Maken Shao - Demon Sword is third person action game for the Playstation 2
. The kanji symbol for shao, 爻 , looks like two X's stacked on top of each other so the title can be interpretted as Maken XX. The camera angle is the biggest difference between Demon Sword and its predecessor, Maken X
. The original Dreamcast
game was a first person action game that focused on sword fighting. Maken Shao still focuses on swordplay but pulls the camera out turning it into a third person action game. The Shin Megami Tensei
title is not attached to Maken Shao but the development staff contained many employees who have worked on multiple Shin Megami Tensei games like Kazuma Kaneko
(character design) and Shoji Meguro
(music). The game was developed in-house by Atlus
and was published by Midas Interactive
in Europe and Japan.
Gameplay Kei Sagami
, the main protagonist, is on a search find her friend Kou Yamashiro. She makes her way into the Kanazawa Science Synthesis lab and ends up bound to Deus Ex Machina, a sentiient weapon meant to cure mental diseases. The machine has a mind of its own and can possess human beings. Since it is bound with Kei it gives her the ability to brainjack characters in the game. Sixteen specific characters can be brainjacked , each with their own unique weapons and abilities making the gameplay less repetitive. Situations often called for the use of abilities of other characters to solve puzzles and combat situations. As the game progresses from 19 levels across the world from Kei Sagami's perspective, she discovers more about the Kanazawa Science Synthesis lab and the enemies that go against the organization.
The original first person sword combat limited the player's awareness and was hard to judge the distance of attacks. The switch to a third person angle made it easier for players to gauge the range of Kei's sword attacks and reduces the player's blind spot.
Maken Shao - Demon Sword did not have an American release. It was only released in Japan and European territories early in the Playstation 2's life cycle. The subtitle, Demon Sword, was added to PAL versions and was released in Japan without it.