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About the product
- Expect the unexpected. El Shaddai defies gaming convention by mixing a wide variety of game play styles including 2D side-scrolling action and 3D exploration.
- Lose yourself in the compelling storyline based on the ancient apocryphal tome, The Book of Enoch, but told with a modern flare and uniquely artistic approach.
- Innovative 'Zero HUD Player Feedback System' utilizes dynamic environment, character, and audio clues to keep the player engaged without cluttering the screen with extraneous indicators and information.
- The three-button control system is simple to use yet surprisingly deep, delivering exhilarating, flowing action that allows both casual and hardcore players to enjoy the game at their own pace.
- All weapons are forged from crystalline heavenly knowledge beyond the grasp of humanity and possess supernatural powers. Among them is the Arch, a holy blade with the hidden power to slice through anything.
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Long ago, when the seed of mankind was first taking root, God laid down his plans for the human race. He appointed the Grigori, the most human of all angels in heaven, to watch over them from the celestial realm. The Grigori, known to some as the "The Watchers", dutifully continued their vigilance through the ages. Over time, they became fascinated by the lives humans led, with the uninhibited freedom and passions. Subtle at first, the fascination soon led to feeling of longing, desire and lust. Until one fateful day, the Grigori turned away from God and descended to Earth. When Heaven's highest order, the Council of Elders, discovered the Grigori's betrayal, they were furious. Their anger only grew stronger when they learned that the Fallen Angels had taken in daughters of men, deviating mankind from God's great plan. To set matters right, the Council decided to send a terrible flood to wipe out the entire human race. However, there was one man who objected to the Council's decision. His name was Enoch, a scribe whose righteousness moved God to bring him to Heaven while still living mortal. The Council heard Enoch's pleas and agreed to spare mankind on the condition that Enoch capture the fallen angels and bring them back to Heaven to be imprisoned. To prevent the impending flood, Enoch returned to Earth on a mission to escort the Fallen Angels back to Heaven. Upon his arrival he confronted Azazel, one of the seven who fell. However, Azazel refused to return to Heaven and went into hiding along with the others, warning Enoch not to follow. And so, Enoch's long journey begins.
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is a third-person, single player action-adventure game in which players must subdue rogue angels, loose on the Earth in order to uphold God's divine plan and prevent the destruction of humanity. Loosely based on the apocryphal Judaic works concerning the pre-flood biblical patriarch Enoch and his role in some traditions as Metatron -- the angelic intermediary between God and his people -- El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron features a compelling storyline; a distinct visual experience; combat, platforming and exploration gameplay; unique weapons and feedback systems; and controls that are designed to suit all levels of players.
The Story of Man, Angels and God
Long ago, when the seed of mankind was first taking root, God laid down his plans for the human race. He appointed the Grigori, the most human of all angels in heaven, to watch over them from the celestial realm. The Grigori, known to some as the "The Watchers," dutifully continued their vigilance through the ages. Over time, they became fascinated by the lives humans led, with the uninhibited freedom and passions. Subtle at first, the fascination soon led to feelings of longing, desire and lust until one fateful day, the Grigori turned away from God and descended to Earth. When Heaven's highest order, the Council of Elders, discovered the Grigori's betrayal, they were furious. Their anger only grew stronger when they learned that the fallen angels had taken in daughters of men, deviating mankind from God's great plan.
To set matters right, the Council decided to send a terrible flood to wipe out the entire human race. However, there was one man who objected to the Council's decision. His name was Enoch, a scribe whose righteousness moved God to bring him to heaven while still living mortal. The Council heard Enoch's pleas and agreed to spare mankind on the condition that Enoch capture the fallen angels and bring them back to heaven to be imprisoned. To prevent the impending flood, Enoch returned to Earth on a mission to escort the fallen angels back to heaven. Upon his arrival he confronted Azazel, one of the seven who fell. However, Azazel refused to return to Heaven and went into hiding along with the others, warning Enoch not to follow. And so, Enoch's long journey begins.
Key Game Features
- Gameplay: Expect the Unexpected - El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron defies gaming convention by mixing a wide variety of gameplay styles including 2D side-scrolling action and 3D exploration.
- A Compelling Storyline - A compelling storyline based on the ancient apocryphal tome, The Book of Enoch, but told with a modern flare and uniquely artistic approach.
- A Distinct Visual Experience - Immerse yourself in beautiful dreamlike game environments that seem to morph around your movements and that reflect watercolor anime animation style.
- Unique Feedback System - Innovative "Zero HUD Player Feedback System" utilizes dynamic environment, character, and audio clues to keep the player engaged without cluttering the screen with extraneous indicators and information.
- Controls - The three-button control system is simple to use yet surprisingly deep, delivering exhilarating, flowing action that allows both casual and hardcore players to enjoy the game at their own pace.
- Unique Weapons - All weapons are forged from crystalline heavenly knowledge beyond the grasp of humanity and possess supernatural powers. Among them is the Arch, a holy blade with the hidden power to slice through anything.
A bizarre range of foes.
A heavenly weapon set.
Top customer reviews
1. GRAPHICS. Beautiful.
The graphics are like hand-drawn art and cell-shading type graphics that combined to make the beauty of what you see on screen come to life, with moving backgrounds and clear visuals. They took their time making the art style wonderful, and it shows. There's a good contrast of an array of colors that make everything lively. However, in some instances of the level design, particularly towards the ending, it gets a little bit dull, with one color making up most of the color scheme. This changes though in some of the later boss battles as it transitions to a different area for the fight, and the colors and moving backgrounds return. I particularly like an early level, where you’re introduced to the Archangels, and you’re traveling through this cathedral-like area. There’s a stained-glass window that you jump around on platforms in front of, and it is so beautifully drawn. The stained-glass windows depict the Archangels in a mesmerizing scene that I’d love to draw one day.
2. GAMEPLAY. Pretty basic. But surprisingly a little deeper than what you'd think. There’s fighting, and platforming. Levels take advantage of both, while some focusing on one or the other. There’s also a level where you drive a futuristic motor cycle the entire level.
FIGHTING. Unfortunately, I can't think of another game to compare the fighting to very nicely, so I'll just use God of War. It's very similar, but with differences. You can argue that it's nowhere near as deep as God of War's combat, but I believe it to be deeper than what you'd expect. The timing of your attacks makes a huge difference. If you time them right, you can get the upper hand on enemies quicker. You can also just button-mash, but it seems like you'll be fighting enemies for a little longer that way, ironically. Or at least, that's what it felt like to me.
With the attacks, there are Ground and Air attacks. With ground attacks, you can charge your hits, delay them, or delay and charge the attacks. You mainly get a maximum of 5 or so hits in a combo, but you can chain them by hitting other enemies, or continuously slowing down and speeding up attacks. With air attacks you mainly get 3 or so hits that can be charged, but no delayed. You can also guard with these weapons. This is all done by two buttons for attack, holding them down to charge, or pressing them slowly to delay each hit, making the combat a little deeper while making it simple at the same time.
Your main way to fight is to steal enemy weapons, and there's only three main types. The Arch looks like a bow that's basically swung around like a sword for basic and quick attacks. Then there's the Gale, which is a floating ring that has 18 or so floating shards that launch into your enemies for quicker, but weaker attacks. Finally, there's the Veil, which is a shield that can break into two pieces to deliver heavy attacks. Each has their own fairly obvious weaknesses and strengths. They are as basic as weapons come. You can also fist-fight, if the weapon you use breaks (did I mention your weapons can break after a while?), meaning stealing is almost necessary depending on the enemy.
Furthermore, the weapons become corrupted after a while from hitting the ‘unclean’ [unclean: my own interpretation of the enemies as well as why the weapons get corrupted] enemies. The weapons are essentially holy, and the enemies unholy, so you have to cleanse the weapon again with a simple button press. I actually enjoy the combat because it’s so simple as to only a few buttons are used, but deeper than you think, if you time the attacks, jump while attacking, charge the attacks or hold another button while attacking. If you want something super deep, this isn’t for you, but I still enjoyed the combat a lot. It is really fluid and smooth, that I don’t mind its simplicity. It is not hardcore or anything like the Devil May Cry series’ fighting.
PLATFORMING. Like most other games in this genre, there are areas you have to jump to and time your jumps to progress through other areas of the levels. It is like most other games, but can be a bit difficult at times depending on enemies, moving platforms, obstacles, and how hard you press the jump button.
3. STORY. Confusing, but really interesting at the same time. Based on the Book of Enoch in Christian mythology. [I’m not sure mythology is the right word, I’m just unsure where the Book of Enoch is located in the Bible, if it is there at all, or if it’s only in certain denominations of the Christian faith. Being raised Catholic, I’ve never really heard of the Book of Enoch until I heard about this game, and even then I haven’t really read the Bible]
The game is about Enoch, and him going after and defeating the seven Fallen Angels (the game only focuses on four of them: Azazel, Ezekiel, Armoros, and Sariel) that rebelled against God. He comes to find out that they each descended to Earth for their own reasons and also made their own tower, so they must be defeated and put an end to their treachery or else God will flood the Earth. Along the way, you get help from one of God’s most trusted servants, Lucifel, touting a cell phone and modern clothing. He stops time and travels through it at times in the game, which is why he’s able to do this.
[You may know him as Lucifer (you know, the devil?), so I’m assuming this takes place before Lucifer rebels against God, which is pretty interesting if you think about it and could leave room for a sequel, considering some of the things Lucifel does throughout the game, but they don’t really focus on that in the game, it’s more just some subtle things]
You also get help from the Archangels Rapheal, Uriel, Micheal, and Gabriel. Uriel sometimes helps you in the form of a power up that you get after defeating enemies and getting combos. There are also a few other characters, but I feel like I’ve already told you too much about the story. The cutscenes don’t really tell you what’s going on, it’s mainly just visuals of the obvious. The bulk of the story is told to you through text and Lucifel narrating what the hell just happened between each level. It’s a good idea to pay attention to all this, since the game’s main shortcoming is it’s weirdness in presentation. Especially since the main character, Enoch, whom you play as, doesn’t speak. You only what’s going on by what the other characters say and tell you.
And of course, the story deals with religious tones as well as the source material, with many aspects changed for a more mainstream audience and to add more to the weirdness, I guess. Haha. I recommend reading a wikia about the game after beating it to understand the story more. But I promise, if you can bear with it, it’s actually really really interesting, and I hope they make a sequel someday (unlikely, I doubt it made much money).
4. SHORTCOMINGS. Basically the confusing and unsure presentation of the story. I really feel like they could have had a pretty neat subplot regarding Lucifel and his motives. Not make the game about him, but maybe make some things about him a LITTLE bit less subtle. But that almost seems nitpicky. Also the combat, but only a little bit. I think it works for what they were going for. It seems they didn’t want to overcomplicate it, otherwise it could have been an even bigger rip-off of God of War and Devil May Cry. Maybe.
On another note, this game isn’t for everyone. People will find this too weird and “Japanese” for their liking. They may not like the story or find the combat too simple and boring and repetitive. The demo for the game that’s out doesn’t really get you into the game, so it’s a little difficult to tell someone to play the demo, and you’ll definitely like the game. I for one didn’t enjoy the demo much, but loved this game, so there you have it. If anything in here seems interesting to you and piques your interest, try it out. I’m sure it’s super cheap now.
*played the game over the course of 7 months (beat it in a few days, but wanted to keep playing for trophies and what-not), starting when I got it in June 2012 (the game came out August 2011), and finished playing it just before Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch released in January of 2013. I played the PS3 version of the game.
El Shaddai is visually stunning and different than any other game I have played before which caught my attention. Each level's design changes drastically and never left me bored with what I had to look at. The music is very good as well.
Combat is hack and slash in the same vein as God of War, Dante's Inferno, and Devil May Cry but more simple. You start the game off barehanded and gradually get three different weapons to steal from enemies. Attacking is about as simple as it comes since you just have one button to press and then can do two different moves with each weapons which just involve a press of two buttons. To become effective at combat you have to time your button presses and make sure you are using the correct weapon since each weapon has a weakness to a different one. You can of course go through the entire game and try sticking to your favorite but combat will take longer that way.
Overall I would say the game was worth the purchase and would recommend it to people who are interested in something different to play. The visuals and music are both stunning, game play is fun and can be challenging as well but if you are looking for an amazing story than this might not be your first choice since it can be confusing.
- El Shaddai is one of the most visually stunning games on this or any system, and should work as a template for game companies who might be running a little low on budget. While all of the visuals don't work (why does Enoch look like he's wearing a bra?), most are fantastic. Different levels are strikingly different from one another, and impress memorable images on the player. Enemy models are a little rare, but they look great. The Watchers look quite nice as character models (both in and out of their boss suits). Only Enoch and Lucifel (yeah - that's not a misprint) look silly.
- The platforming in this game is quite solid. It's not the best 3-D platforming I've ever seen (Nintendo will always have a monopoly on that), but it's certainly better than most. There are only a few places where I felt that the platforming was unfair. Most of my mistakes (and there were many) were entirely of my carelessness.
- The trophies are done smart and done right. You have true challenges here, ranging from beating each chapter, to using weapons and fighting techniques effectively, to beating each chapter with flair. At no point did I feel like I was grinding. Further, the final trophies are among the most challenging on the system, providing much-needed entertainment from objects that usually reward playing a game for a set number of hours over playing a game well.
- Combat isn't atrocious, but is mediocre. The idea is sound: there are three main weapons, together with hand-to-hand fighting. Each of these weapons fights very differently, which is always welcome. Moreover, weapons must generally be stolen from enemies. Add together a robust defense system, coupled with attacks that reward you for timing over button-mashing, and this should be a slam dunk...
...except that it isn't. Blocking is nearly useless - enemies will almost always break your guard (and on the highest difficulty, they WILL break your guard for all but one weapon, all the time). This makes the counter-attack system useless. Enemies guard effectively against all weapons. While there are guard break attacks, they are too slow - by the time you execute one, the enemy has usually launched into an attack, and will always have initiative over you. Thus, fighting really turns into a bunch of running around, sticking and moving. This is particularly true for bosses, which are visually impressive, but are slogs in combat (particularly on the highest difficulty, which is brutal). It's the reason I take a star away from the game
- While most of the voicework is solid (though not spectacular), I can't get over the fact that "Lucifer" was translated as "Lucifel". I'm sorry, but one of the centerpiece mainstays of Christian theology needs to be translated correctly. There is no excuse for this.
Nonetheless, I recommend this game for those of you who want something that looks different, but is comfortable enough to play effectively. Given the number of stinkers that get by with the "games are art!" tag, it's refreshing to find a game where the art is actually omnipresent, for once.
Most recent customer reviews
The art style is unique enough, but I just couldn't get past the bland, repetitive combat, and the holier than thou storyline.Read more