Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Fun to play and offers a great story and awesome visuals. The hardest thing you may have to decide is when to hit the save button and stop playing. The game draws you in quickly and holds your attention.
  2. 100
    Takes what was cool about the first installment and builds a gorgeous, challenging, and satisfying game around it. [Apr 2003, p.47]
  3. Using some of the finest visuals to grace a next-generation platform, and solid gameplay, the game proves that PlayStation 2 has more than a bit of fight left in it.
  4. The game is a whole lot faster than the previous game. There is so much going on at the screen at once, it might be hard for players to keep up, but that will never be the case.
  5. While short, grabs you for those few hours and won't let go. The game is such an improvement over the first installment that those who didn't like the first game will probably like this one.
  6. It plays mostly like the first, so if you liked it you’ll love this one.
  7. The game is very story-heavy and linear because of the heavy focus on story. Outside of that, though, the game is a vast improvement over the previous game.
  8. Murata and his team haven't just given us a great sequel, they've also created one of the PS2's best action games; one that comes within mere inches of achieving classic status. [May 2003, p.24]
  9. It’s everything that we could come to expect from a game; it has an excellent storyline, a cast of remarkable characters, intense gameplay melded with style, and a presentation so vivid and brilliantly executed that you’ll feel right at home.
  10. Everything the first game was not, and far more. Not only did the developers correct, expand and improve upon every aspect, they have authored one of the most utterly perfect synergies of gameplay, direction and storytelling that I've ever witnessed.
  11. No other game out there offers such a chaotic yet brilliantly visceral gaming experience. [May 2003, p.96]
  12. When it comes to the raw energy and unadulterated action, ZOE2 has few peers. [May 2003, p.72]
  13. 88
    Konami’s act of reconciliation for the original version. It makes up for all of the flaws of part one, and is even an improvement upon the few things that the original got right. The game is indeed difficult, but for the right reasons.
  14. 86
    A dazzling masterpiece of high tech production... The 2nd Runner isn't so much a videogame as it is an all-encompassing experience.
  15. Thanks to its excellent controls and sheer depth, the combat system will ultimately be one of the reasons this game will keep drawing you back in even after you complete the single-player campaign.
  16. If you can accept the fact that the playtime is shorter than the running time of a Kevin Costner film, The 2nd Runner offers an explosive and highly fevered gameplay experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat. [May 2003, p.85]
  17. It might be a little light on content for the full price, but if you’re a fan of eye candy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better source of pupil fodder on the PS2.
  18. Gameplay is instinctive, chaotic, and breathtaking. Unfortunately, the entire thing is still very linear, a bit too segmented, and repetitive. [May 2003, p.124]
  19. Improves upon the original through and through. We're happy they got it right.
  20. Combat is intuitive and intense, it looks absolutely gorgeous, and it never gets boring. [Apr 2003, p.55]
  21. There simply isn't enough of it. The game is packed to the gills with imagination, stunning design and addictive, hugely varied gameplay - but while it triumphs in quality, it lacks in terms of quantity.
  22. The strikingly impressive robo scrapper returns. Cracking stuff. [Jan 2007, p.106]
  23. Cel shading has never been as underplayed and better used in a PS2 game as in this one, and even the English dub and J-pop tunes fit like a glove with The 2nd Runner's anime-inspired universe.
  24. The closest we’ll get to interactive anime, this game couldn’t be more Japanese if it featured a ninja penguin schoolgirl getting bukkaked.
  25. 80
    The combination of stunning graphics and frenzied gameplay make Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner a must-have for anime RPG fans or, heck, anyone with a functioning pair of eyeballs.
  26. 77
    Most every mission is so unique that the core of the game fades into the background, instead replacing it with ever-changing objectives... Little stays constant enough to become an actual gameplay mechanic.
  27. An improvement in just about every way.
  28. It may not take long to beat, but there is a good amount of unlockable missions, time trials, and a fairly entertaining versus mode to be had once you do.
  29. 70
    The 2nd Runner is also easy as hell, and if you're willing to skip through the cut-scenes, you'll button-mash your way through the sucker within six hours.
  30. Most of its faults are forgiveable, and the excellent controls coupled with the intense action often make for an engrossing experience.
  31. ZOE2 really is a beautiful game. With its unique mixture of clean-cut robot models, cel-shaded smoke and manga FMV cut-scenes, the whole thing just oozes style in a way that most other games just can't approach. [Oct 2003, p.108]
  32. While visually that game is unmatched, there just isn't enough game here to warrant anything other than a rental.
  33. In action the game is undeniably pretty, as long as you can stomach the monstrous camera. But beyond ther anime-inspired visuals, the action turgidly limps along without ever really engaging or entertaining. [May 2003, p.94]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Jeff
    Mar 13, 2003
    a 0? a 0? this means that ZOE2 has nothing at all to make it a video game. a stick would get a 0, not a brilliantly animated, well thought a 0? a 0? this means that ZOE2 has nothing at all to make it a video game. a stick would get a 0, not a brilliantly animated, well thought out awesomely fun one such as this. You, my friend are the one who is pathetic. Full Review »
  2. Oct 3, 2010
    This game builds on the original but takes everything and the whole concept to the next level. Graphics, sound, gameplay are all extremelyThis game builds on the original but takes everything and the whole concept to the next level. Graphics, sound, gameplay are all extremely polished to the level that it makes it hard to believe this game is a PS2 game. Full Review »
  3. 008
    Jan 23, 2007
    WOW. This game is extremely good. I wasn't "lucky" enough to play the first thank goodness, but I can definitely tell that Hideo Kokima WOW. This game is extremely good. I wasn't "lucky" enough to play the first thank goodness, but I can definitely tell that Hideo Kokima put the Metal Gear feel into ZOE2 right down to the O button replacing your standard A button and the nice glossy effects. Boy, I gotta tell you that I REALLY hate mech games and especially ones like Gundam and Armored Core games. I don't know why, but I just do. The reason why is probably that those games have go many gimmicks listed on the back of the cover such as (and I'm just making these up) "Up to 300 customizable mechs!" which means there is really only 20, since majority of the options suck and aren't the best, even though they look cool. Just like when a game says it has over 100 weapons to choose from; it's all bull becuause most you get from the beginning SUCK and only 3 are "good," or statistically the best. I know a lot of people can relate to this. I think I saw something like this on the back of the case, but I'm not quite sure what it was, but all I know is this game's THE shizz-nite (shi-zz-naite). Anyways, since the first ZOE supposedly sucked a lot and was a major disappointment and has to do a little with the second story, they put in a great "previous story" option in the main menu so you know exactly what's going on (assuming you don't read the manuel, which you should with all games, but unfortunately I didn't get one becuase I luckily got it at blockbuster used for 16 bucks. Hey, lemme tell you, if you're looking for rare or great games, EB/Gamestop isn't always the answer, goto some of the unlikely places, you'll often be surprised). Furthermore, since the controls are fairly involved at first, there is a "VR training" mode where you can learn the controls. On to the actuall real game. Once the controls are learned, this game is excellent. When mastered, anything is possible and the various subweapons are all useful, even though you may not...use all of them as much. However, when you get in trouble, they can literally be a lifesaver. Various times you will be fighting dozens of enemies and get swarmed and your subweapon "clone" will help for example and make a static image of yourself that the enemies will mistake for you, which ultimately gives you some breathing room and make you invisible. Though bosses and a couple enemies can see though it, it is still great. i could go on and on and ON about each one, but I'm starting to get carpo-tunnel or whatever it's called and I'm in school too. Typically, since I'm poor and never have any money, I research games to the nth degree and have probably read at least 10 reviews before getting the game, since trade in value for games are typically a dollar. Games that last forever are Resident Evil 4, Guilty Gear X2, Time Splitters Future Perfect, Final Fantasy XII, Disgaea 2, Valkyrie Profile 2, and Metal Gear Solid 3: SUBSISTENCE, Not the regular Snake Eater. The thing all these games have in common is that they are VERY Replayable games and always have things that can be unlocked the next time around. For example, after you finish a game and gain all of your prized weapons and the invaluable "Zero Shift" subweapon, you'll usually want to keep them and maybe try the hard difficulty. Well with this game, you can choose either or, and this different versions of the main mech you play named Jehuty (and yes, it is J-E-H-U-T-Y). Because thoughout the game, Jehuty will improve, and even...well you'll have to see. All I know is that it's a pleasant surprise. Oh yes, the camera, the camera, the camera: the element that can make or break a game. In this lightning fast game that makes DBZ Tenkaichi 1 or 2 (which I HATE) look slow, this camera is very good at keeping up, and many times you must target enemies and switch targets, this is relatively easy. Now I'm not saying there are no problems, because every now and then there are, but it doesn't take away from the experience. Overall, this game is great, which great story (a little better script is needed, but passionate voice acting), and...oh I gotta go, but it's SWEET, get it if you can NOW! Full Review »