Friday, January 20, 2012

Top 10 Underrated Video Games of 2011

And then there were these games. Their sales ranged from “okay” to “embarrassing,” but each took creative risks that paid off. For that, they deserve recognition.

10. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

Do you like action adventure games? Do you wish that more of them were based off of ancient Jewish religious texts? Then you’re one of the three people who played El Shaddai! The rest of you Gentiles are missing out.

El Shaddai features gorgeous visuals, satisfying combat and an incomprehensible story. You play as the Biblical figure of Enoch, who is on a quest to rescue fallen angels and save humanity. This being a Japanese video game, you accomplish this by fighting monsters with a ridiculous weapon while waving your pretty hair around. We don’t think that’s what the Book of Enoch is about, but we only skimmed it so we’re not positive.
Religious liberties aside, the game is a lot of fun. Too many artsy games sacrifice good gameplay for graphics, but El Shaddai managed to provide both. You may not have any idea what’s going on unless you’re well versed in Judaism, but you’ll be enjoying yourself too much to care.
Despite excellent reviews, El Shaddai sold poorly. Maybe gamers were turned off by the weird concept, especially since combining religion with video games is usually a recipe for disaster. Or maybe it’s because the trailer featured the quote “It’s as if Lady Gaga made a video game.” What, were they targeting the 13 year old girl demographic?
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