review
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POSTED 26/9/11


EL SHADDAI: ASCENSION OF THE METATRON

Konami
PS3 (also on Xbox 360)

DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! ACIEEEEED! Fab. We innocently pop a disc into our PS3, only to cause it to discover rave culture AND God. Now it’s dropped a tab, cranked the stereo to 11 and is demanding a circumcision.

Frankly, El Shaddai is completely bonkers. Uh, just to clarify, that’s the game, not the Judaic God.

You’re priestly Enoch, on a mission from God. Unearth seven fallen angels and zot them before a shit-we-need-an-ark situation evolves. You’re assisted by a guardian angel claiming his name’s Lucifel, but we know he’s really Ben Cousins. You’re armed with any of three weapons – a wicked curved blade, a dart-shooting ring thingy and a shield/gauntlets combo that blesses you with punch power of biblical proportions. Stuck with the wrong one and a foe’s got the right one? Smack the bitch up, nick it, purify it and continue your holy whacking day.

So far, so standard third-person slasher, yeah? Uh, yeah. However, there are variations – such as breathtaking silhouetted 2D platformer intermissions.

What separates the Shaddai from the shitty is its art style. From dayglo overexposed dreamyscapes to trippy hovering platforms and neon wonderlands, with assorted religious artefactory seamlessly folded in along the journey of your Ghibli-like avatar, the visuals are truly praiseworthy.

Sonics don’t fail us either, with everything from tribal fare that’d give Peter Gabriel a chubby through to doomy piano morasses that sound like Tori Amos in a chipper-chopper.

Very much like the subject it’s based on, El Shaddai will divide opinion. Some will Flandersishly forgive game play trespasses (repetitiveness, ease of progress via mashing) for the stunning artistry; others will Homerishly poo-poo that as worshipping false idols and demand perfect playfulness. Dratarooniedoodily, we never thought we’d be a Flanders.

Meanwhile, can anybody sling us contact deets for an open-minded moyel? Cheers.

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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.