It’s birthday week in the Barnes household, my wife and I had our second young’un tuesday which is my excuse for not contributing much lately. But being the devoted workhorse I am, the show went on at Gameshark.com this week and I’ve got two items there ready for perusal.
First up is my review of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. I absolutely hated this game. I found it unbelievably empty-headed (and empty-hearted) and any notion that it’s somehow “artistic” really makes me question the standard that many critics have in terms of what is or isn’t artistic. The game’s concept of art is completely facile. The story isn’t “abstract”, it’s nonsensical and incomplete. The vaunted adaption of Enochian scripture is little more than a source of proper names. The Nephilim are depicted as freaking jellybean creatures (pictured above) frolicking with beach balls, for f**k’s sake. On top of it all, the gameplay is crude, simplistic, and totally uninteresting. There is literally no reason to play this game over Bayonetta. Or Devil May Cry, for that matter. My score is the lowest on Metacritic, and I 100% stand by my assertion that a 33 is about what it deserves. Calling this piece of s-h-i-tut “art” is liking calling a god damned Precious Moments figure “sculpture”. Or a Twilight novel “literature”.
The other item of note is this week’s Cracked LCD. It’s a review of a nifty card game called Barons, issued by a small company called Cambridge Games Factory. They did a fantastic San Juan-derived card game called Glory to Rome a couple of years ago that had HORRIBLE artwork they are now fixing through a Kickstarter.com project. Hopefully they’ll get around to beautifying Barons too, because it deserves it. Quite a lot of game for under $20.