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Clumsy God photo
Clumsy God

In Clumsy God, helping looks a lot like hurting


God moonlights as a surgeon, apparently
Jun 29
// Jordan Devore
The itch.io Twitter is always bringing strange morsels to my attention. Today, it's Clumsy God, a Windows game about a giant heavenly hand helping people recover from an earthquake. "Just be careful not to crush anyone along...
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Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux says GODUS is 'invest-to-play'


The man does come up with great soundbites
Feb 17
// Alasdair Duncan
After weighing in on the backlash against EA's latest Dungeon Keeper drama, Peter Molyneux has been talking to Pocket Gamer about how he plans to implement a different kind of free-to-play model for his god game, GODUS. ...
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Biden: No legal reason why 'violent' games can't be taxed


Vice President tells Reverend Asshole that'd be just fine
May 14
// Jim Sterling
Vice President Joe Biden recently had a meeting with religious leaders to discuss gun control, and violent media was discussed. God forbid we don't obfuscate the gun discussion with more demented strawmen.  Reverend Fran...
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Modern Warfare 2 map removed after Muslim complaints


Allah's not longer in the toilet
Oct 08
// Jim Sterling
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has removed a map from its servers after Muslim gamers complained (in fairness, quite politely) of offense. The problem lies in two paintings hung in a bathroom in the Favela map, containing the...

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What religions are allowed in Diablo III?


May 22
// Jim Sterling
It seems that, in a world populated by very real angels and demons, association with religions revolving around such creatures is frowned upon in Diablo III's world of Sanctuary. When Jon Bloodspray alerted me on Twitter that...
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EA defends itself against homophobic hate mail


Apr 05
// Jim Sterling
Electronic Arts has come under fire from right wing Christian groups for the sin of allowing gay-friendly content in its games. A letter campaign, seemingly spearheaded by the Florida Family Association, accuses EA of corrupt...
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Priest sells DS, forgets there's child porn on it


Mar 22
// Jim Sterling
A catholic priest, doing his bit to fulfill every negative stereotype about his fellows, recently sold a Nintendo DS and forgot to remove the child pornography that was stored on it. This classic goof led to an investigation,...
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FRC: The Old Republic is full of homosexual activists


Jan 30
// Jim Sterling
Star Wars: The Old Republic will definitely turn all of your children gay, according to right-wing Christian lunatic group, the Family Research Council. FRC president Tony Perkins recently criticized BioWare's MMO for being f...
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New book studies Zelda from a Christian perspective


Dec 30
// Jim Sterling
Author Jonny Walls is soon to publish a new book that studies The Legend of Zelda from a Christian perspective. The Legend of Zelda and Theology aims to show how the fiction of Zelda all points to and relates to God...
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Christian police groups want to ban The Darkness II


Aug 15
// Jim Sterling
Various Christian law enforcement groups have colluded to express their distaste for upcoming 2K Games sequel, The Darkness II. They'd like to see it go very far away, in fact, for fear that it will make people hate the polic...
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Christian group wants games banned due to Norway killer


Jul 29
// Jim Sterling
The Australian Christian Lobby is using the Oslo massacre to call for a ban on violent videogames in its home country, stating that the behavior of murderous idiot Anders Behring Breivik was evidence that games are evil,...

El Shaddai Preview: Heretical Art

Jul 15 // Patricia Hernandez
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Ignition Entertainment Publisher: Ignition EntertainmentTo be released: July 26, 2011 This Enoch, whose flesh was turned to flame, his veins to fire, his eye-lashes to flashes of lightning, his eye-balls to flaming torches, and whom God placed on a throne next to the throne of glory, received after this heavenly transformation the name Metatron. As the title might suggest, El Shaddai, a game that's a modern reinterpretation of biblical apocrypha, follows Enoch on his journey to become worthy of transforming into the Metatron. Our previous coverage touched on the game's premise, but here's a small recap: God sent angels down to Earth to watch over it. These appropriately named "Watchers" let their lust get the better of them, and they fell in love with humans and with our world. The Watchers fathered the Nephilim with the humans in an unholy union, but the Watchers didn't stop at making these cutesy monstrosities. Hubris led them to create the Tower of Babel, where the game takes place, with each "level" being a utopia that one of the angels has created. The premise is edgy and controversial, yes. Shane Bettenhausen, Ignition Entertainment's director of business development, states that the development team needed "to be careful, because there are people in the world who do consider the book of Enoch to be canon, like Ethiopia for example." He expressed uncertainty when it came to how these people would take the game. Thus far, little to no controversy has been made after the Japanese launch. The first time I entered the Tower of Babel, I couldn't help but empathize with the Watchers who defied God. I looked in awe and wonder at my surroundings -- am I really out to punish the souls who created such splendor? These angels, they're not antagonists in the typical way videogames pose flimsy, simple depictions of "evil." The angels aren't evil, but they're definitely misguided. Even Lucifel himself is a curious antagonist. We all know or assume the evil of the devilish Lucifer, the fallen angel, but things are especially tricky when you consider that Lucifel can see the future. According to the book of Enoch (spoilers?), Enoch is destined to take Lucifel's place at God's side. Knowing all of this -- we assume he knows all of this, anyway -- Lucifel guides Enoch through the game. Why is that? Can we truly trust him? I pondered all of this as I made my way through a utopia created by Sariel, an angel obsessed with love. The first part of the stage was colorful and adorned primarily by giant geometrical shapes that Enoch had to traverse through. The level made it clear that Sariel had been quite busy in his time on Earth, as there were tiny Nephilim swarms accosting Enoch wherever he went. After a couple of successful jabs at possessing me, I decided to ignore the Nephilim and started focusing on the platforming. Boy, was the platforming difficult -- I must have died a few dozen times. El Shaddai features intense platforming, a breath of fresh air amongst titles like Enslaved or Uncharted. "Most of us grew up playing Mario, and we know how to jump, and I think that a lot of modern games do the jumping for you," remarked Shane. Mind, this is all on normal difficulty. Once you beat the game, you unlock higher difficulty levels and can even choose to turn on the HUD. The HUD toggle is meant for more hardcore players, who want to keep track of combos and scoring. After making my way through this part of the level, I came across a large black abyss where a boss battle against Sariel was to take place. Typically, boss battles in El Shaddai will either be against angels testing your strength or against their pets and playthings. The dark void made me pause and wonder if I would fall straight down into it. Yes, in the middle of a battle, I was heavily concerned with my environment. That's the type of game El Shaddai is -- contemplative, like a sip of fine wine. This place was heretical but oh so magical, so beautiful. Each step produced a splash of pastel colors, and I found myself moving just to recreate these small moments of wonder. It was like the first time Drake's shirt gets wet in Uncharted, and I would roll through the puddles just so that I could be in awe of the effects. The environment in El Shaddai is straight out of a pipe dream, and rightly so. According to Shane, "We hired an artist to direct the game ... he had such a distinct point of view of how he wanted to do the game, and we let him do what he wanted." That artist happens to be Takeyasu Sawaki of Okami and Devil May Cry fame. El Shaddai will most likely surprise players, as the scenery changes aplenty and sometimes hundreds of years can pass between levels. I could be more specific about what may appear in later stages -- Shane figured that at this stage, there's not much point to trying to save people from spoilers -- but I still don't want to spoil it for folks. That's how striking I found one of the later levels. Amazingly, it's this artistic approach that has made the game successful in courting otherwise elusive markets. The game has already been released in Japan, and the demographics have been surprising. "More than half of the people who bought it there were women ... because of the characters, because of the art, because of the story." Who would have thought that you simply needed a good narrative, art direction, and characters to court that market? Of course, there are some design choices that lend themselves well to a casual market, too. The game may be challenging, but it's still very forgiving. There are a generous number of checkpoints, and Enoch has the ability to bring himself back to life after being defeated, at the cost of one segment of armor per death, however. The design paradigm is essentially "teaching without punishment." What you must understand about this game is that it's different, eccentric even. That's not my coy way of injecting marketing-speak at you, either. Unlike the plethora of games this generation borne from a focus group or designed in accordance to metrics or data, El Shaddai is a game that dares to approach an artistic vision without compromise. What I saw in the demo last Tuesday was all the more striking and fresh for it.
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Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. [Genesis 5:24]Every hero has something unique or extraordinary about him, and as Enoch, grandson of Adam, grandfather of Noah, titular character in El Sha...

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Videogames that make you feel godly


Jul 08
// Sean Daisy
Videogames provide the perfect tools for pure escapism or utter powerlessness. As a fully interactive media, the player can be as involved as the developer in the fate of our characters, or we can be utterly impotent in swayi...
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Vatican Wars, the hot new game for Catholic Facebookers!


Jun 22
// Jim Sterling
Do you spend more time on Facebook than at Mass? Well, you dirty little boy, why not combine your idleness and the word of Christ with Vatican Wars -- a hot new social game in which you can become Pope! The game allows y...
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Cursed Crusade gets website, possible release date


Apr 14
// Jim Sterling
The very promising Cursed Crusade got an official website and a potential release date today. As a word of warning, don't have your volume up high as I did when visiting the site. I damn near shat myself.  As far as the ...

Jimpressions: El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron demo

Apr 14 // Jim Sterling
With the demo being in Japanese, I had to blindly figure my way through most of it. From what I gathered, El Shaddai is a very intense action game with combat based heavily around counters, dodges, and getting killed a lot. The game is, to put it bluntly, fucking hard, but it's the kind of hard that I wouldn't call cheap. Enemies are aggressive, and aren't shy about countering, but so far it's not overwhelming.  In fact, the battles are small-scale affairs, with protagonist Enoch going up against little more than two enemies at a time. Two are more than enough to do significant damage, however, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I've already seen a fair few deaths and even when surviving, it was by a whisker.  The main hook of the combat seems to be in the thieving and constant maintenance of enemy weapons. After sufficiently pounding on a monster, they become stunned enough for you to press a shoulder button and steal their weapon. Pressing the same button causes Enoch to run his hands along it and make it glow, which seems to make the weapon much more effective and reminds me of the the beam katana from No More Heroes.  General melee is fairly standard, with a range of light and strong attacks to choose from, and a crucial shoulder-mounted parry button. Enemies appear to be very adept at parrying as well, however, and more often than not will turn a consistent assault against the player. When taking damage, Enoch and his enemies lose portions of their armor until they're wearing only their smallclothes. In this state, one more hit will annihilate Enoch.  El Shaddai is fairly stingy with the checkpoints. Suffering a death will send Enoch back through significant portions of the game, and so far I've not found a way to skip cutscenes, which is a fairly negative point. Nonetheless, the unforgiving nature of the game makes battles that much more engrossing, and once you've had enough practice, you can get through repeated sections fairly swiftly. Perhaps the best part of the demo, however, is the sidescrolling platform sequence. The abstractly stunning graphics really pop out during the section demonstrated, and the platforming works surprisingly well, as Enoch jumps across platforms, takes optional, trickier routes to collect orbs, and runs across constantly rising waves of sand to reach distant areas. While some of the 3D platforming can be hard to navigate thanks to the unique art style that sees platforms bleeding into each other, the 2D sections look set to be incredibly tight and fun. The fact they're married to an tough 3D combat system serves to make this one of the more unique games released so far this year. El Shaddai is shaping up to be a major cult hit. It looks fantastic, it pulls no punches in the action department, and it's set in a bizarre, gorgeous world that looks like none other on the market. Whether the game's difficulty will eventually feel cheap and frustrating, or fair and rewarding, remains to be seen, but so far I have a feeling that it will be the latter.  Definitely a game to keep an eye on, in any event.
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El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is now available to download on the Japanese PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, and naturally I fired up my foreign account to give it a whirl. Having put the demo through it's paces, I'v...

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El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron goes gold


Jan 31
// Jim Sterling
Ignition has announced that the exciting El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is finished and ready to go, comfortably ahead of its April 28 Japanese release date.  "The creation of El Shaddai has truly been a long and ...
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El Shaddai hits Japan in April so have some screenshots


Jan 12
// Jim Sterling
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is one of my most eagerly awaited games of 2011, and Japan has just been confirmed for an April 28 release date. There's no word for us worthless roundeyes yet, but have some screenshots ...
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El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron gets me sexy


Dec 10
// Jim Sterling
It's been a while since we got to chat about El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron, so it's fortunate that Ignition has spewed up a luvverly bunch of fresh screenshots. Now, I could tell you why I'm excited for this game...
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The Bible Online is a new strategy MMO game ... seriously


Aug 25
// Jim Sterling
If you've ever read all the rape, genocide and deep-seated racism in The Bible and thought to yourself, "Man, that sounds like my kind of world," then this is the game for you! The Bible Online allows players to "slip into th...
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Muslims shouldn't play games, urges Islamic writer


Jul 26
// Jim Sterling
When games are criticized in America, the attack usually comes from some right-wing fundamentalist Christian nutcase. That's not to say that other religions can't get in on the fun, though. Writer Ebrahim Saifuddin belie...
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Okami artist goes biblical with El Shaddai for 360/PS3


Jun 11
// Jim Sterling
Sawaki Takeyasu, character artist for Okami and Devil May Cry, is taking to the director's chair for El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, a sweet looking action game inspired by The Old Testament's Book of Enoch.  The ...
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'Satanic-themed videogames' concern Christian alarmist


Feb 24
// Jim Sterling
Worried that videogames may be teaching your children to worship the Horned One? Fear not, my good friends, because a righteous crusader is here to save us all! Philadelphia paper The Bulletin sheds light on mostly old and/or...
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Church: Games are a bubbling sewer of sexual pornography


Feb 13
// Jim Sterling
The Church of England synod, usually content to keep out of peoples' business and discuss gardening tips over a cup of milky tea, has decided to whine about videogames again, still carrying a vendetta it's carried since 2007,...
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Insane Christian group wants to ban Modern Warfare 2


Dec 22
// Jim Sterling
It wouldn't be Christmas without some good ol' fashioned Christian intolerance, would it? A bunch of radical wingnuts have taken issue with Modern Warfare 2, declaring that all decent people should denounce it and the "massac...
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Fanboyism should be called religous fandamentalism


Dec 20
// Jim Sterling
We've all seen fanboys before. Ranting and raving, upsetting themselves by pretending that other people are trying to upset them, feeling persecuted while happily persecuting others. Wait, did I just describe fanboys or relig...
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New Hellion: Mystery of the Inquisition screens


Dec 18
// Jim Sterling
Here are some new Hellion: Mystery of the Inquisition screens to repent over. If you read other blogs, you may not have heard about this game because it seems that I'm the only writer who gives even a vague crap about the thi...
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Watch a mad Christian evangelist rant about Pokemon


Dec 11
// Jim Sterling
Remember that whole, "Pokemon is evil" fad that was popular among Christian extremists in the nineties? Ever seen a religious leader seriously ramble about the demonic influence of the Japanese game with a straight face? No?...
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Left Behind devs making Bible Adventures for Wii/Xbox 360


Dec 10
// Jim Sterling
Left Behind Games, the company responsible for the insane Eternal Forces series, is bringing its classic brand of heavy-handed, poor-quality Christian wackiness to the Wii and Xbox 360 with a new game in the works called Bibl...
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Church attacks Resident Evil, Capcom fights back


Nov 25
// Jim Sterling
Thank God for the clergy! Those guardians of our frail humanity are always here to set things right, and they have protected us from Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, a game that glamorizes violence and promotes the occ...

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