It's... it certainly is different.
I got through the first dungeon, and it's alright. I find it interesting how Johnny is kind of a weakling, I got so used to Yuri and his 3-attack judgement ring, how he'd have SP for days and what not, but Johnny feels like a glorified Anastasia, with his silly 'Snap' ability, 1-hit judgement ring and low SP threshold. It's an interesting change!
So far, I'm not very hopeful. I think the most probable scenario is me liking the game because it's fun, but not being able to enjoy it as much as previous Shadow Hearts since every single horror element, sans demons, is gone.