As a little treat to myself for beating Elshaddia, I asked the only FallenAngel I know, to help draw a nice picture of the gay couple Enoch and Armaros from the game. He's gone super yaoi over here, with some light colors and fluffy imagery. It's so pretty and sexy too. Dang, that dick of Armaros is out of control! :P Those sheets are gonna get awful sticky very soon. :P I love this image and I hope you guys will too! I am so excited to post this. :D
After almost two years of hesitating, waiting for a price drop and asking for it 2 Christmas's in a row, I finally broke down and bought El Shaddai with the money I got for Christmas. I got it for about $14.00 on Amazon. So what did I think of the game? I'm not going to write a full on review of the title. I'll just share a few thoughts. I started playing it last Friday afternoon after coming home from the doctors. I beat it early Sunday morning.
The Hero Enoch sports a manly bulge in his blue Jeans! (Do I detect some pubic hair too?)
Captain America wants his shield back. Wait...is that part of your armor?
From Star Wars Lights Sabers, to armor that falls off as you get hit ala Ghosts N Goblins, El Shaddai loves stealing ideas as much as Enoch loves thieving weapons from baddies.
I will fully admit that I really enjoyed it's charms. It's very nicely done. I mean, visually it's something else....well..for a bit anyway. XD I think at the start they had amazing ideas and by the end, they were running a little dry. You enter the first stage of the tower and I can only describe it as what would happen if Patapon and the Jetsons had a child. It is really something that you have to see on the TV and not on youtube, or in static pictures to really get the full scope of. It takes you to this creepy science fictiony world of the past that reminds me of things that were plentiful in the 70s and 80s, but you never seem to see anymore. Sadly, the visuals closer to the end became more and more simplistic. It's still beautiful, but the game is so abstract and all over the place with it's designs that it's hard to really grasp a sense of time and place within most of the games levels. I think that was part of what they were going for, but it does not mask the fact that it feels like it's composed of a lot of random ideas spattered together to make the games environments. The lack of synergy I guess you can say both helps and hinders your experience of the game.
If Castlevania was even gayer then it already is. Seriously, it's gotta be very strange running through a level that's entire backdrop is half naked sexy men if your family is watching you play. :P No, I'm not gay at all, why do you ask? All joking aside, this is some beautiful stuff right here.
What the fuck?This games goes from seriously to silly in one second.
With more polish this could have been a lot better then what it turned out to be. My main issue was the platforming. The thing that bothered me the most was the jumping from platform to platform. It's dog shit. It feels very wonky and your character is way too floaty. Due to the occasional lack of shadow under your character, I often thought I didn't land on a platform, hit the jump to activate Enochs float, (Think Mario's Raccoon tail) only to start double jumping wildly off it to my death. The fact that the camera is static and the game is super artsy fartsy, I found it hard to make a lot of jumps. Judging distance is really hard at times. THIS IS WHERE I LOVE MY 3DS!!!! At one point late in the game you have to jump off swinging pendulums and the physics are a nightmare, sending your character flying this way and that. I know how to play these kinds of games. I excel at Mario and the like. It's not the year 2000 anymore. This 3D medium is no longer new. Time to get with the times. They can't use the 'it's in 3D' excuse anymore for bad platforming and get away with it. XD At least the game is fairly forgiving. If you fall it restarts you right before you fell in MOST cases. Watch the first 20 seconds of this video to see what I mean about jumping.
I think it says something that these days if you let the player start exactly where he dies with no major consequences, it somehow band aids up all the terrible play control and camera issues. High reviews of the game don't seem to mention it. If this came out in the 8 bit, or 16 bit days, heck even the PS1 days, it would have gotten skewered for it's horrible play control while platforming. Today people just accept it for some reason. Maybe that is because it doesn't punish you harshly for it's short comings. Can you imagine Sonic, DK, Bonk, Castlevania, or Mario having the jumping issues this game has? You would never make it out of world 1-1. You so know the world would come down super hard on them, but this game scores 8 and 9 from critics. People sure have lowered their standards, or are getting paid off very well. I think some of the money that went into making this game should have gone into sending the programers to platforming 101 instead of what ever the hell it was spent on. (It certainly wasn't the story either.) I found videos on youtube that showed me that as much as I thought I had issues with the jumping in the game, I was doing a lot better then most people I watched play.
The other problem is the lack of a hub as they call it. That is, your life, the bosses life and your special bars are never shown. I can just hear the crazed game developer "On no! You can't cover up my gorgeous graphics." They would have none of that. NOT UNTIL YOU BEAT THE GAME!!! WHAT? OY!!! Seriously!!! The game gives you no feedback on how you are doing until after you beat it. Come on...Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to NOT know how much damage you are doing, or not doing, or having be done to you for the entire game? Boss battles can wage on forever. It's really bad. That was the other thing. Maybe it was due to this, but sometimes even just fighting the simplest creature (And there are only like 7 bad guys in the game) can be either easy or take you several lives to kill just one.
The game has a lot of problems. It also is very fun, despite them. Now I got it for $14.00, so I am not as upset with this game as someone who paid $60 for it would be. I did get better at the platforming as I went on and as I said, it doesn't punish you much for failing even if you suck. You steal creatures weapons and use them, which is pretty neat and somehow very satisfying to do.
I liked the main characters. Lucifer, or sorry Lucifel was the best character. He told your story in between stages and talked to you and God a lot. He talks to God through a cell phone. He was very charming, as the devil should be. Well, he's not the devil yet. This is before his fall I am guessing. There's a hint near the end of the game that he would like to take over heaven, but not for evil reasons, just give God a break. There is nothing save for one evil glance at one point (to someone who really didn't deserve it,) to hint that there is any kind of evil in him. And even that glance is questionable as to whether, or not it's really evil considering who he gives it too. Anyway, the voice acting is really good in the game and you can switch between English and Japanese. Funny enough, I never felt the urge to listen to the Japanese voices.
Lucifel is certainly a favorite with yaoi artists. A simple google for El Shaddai brought these up right away. I personally didn't feel the vibe between him and Enoch was as pronounced as Enochs relationship with Armaros.
Because in todays world there's nothing more personal as getting fucked while your lover talks on a cell phone. What is with those feet btw? O__o
The game has some strange things going for it. When you start, you are on a giant hand. Each finger has a head and a gate you have to open. Each gate is to be a prison for each angel you purify. BUT YOU NEVER USE THESE. It stresses how important it is to open them, but they never come into play. I guess it was meant to be a hub world that got dropped from the game when the decided to make it more old school with you traveling from level to level and never going back. They put so much effort into it, I guess the designers freaked out that it was being dropped, so left it in. That's okay, but...it has even more issues. You see, each head looks NOTHING like the character it is supposed to represent, confusing you even more!!! You get told the back story of each Angel, but unless you memorize the names of each, you won't be able to connect them to the characters you meet and fight. That's a minor gripe though. Well it would be, if the game didn't compound on the confusing elements more and more after and before this point. Trying to figure out which Angel is which at first is a bitch. It doesn't help that all the angels wear the same bug alien armor and they all fight you at different points on different levels, even though they are supposed to stay on their assigned floor of the tower. Oh and you fight in these battles you can't win, but have to die in and the you get puked out into another part of the level and are left to wonder if you could have beaten the boss and this would not have happened, or not...But no, it's all scripted. @__@ oh I already have a migraine. Trying to write that made it worse.
The other issue is the use of the term purify. See, you actually have a button that purifies things. It's mainly used for your weapon. When you kill bad guys you send them off to heaven. The evil energy gets stored in your weapon and you have to purify it after so many uses to make it stronger again. When you fight your first real boss and the game tells you to purify it, I figured you needed to use that button. In fact the boss pours out blue purification light when it's knocked down, so I thought that i had to get over there and hit the button. DOY. The lack of a HUB also helped confuse me further. The story is confusing enough. It didn't need to have muddled directions shot at you. If you want me to kick someones ass tell me to do so. A minor gripe...maybe. I figured it out pretty quickly, but it sucked that I even had to.
There's a very strong boys love theme throughout the game. Well despite all it's problems, if you are a gay man you really owe it to yourself to pick this one up. As cheap as it is now, that shouldn't be a problem for anyone with a Playstation, or Xbox. This is because it probably has one of the most blatantly gay subplots in the history of mainstream gaming. (That isn't a choice made by the player.) Of course it never comes right out and states that the main character Enoch and the FallenAngel Armaros are in a sexual relationship, but it doesn't have to.
Not gay at all
Armoaros is the only Angel that doesn't want to fight Enoch at all. He instead wants to dance with a group of sexy men and even covers up the screen and distracts the player in an effort to hinder your efforts. Why is this? It's cause he's your dearest friend, who's love for Enoch creates major plot points throughout the second half of the game. SPOILER*** When you later take control of Armaros to save his beloved Enoch, there's no doubt where the rest of this games plot is heading. I won't say much more, but I think most straight men don't get on their knees and sob like a little girl when the person that was just trying to kill them is suddenly taken away forever. (Most sane people don't do that either.) **END OF SPOILER.
Armaros has a son, so you might argue he has a straight side to him. Thing thing is his offspring is a monster and it's never clear how these things come to be anyway. I don't know if these 'children' are a result of Angels having sex with both males and females, or if someone actually gets pregnant, cause they look like sperm people to me. It's like as the Angels shoot their load, the cum slowly turns into these schmo like beings. O__o
The story has some odd things, like introducing a little girl and her pet, sorry friend a cum shot Schmoo. The little girl has a very interesting handicap that I only found out near the end of the game: She is blind. I thought I missed a part where she lost her eyesight, but it turned out it just never got explained. They do a good job introducing her, but leave this detail out. I guess it is a mistake of the translators. It just confuses you a bit later, cause, they make a point of showing her blind for the first time when something shocking happens.I thought this had made her lose her sight, but no, this was when she got it back. Hey, way to shoehorn in plot development out of nowhere.
I liked it better when you were paired with Fred and Barney.
Oh! You're blind! No other images, nor your actions in game hinted at that. You know, like all the times you were looking directly at Enoch and having an emotional reaction to what was going on in front of you.
Things like this mess up the story. You often have no idea what exactly is going on. Wait till you see the 150 year long search for the Tower scroll out beautifully in front of you after the first stage. As if you weren't already confused enough, the game throws tons of characters and story elements your way as the titles roll by. You have no idea what the fuck is going on here. You can't tell if this happened in the past to Enoch, or if this is a preview of things to come. It doesn't fucking help that after 150 years go by, you are in the exact same fucking spot as when you started this side scrolling search. LAME. You just have to wait for things to be explained to you later. And later doesn't always come. Like this point where someone picks up a skull and freaks out. You are supposed to know who the skull belongs to. I did NOT and it wasn't all that clearly explained in game. I had to look it up online. Sometimes the chapter recap will mention things that happened in the last chapter that you never saw happening, so you think it's something that is going to happen, or is happening between chapters..or oh my head hurts again. I am sure multiple play throughs will clear up these issues as the story is bound to become clearer through familiarity.
Overall I did enjoy the game. It was interesting and when it works it works very well. I liked all the characters and the story was pretty original. I just wish it had been told straight. There was no reason to tell the story the way they did, except to be like Final Fantasy. (And fail at it.) I could go on and on. I would give it a 6/10.
The game has some nice merchandise for it, including these cute little figures and the stickers below.
Can you tell I'm blind????
Micheal the Arch Angel. Too bad he's just a goose in game.
Raphel.: Early spokesmen for gay rights in heaven.
Somehow Space Cadet made it into an early draft of the game. I guess Class Comics sued them. :P hee hee. This is Uriel. He's the only Arch Angel that to actually physically help Enoch during game play. Shame they made him white.
They threw in one token woman. Hold on to your hats, that's Gabriel!
The sketch for the stain glass window backdrop. It's supposed to help introduce to the Arch Angels better, but since they never appear like this (save MAYBE for Uriel) , or do anything, except talk to you in goose form, it's pretty pointless. More money that could have been spent on game play!!!
Enochs face got put everywhere in Japan....