolling platforming, which really feels like an updated Kid Icarus, though there was no battling to be had in that segment. Enoch just hopped across floating rock platforms and sturdy wave-like clouds, as the colour scheme changed from light to inverted, which would likely be could be disorienting to those not already on a hallucinogenic.
The visuals are unique, the story is also fresh and the combat feels a bit dry abeit still fun. So I would certainly recommend this game if it is released around a $40 price-point, but unless they put a lot more polish on it before it’s released here I don’t think it will be worth a full $60.