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El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

version: pal (de) - year: 2011 - developer: ignition entertainment - publisher: ignition entertainment - format: ps3, blu-ray disc - condition: near mint - rarity: common

El Shaddai can be picked up for the price of a Mc Donald's Menu if not for less these days

 

Just two eyes, no wings, Enoch still looks angelic but maybe a bit underwhelming compared to the old scriptures. Plus, what's up with the bra?!

 

Getting hit visibly damages and destroys your armor

 

There are three weapons you can steal from enemies, each useful to fight certain bosses or pass certain sections, but the bow is by far the most balanced in terms of strength and speed.

 

The scenaries are always varied and impressive to look at.

 

Sometimes gauging the right jumping distance in 3D can be tricky. Look at Enoch's shadow to make sure you land on target!

 

2D sections look really beautiful. Here, you can even ride the waves!

 

The mystical story is even weirder because of things such as...well, such as these Barbapapa creatures which are everywhere and seem to serve no real purpose other than being completely out of context and confuse the hell out of just anybody.

 

Review - El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron has one of the most interesting names in a videogame ever. Let's see why...

Apparently, El Shaddai means God Almighty in Hebrew while according to a number of sources of the ancient Jewish apocalyptic literature, Metatron is said to have been a sort of antediluvian prophet named Enoch, who was taken up to Heaven, instructed in wisdom by God himself and divinized as a result.

Now please pay close attention to what happens to the prophet, it gets really interesting!

The wise and virtuous Enoch ascended to Heaven, where he became God's chief counsellor, known from then on as "Metatron."
God set his own crown upon Enoch's head, and gave him seventy-two wings as well as three hundred and sixty-five thousand eyes, each as bright as the sun.
His flesh, veins, bones, were all transformed into flame, his hair turned into rays of light. Sparks emanated from him and he was surrounded by storm, whirlwind, thunder and lightning.

If this sounds really cool and powerful, it's because it is!! You can find this actual description in texts which are thousand of years old, so as you can imagine, I was really eager to get to play this game...

The fact that El Shaddai is one of the most artistically accomplished games of this generation convinced me even more that Japanese developer Ignition Entertainment was onto something hot.

The surreal graphics which blend wire-frame outlines with pastel colors, abstract shapes and futuristic themes make everything look unique, and brings to mind the obscure shooter InterStellar (MSX LD).

The esoteric and obscure material on which the story is based coupled with the originality and elegance of the visuals lead me to believe this game was going to be something out of the ordinary, but unfortunately I have to say that from a gameplay perspective, El Shaddai is far from being innovative or even engaging.

Part fighter, part platformer, El Shaddai gameplay is underwhelming.

Especially the combat system is rather limited and falls short compared to heavyweights of the genre like Bayonetta or any of the Devil May Cry games. The fighting isn't as smooth as it should be and special moves seem to be a bit limited too.

Also, you’ll be fighting most of the time about three different kinds of enemies and the same boss over and over! This really gets old quickly and kinds of diminish the enjoyment of discovering what is around the corner, as you'll soon start feeling there is the same color-swapped enemy waiting for you again and again.

I am not sure what was the thinking behind this but it gets repetitive, no matter how good the graphics are or how atmospheric the soundtrack can be.

Luckily, the platforming sections prove to be more interesting and frustration is reduced to a minimum since even if you miss a jump, you won’t die but simply respawn to an earlier check-point which is normally not very far behind.

Also, after getting killed in combat, you are given the chance to continue by furiously pressing buttons within a time limit, so this game is actually rather easy to go through.

Bottom line: After playing the game through on the normal difficulty setting, I was left with little to remember. Just like a mid-summer dream then, beautiful but ephemeral. 7,5/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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