El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron Review - Cheat Happens CHEATfactor
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El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
XBox 360, Playstation 3



Reviewed on: XBox 360
Developer:
Ignition Entertainment
Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
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User Rating:        6
   
Presentation: 6

From its...let's just say interesting characters to the unique and breathtaking art style, El Shaddai is a game that refuses to be pigeon holed, and as a result, carves out quite an identity for itself. El Shaddai is like nothing else on the market.

Gameplay: 5

It would be easy to go into El Shaddai as a button masher, but that takes away most of its real identity. The combat is quick and rhythmic, almost to a point of relaxation. It's just a shame that you'll learn all there is to learn about the combat in mere hours.

Lasting Appeal:
5

For all of its charm, inventiveness and attitude, El Shaddai loses its steam very quickly. After mastering the three main weapon types, there's no more change, and nothing more to learn, which could make El Shaddai feel like a dragging process.

Overall: 6
El Shaddai is gorgeous, creative and addicting, but it also can be shallow, repetitive and mind numbingly slow. There are moments that will take your breath away, as there are moments that will make you question your purchase.
CHEATfactor: 6
 
 
   
     

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is a very...interesting game for many reasons, but by far the most noteworthy is that it's a perfect example of everything that's right and wrong with the Japanese gaming industry. Long, strange title? Check. Androgynous lead character? Yep! Strange imagery that could have only come out of Japan? Oh yes. But looking deeper presents a much more interesting picture; one that's not so obvious - El Shaddai is like nothing you've ever played before. At times it's stunningly gorgeous and an incredibly engrossing experience, but unfortunately those experiences are also fleeting, and El Shaddai wears out its novelty long before it should.

The plot of El Shaddai is inspired by the Book of Enoch, and its...well, it's interesting to say the least, but here's what I pieced together, stay with me. Appropriately enough, you control Enoch; a priest on the lookout for seven fallen angels in an effort to stop a great disaster from striking earth. Where birds with boxing glove heads and motorbike riding robots come into that tale though - that's still a mystery, but it all adds to what makes El Shaddai so unusual, its unique art direction. Most times, the game is adorned by a sleek watercolor style of art. But when the game hits over drive and the story really begins to pick up, so does the wonderful art direction. El Shaddai is incredibly good at reinventing itself; I often had to remember that I was playing the same game I was an hour ago.

"El Shaddai makes a strong attempt to not be pigeon holed in any certain ideas..."

 
   

What's most notable about the style of El Shaddai is that even though it has a decidedly Japanese flair, it never rests on the conventions that fellow games from the region do. Sure, there's some here and there throughout the game, but El Shaddai's tastes are far more eclectic. One minute you're slicing and dicing enemies on the beach and the next you're racing in a Tron inspired cycle section. El Shaddai makes a strong attempt to not be pigeon holed in any certain ideas, and the result is spectacular.

If the unique style of El Shaddai is the heart of the game, then the combat is its muscle.  It would be easy to go into El Shaddai as merely a button masher, but doing so would take away what makes it so unique. Combat starts off incredibly slow, but as you learn the basics, the game gets deeper very quickly. The catch is that you're able to steal your enemy's weapons and use them against them, opening up the game to combat changes on the fly. Throughout the game, there are three different weapon types to pick up and learn; the sickle style arch, the explosive firing arch and the Veil, which gives you the ability to turn your hands into giant hammer like weapons. Being able to switch freely between the weapons and styles makes for an almost rhythmic experience, that's rivaled in this generation only by Child of Eden.

"The game is also incredibly uneven with its difficulty..."

 
   

The downside to all of this is that having only three weapons to master makes for a somewhat thin experience. You'll be able to use each of the weapons fairly on in the process, and as entertaining as the combat is, there's really not much to figure out as you get into the middle and later portions of the game, and as a result, you can start to feel like the game is dragging on. While it does a great job throwing curve balls your way in terms of design and level changes, it can still feel twice as long as it really is. The game is also incredibly uneven with its difficulty as one minute you'll be cruising through the game, and the next you'll have a horribly frustrating experience that will make you want to throw your controller.

You don't need to play El Shaddai - you need to experience it. It may grow old a lot sooner than it should, but it's a unique and fun take on the Japanese action genre. To be blunt, El Shaddai is a mixture of so many ideas and thoughts that it should be a mess, but it's a wonderful mess that you may not love, but you won't be able to turn away from. 

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Achievements/Trophies Lists

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron comes from great pedigree, the lead designer was one of the key designers on classics like Okami, and though I haven't seen anything confirmed yet - I swear there were some references to the game thrown in. Even still, the game begs for cheats.

I want an unlimited health cheat so I can get past the tricky and frustrating sections easier, and how about a teleport cheat to get past the tricky platforming sections. I also wouldn't mind playing as some of the game's fallen angels, as they were some of the most interesting characters in the game.

 

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