When I first leapt into Gaist Crusher, my character Rekka Shirokane carried a giant sword into battle with him. Each swing of this blade would take a chunk of his four-part stamina gauge. His attacks increased in damage and startup time from Y to X to A, with the last one acting as a launcher that would throw him into the air as well.
Pressing A again would bring him crashing to the ground with a helm-breaker. In a weird way, the slow startup on most of these attacks reminded me of using the long sword in Monster Hunter, but Gaist Crusher’s robotic enemies were much more straightforward than most of what you’d find in Monster Hunter. Maybe Gaist Crusher is meant to lead kids into Capcom games…
Given that the game has an aerial combat aspect, I was a bit surprised that the B button was a dashing attack rather than a jump. Multiple dashes could be chained together, which basically made the attack my de facto method of evasion. However, this drained my stamina gauge, too.
That’s where form switching comes in. Tapping R turned the Gaimetal sword Rekka was using into a suit of armor. Every attack was a punch or kick, and they wouldn’t drain my stamina like the sword form would. The attacks were faster and weaker, but still useful. For instance, I still had access to a launcher on A. Sadly, my beloved dash was gone, replaced by a defensive burst. It didn’t feel particularly powerful, and while I did block a couple attacks with it, its utility seemed kind of limited.
Fortunately, swapping between these two forms was immediate, so I could beat up on an enemy with a flurry of punches, shoryuken them into the air, swap to sword form, use my aerial dash to stab the enemy back down to the ground with very little effort or pause.
When I finally made it to the boss (who looked like a fire-breathing robotic parasaurolophus), I found that my armor form attacks did very little to him. I used the sword form for a whole, but I used most of my stamina dodging. I then noticed an EX icon on the touchscreen, tapped it, and turned into a gigantic flaming robotic wolf.
Once again, my moveset completely changed, and the attacks fell on the slow side of things… which didn’t work so well against my more nimble foe, who kept hitting me out of my attacks’ startup. After a little bit of biting and clawing randomly, my wolf was destroyed and I returned to human form. That said, I had done enough damage to finish him off with a few slashes.
After the boss fell, he turned into a rock that contained a new Gaimetal. I had 45 seconds to shatter all the rock off of it, and I was (presumably) rewarded with a new armor set for it, but I couldn’t try it out because my demo was over.