So what have I been up to of late?
Aside from appearing twice a week on radio with BlastProcess.com, we've also been doing quite a bit of filming for the site. Mike put his roller blades on for an introduction to a new First Level video, which was fun...while all three of us created a video regarding a recent announcement regarding a new bit of DLC.
Both videos should be posted online soon.
So what about gaming...I must have been playing stuff too right? Right!
Only just this morning I was trying out a demo of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. Like it's name...it makes little sense...
First and foremost, from the word go it's art style is very unique. Anime is very much an inspiration for the general style of the game, from the levels, backdrops and of course the characters. The enemies you face in the demo remind me of Japanese culture and creatures found in classic manga films such as the Ghibli titles. The animation of these enemies, and the character you control move fluidly while the attacks have a nice quick pace about them.
The level design is very linear (at least in the demo), playing out more like a platform game than an action/adventure one. During one portion of the demo you even have a side-scrolling platform section, which was a nice break from the other sections of the demo. It was also during the section that I really found how much I liked its artwork and animations.
The combat, like I mentioned, has a nice quick pace. Square is your basic attack, although holding square builds up a more powerful attack. X is your typical jump, while double tapping it pulls off a double jump. R1 is your block, although if you combine it with an attack button press it uppercuts your opponent into the air so that you can produce a nice air combo. Aside from these two attacks however, I couldn't find anymore. Hopefully the full version of the game includes more combos, otherwise I could see the combat getting very boring.
Something that you can do during your fights however is 'puryfying'. When your opponent lights up (looks almost like a shield has appeared around them) it means you've knocked them back. When this happens press L1 and it'll cut to short combat sequence as you remove their weapon and then purifying its evil. The weapon is then yours to continue fighting with, well, at least until someone else has a weapon you'd rather use. While using the weapon, you'll notice it start glowing red which means it'll need purifying again. Hold L1 for a moment and it'll be as good as new.
So it's art style, animations and the 'pinching' weapons get the thumbs up from me, while the level design doesn't quite. Aside from the portion of the demo I mentioned earlier, the rest of the game has you fighting along what can be best described as corridors, with the odd stair case and bits missing from the floor which you have to jump. You find yourself re-using these 'corridors' throughout the demo and I can only hope that the full game features more variety.
Lastly, I'll talk about its story. I'll be honest, aside from a couple of previews I've seen about the game I don't really know what the whole plot of the game is. Now that I've played it...I still...don't really know. While the demo loads it mentions that the story is based upon old religious texts (hence it's title). Their is a fair amount of voice overs throughout the demo, but for me nothing really made sense! Regardless of this fact, I really enjoyed playing it.
I've just read the review over on Eurogamer, and I must admit, I'm quite looking forward to the full release. It sounds as though the levels do get a lot more interesting and the combat also evolves.
You can't currently download the demo from the Playstation Store. I managed to get it via this months Official Playstation Magazine, as it features on the demo disc alongside Castlevania, Virtua Tennis 4 and WWE Allstars.
Should also mention, if you hadn't guessed yet...it's a Playstation 3 exclusive, and has no exact date of release in the UK.