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El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

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GF Rating
5.7

1080 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
5

Fair

Gorgeous but very flawed

posted by Keith82 (ASTORIA, NY) Sep 5, 2011

Member since Mar 2005

12 out of 14 gamers (86%) found this review helpful

I'll start this off by saying it's with a heavy heart that I give this game a 5. I think more games should take the artistic risks that El Shaddai takes, but the game should also have more than just aesthetic beauty.

We all like lists, so here goes:

Pros: 1)One of the best looking games in a long time. The second level of this game had me staring for minutes at a time. Not playing, just admiring. 2)The combat is easy to pick up and does offer a challenge, even if you're really just fighting the same 3 enemies over and over.

Cons: 1)Story. It's understandable, but feels needlessly convoluted (weren't we supposed to fight 7 angels, not 4? I could be wrong.). This is a huge misstep for a game like this. 2) Platforming. Simple jumps become harder than any boss battle in this game. 3) Bosses will randomly show up and kill you, just because they can. 4) No HUD means no direction. I still don't know why I was collecting orange orbs. 5) This is nitpicking, but pausing the game (or pressing the back button) takes roughly 2-3 seconds to actually happen. I don't know why, but that frustrated me.

So basically this game is perfect for gamefly. You would never want to spend full price on it, but will gladly have it for a weekend.

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GF Rating
7

Good

So God is not quite completely almighty....

posted by kaos_manifest (ANCHORAGE, AK) Aug 18, 2011

Member since Jun 2011

11 out of 13 gamers (85%) found this review helpful

One of the appeals to this game is it's conceptual homeage to biblical mythology, if you'll excuse the vernacular. All in all, only those who know the story of Enoch (guess which book in the Bible is his story) will fully understand what's this games abstractions are about. Basically God sends an immortal human to kill these angels who have fallen to earth. Believe me, despite the esoteric narrative, it is very, very abstract.

The enviornments are beautiful and dynamic, portraying a world full of imagination and wonder. Earth must've looked pretty awesome beofre El Shaddai did that whole flood thing. Every new level's visuals are simply a joy to look at and some concepts rival visuals from games like Child of Eden. The music is great too, jumping between unique tribal hymns to pulsating synth rhythms reminiscent of Mass Effect's soundtrack. Combined with no heads up display (at least on your first playthrough), this game is really a multisensory treat.

However, this treat is stifled slightly by some bothersome gameplay qualtities. Essentially it is a third person slasher combined with platforming elements. Even if you play these games all the time, there will be a drastic learning curve for the combat due to it's simplistic but almost unintuitive game mechanics; so much so the game lets you ressurect yourself. You only have one button for all your attacks, and dishing out specific attacks requires specific button rhythms. There is no effective way to dodge in this game, just a guard button and it can be hard to use. There are other combat mechanics that are both unique and frustrating. There are strong platforming sections in this game; some are easy, others are frustrating depending on the camera, which switches from cinematic to 2D side scroller.

In conclusion, this game an entertaining, and visually it is a delight. It is gorgeous. The story is esoteric but reimaginative. The combat mechanics are crisp and focused but unintuitive.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Repetetive

posted by Opheliac (HOUSTON, TX) Aug 24, 2011

Member since Aug 2011

5 out of 7 gamers (71%) found this review helpful

El Shaddai is a gorgeous game to look at for the first few levels, the distinctly different styles of each level are breath taking from what looks like a feudal Japanese painting to a high tech cityscape. But then you start to realize, "I'm doing the same thing over and over again".

In a nutshell El Shaddai has you traversing through levels of long narrow hallways until it breaks into a circular room in which you fight some enemies. Did I mention there's only 3 types of enemies in the game besides bosses? After you beat them it's another long, pretty corridor or path until another fight.

There's also quite a bit of platforming in the game both 2D and 3D, the 2D platforming is fun and inventive I really found myself enjoying these parts. The 3D platforming experience however, is unpolished and frustrating due to the camera angles this game puts you in (the camera is locked always) and the problems this creates with depth perception, during these situation a jump to a platform that looks like it needs just a single jump may need a double and you end up falling, or vice versa and over compensate and jump over the platform and fall.

Also didn't like how there was no health indicator except the state of your armor, most of the time the main character is kept so small you cant see how much you're missing exactly. Also, there is a certain number of lives you have which isn't represented anywhere in the game, if you fall you start at the last check point, after a certain number of falls it will ask you to start over or go to the menu.

The story is interesting if you can keep up with it, it's certainly as colorful as the levels you go through though sometimes it can be hard to follow the details, sometimes you might find yourself asking, "why is this taking so long?" or "why am I fighting this boss?"

Overall, I feel like I'm playing a pretty, underdeveloped indie game.

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GF Rating
3

Bad

Pretty, confusing

posted by stonedogg (CLAYTON, NJ) Sep 3, 2011

Member since Sep 2011

2 out of 3 gamers (67%) found this review helpful

First of all, I must say that the art direction of this game is stunning. There's no other game in my recollection that has ever looked like it. It's an anime dreamscape with intensely rich colors that continually burst with surprising fluidic motion, all set to a marvelously serene-then-propulsive score.

However, the storyline and gameplay are so abstract, they're almost incomprehensible. There is no heads-up display, the camera angles are always (always!) fixed, there's only a single combat button with a seemingly useless "purification" feature, lots of repetitive jumping and fight sequences, a supremely odd ability to resurrect yourself during combat, no method for dodging attacks, no way to tell how much health you or your enemies have, and a difficult-to-follow narrative that couldn't be more confusing if David Lynch had filmed The Bible. You'll find yourself wondering where you are, why you're there, and what the heck you're even doing.

So, if you enjoy beautiful scenery, repetitive jumping puzzles, and constantly mashing the same button over and over, then El Shaddai is the game for you.

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GF Rating
3

Bad

Beautiful, horrible game.

posted by Piratespee (HOOD RIVER, OR) Aug 24, 2011

Member since Sep 2009

4 out of 7 gamers (57%) found this review helpful

While the game is visually very stunning, the gameplay is boring. I couldn't stay engaged and ended up returning it quickly.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Dated Japanese PS2 game

posted by DanNaruto1 (CHANNAHON, IL) Aug 16, 2011

Member since Aug 2010

5 out of 10 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

A game like El Shaddai is something that comes along only a few times in each console generation. The beautiful visuals, fantastic environments, solid (though slightly flawed) gameplay, and rich mythology combine to make a game quite unlike anything you've ever played. It has its occasional frustrations, but when the overall experience is this fantastic, you will be more than willing to put up with a few little annoyances. Above all, El Shaddai is a gaming experience you won't soon forget, and one that's worth every penny of its price of admission.

PROS: Breathtakingly beautiful and imaginative visuals and environments; hosts a variety of well-realized gameplay styles and elements; unique narrative with an unconventional structure.

CONS: Standard combat can be a bit tedious; story might be hard for some to follow; framerate can be inconsistent.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

awful

posted by daviidd (INDIANAPOLIS, IN) Oct 20, 2011

Member since Oct 2011

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

this game has no value as a video game the combos are as basic as they get. the story is the best thing about this game but it doesnt matter because you cant get past the terrible gameplay. bottom line, this is the worst action adventure game i have ever played

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GF Rating
4

Weak

Style over substance

posted by Shidara (CAROL STREAM, IL) Oct 10, 2011

Member since Feb 2005

1 out of 2 gamers (50%) found this review helpful

I'll admit that I didn't get very far in the game, but I'll be honest - for the rough one hour I actually did play the game, I was probably actually PLAYING the game for only about half that time. The rest was watching cutscenes or running extraordinarily long distances to get to the next actual fighting segment.

This game suffers from being, in my opinion, too Japanese for it's own good. The heavy emphasis on style and cutscenes makes it feel like I'm playing occasional fighting mini-games during an overly-slick anime movie.

I had a similar feeling playing Bayonetta, but this game is far worse.

There may be a great game lurking in those fighting segments, but I was too bored to stick around to find out.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Decent

posted by gamejerk13 (KENNEWICK, WA) Aug 21, 2013

Member since May 2013

El Shaddai was an okay game. That's all I can say. The controls were a little slippery, the game play was repetitive, the music was beautiful, as well as the graphics, and the story was really clever. If only it wasn't so boring at times. Then it would have worked.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Weak

posted by Thorne (GRANDVIEW, MO) Jan 19, 2013

Member since Jan 2008

This game has an interesting concept for a story, and I am one of those who needs to see it for themselves. I wish I hadn't on this one. This game is one of the worst failures I have played since getting gamefly 4 years ago. Oh don't get me wrong its not like it has mechanical issues or a bad camera, Its just bad. The graphical style is very 1989, with all angles and bright colors. The combat is weak. The storyline slow and unrewarding, Unecessary loads for darkness deaths, and it also has an overal washed out feel. This game desperately wants you to think its cool. This game is cool like emo is cool. If you like japanese style emo with bad graphics, this is the game for you. I do not rate games 1,,, this game is a 1 and its GF rating is severly out of wack

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GF Rating
7

Good

more beautiful than playable..

posted by Xaivy_DShau (OWINGS, MD) Oct 26, 2012

Member since Jan 2012

the most beautiful game ive ever played.... its like a Japanese take on a mideastern version of the bible that was made in the world of Tron....... Were talking angels, demons, bright lights and watercolor everywhere.

Pros - BEAUTIFUL! Solid combat and the ocassionally semi-fun side scroler segments.

Cons - Its hard to keep track of plot, Combat feels underwhelming (as if your 200 punches on this generic grunt isnt doing anything!!), difficulty just seems to come out of nowhere..... and sometimes when you die you end up having to sit through cutscenes just to reload at your last save -__-....

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

Good premise, sub-par execution.

posted by rhasko17 (DUMONT, NJ) Sep 19, 2012

Member since Sep 2012

There were many times throughout this game that I was extremely impressed with the visuals and sound. A strong variety of level types help keep things fresh superficially. I found combat too repetitive and not very deep, platforming to be frustrating at times, and the level design to be linear. The story was pretty intriguing but not enough to elevate the game itself to be more than average. Worth a play-through but prepare to get frustrated along the way.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Wierdest Game I have ever played

posted by BookWormGamer (BOUNTIFUL, UT) Jun 25, 2012

Member since Jun 2012

This game was the wierdest thing I have ever played. The art was gorgeous but very abstract. It had decent gameplay but some of the bosses were rediculously hard even on normal difficulty. A decent game all throughout.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Amazing!

posted by jdub1234813 (ROSLYN HEIGHTS, NY) Apr 22, 2012

Member since Mar 2012

this game is out of this world! based on the book of enoch, you must return the fallen angels to heaven to stop god from flooding the earth, with amazing visuals and amazing level design, one of the best looking games this generation!

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GF Rating
7

Good

More Art than Fun

posted by TonySama (BELLINGHAM, WA) Apr 19, 2012

Member since Nov 2005

A very simple review:
The art direction of this game was superb. That means the story was interesting and the differing art styles of all the levels were popping and great.
The gameplay was just barely not boring. It did enough to keep me engaged. But mostly I was driven just to see what art style was next.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

beautifull but shallow.

posted by bobthe23rd (STATE COLLEGE, PA) Feb 15, 2012

Member since Mar 2011

this game is beautifull but dull as dirt to play. This should have been a cartoon not a game. The gameplay got in the way. I just couldn't keep playing this game. Though the graphics are so creative and wonderfull it was a joy to watch.

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Weird yes, good no.

posted by luckyberry (BARBOURSVILLE, WV) Jan 22, 2012

Member since Jul 2010

El Shaddai had a promising premise, but is so underwhelming. What could have beem a uniqe game turned out to be a real steanker.

Story-7
Sound-6
Gameplay-4
Graphics-4
Replability-1
Overall-5

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GF Rating
3

Bad

A piece of art not a game

posted by Nightshde (PROVIDENCE, RI) Jan 11, 2012

Member since Jan 2012

I have to say this is one of the most beautiful games I have seen but that's all it is, a beautiful thing to look at.

I played the demo and was intrigued by the artwork and was hoping there was more to the game than just running from one fight to the next. But when I got the game in the mail I was very disappointed that the demo had shown everything there was. I played up until chapter 3 and just found there was nothing to really keep me playing.

It seems to me that they put all their production time into the look of the game and maybe about a months worth of work into the actual gameplay. You have one attack button with a charge option and a modified attack when you use it with the guard. All the enemies can just sit there and block all your attacks if they choose to but your block doesn't work besides as a counter and no dodge ability. Also the a boss will show up at random points and kill you then run off.

Maybe this game gets better as it goes on but I don't know how when I am at chapter 3 and I only have 3 weapon possibilities and it tells me that's all there is.

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GF Rating
7

Good

A Beautifully Incoherent Game

posted by Incrediburch (BUFFALO, NY) Jan 8, 2012

Member since Jan 2012

Definitely one of the most impressive art styles of any video game ever. The gameplay is a combination of action combat in the vein of God of War and Devil May Cry, and platforming of Mario. Neither are as good as their reference material, but the game does enough differently that it has its own identity. The plot is almost beside the point, despite being an original point of inspiration. It's a reinterpretation of a biblical tale. Seven angels descend from Heaven and hand humanity its ultimate evolutionary end. In the process, the humans are stripped of choice and sort of enslaved by the angels. God sends his chosen warrior, the first scribe, Enoch, to destroy the angels kingdom and return them to heaven. Early twists of the plot are easy to see, but the game gets more unpredictable later. However, there always seems to be more going on than the game presents, and you won't ever really find out what that could be. The soundtrack is appropriate. Decent, not remarkable. The voice acting works, and you can choose to use Japanese voice work with english subtitles. The game's characters are animated to the Japanese voice work, but the english lip-syncing isn't terrible. If you're looking for something different, this is it. It'll take 7-10 hours, pending the difficulty level you choose, and you can unlock harder difficulties.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

simalar 2 bleach

posted by puja82410 (GARNER, NC) Dec 16, 2011

Member since Dec 2011

it's kind of like in bleach when ichigo get a fullbring. But more weapons one of the best game's i have ever play not a game like it.

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GF Rating
7

Good

Stellar soundtrack and visuals

posted by juicedaman (NORTHBOROUGH, MA) Nov 22, 2011

Member since Apr 2007

El Shaddai is one part hack and slash, one part platformer, and a quarter part combat racer (one level). The visuals are absolutely stunning, which is a rare achievement in anime-based games. In terms of the visual splendor, it ranks second, only to Eternal Sonata. The soundtrack is fantastic as well, with nostalgic melodies perfectly synchronized with the game. The biggest flaw though is the repetitiveness of the combat and the unbelievably confusing story. You fight the same enemies over and over, and after playing for a while you recognize exactly when these enemies will pop out. The choice of three weapons is cool, but ultimately each does not possess enough special features to call any of them unique. The story, very linear, is one of the more confusing ones of any game I've played to date. It is based on the biblical story of Enoch, and that's about all I could salvage from it. Overall it is a great rent, but definitely not a buy.

7/10

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GF Rating
5

Fair

Treat for the eyes.. but not much else.

posted by Jovi39 (GOLETA, CA) Nov 21, 2011

Member since Nov 2011

This game seemed to have a lot of potential when the demo was released. I'm sorry to say that it was a disappointment. The game is gorgeous to look at, but that's as far as it goes. The thing about this game, the story, being very religious, isn't really that exciting. I found myself not really caring about what happened next in the story, but looking forward to what the next level looks like. The controls are sometimes very clunky, so that will cause you to fall, and fall, and fall, and fall again.. and that gets very annoying, because the story isn't that good, so its not like you have a great motivation to continue...
The game does pick up, however, and I found myself very satisfied when I finished it. The boss battle was entertaining enough to make up for the frustration I suffered at times to get there.
So... is it worth it? To buy, No. The graphics can only go so far, but they cant carry how weird and, at times, boring the story is. BUT, this you should rent. Its a treat for the eyes, and if you don't have any other much pressing game in your GameQ, then go ahead and give this a try. It's worth at least one play through.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

I Really Wanted to Like it

posted by RSG2033 (GALLATIN, TN) Oct 28, 2011

Member since Oct 2011

I was looking forward to this game since it's by the same people that did Okami and Viewtiful Joe. While it is aesthetically interesting, the gameplay just doesn't hold up. The action sequences are pretty good, but combat just isn't deep enough. X and Y both do the same attacks and the weapon choices are weak. There's only 3 different ones to choose from and one of them makes you so slow it's pretty much useless. The game's story is told in an interesting fashion and having Satan on a cell phone with God for your save points is pretty funny. And that's really where the game shines, its personality. But unfortunately the long platforming sequences that break up the fighting are almost no fun at all. If this game had more variety in the combat and lost the platforming sections I think it would be awesome. But how it is now I can't give it more than a six.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

Great Game

posted by GQRieux (LOS ANGELES, CA) Oct 26, 2011

Member since Oct 2011

With its enticing visuals, El Shaddai is enough of a masterpiece to keep any gamer interested. Though its first 3 chapters are pretty bland and more explanatory than anything the games doesn't really pick up until chapter 4 and onward, where you see the utilization of the games simple but rythmic combat system, stunning visuals, and unique characters and bosses. This game offers story and score ranking which keeps you occupied long after you have completed the game. I'd recommend this to anyone who loves graphics and a good game. It's from across the Atlantic, however a Japanese based title has never been portrayed more beautiful.

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

El Shaddai by DeamonRett

posted by DeamonRett (BRISTOL, VA) Oct 23, 2011

Member since Oct 2011

El Shaddai is a game that brings to mind God of War and Prince of Persia. I enjoyed the battle mechanics, yet I feel as though more could have been added with the weaponry. The storyline and artwork is something that shouldn't be overlooked. It is both alluring and great to watch. Overall, I believe that with improvvements in the camera angles and added content with weaponry would have made this a more memorable game.

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