Mar 24, 2013This is pretty much the benchmark for when I measure any current games quality. Zone of the Enders Anubis (“The second Runner” in some countries) on the Zone of the Enders HD Collection, is truly great, at the very least it’s one of the greatest.
What’s really strange is that with the previous game (Zone of the Enders) feels almost the complete opposite end of the enjoyment spectrum toThis is pretty much the benchmark for when I measure any current games quality. Zone of the Enders Anubis (“The second Runner” in some countries) on the Zone of the Enders HD Collection, is truly great, at the very least it’s one of the greatest.
What’s really strange is that with the previous game (Zone of the Enders) feels almost the complete opposite end of the enjoyment spectrum to play.
Zone of the enders is Mech combat in the loosest sense that you pilot a Mech and there is combat; all of which, is aerial and fast paced as opposed to the heavy stereotype often given to this genre. The games have an intense story mode; in each version you play as a frame runner (pilot) that newly experiences the Orbital Frame, Jehuty (The Mech) and brings their unique personality to the table; what I will say is that the voice acting is some of the greatest you will hear to date, and there are extremely emotional moments in each game that will truly move you.
In the first game though; there’s way too much rubbish, and it can honestly be said, free roaming doesn’t benefit the player at all when it comes to this style of game. Everything’s small yet open ended and often the direction feels like a complete mess when you analyse what you’re actually meant to do. Figuring everything out will give you a solid 5 hours on a first play, but the game itself if you know what to do takes 45 minutes or so at best. Also sub weapon changes can only be done realistically in advance of a battle without having to push start, as it would require a third hand in combat If playing hard mode due to being allocated to the D-pad.
Also enemy and mission variety is very stale in the first instalment, and it’s honestly the plot that drove me time and again to complete this both now and when I were much younger. It’s interesting that when I completed this game alongside my girlfriend who was watching me do so, her “Is that it?” comment pretty much summarised the whole game.
Zone of the Enders Anubis (The Second Runner) however is everything the first game should have been and more; the game even has a very recognizable art style in its sequel which has even received a massive upgrade on the HD release, with the developers going so far as to change every single polygonal model, and redraw and colour each animated scene frame by frame to match the games resolution.
Most importantly the games controls have a massive variety of uses, yet are extremely intuitive, piloting Jehuty is as simple as using the left analogue stick to move, and triangle and cross for ascent and descent, while square commands main weapons and circle supports sub weapons and grab commands. Sub weapons now are accessible from pressing the L1 button (momentarily pausing combat to make the choice easily) as opposed to the dpad live, and more importantly, sub weapons actually have a use now as they are not only introduced in linear fashion, but they also work practically as alternatives to basic combat.
I know that linear gameplay can sometimes be taboo, but not when it doesn’t feel like one big hallway. The freshness isn’t far removed from the linearity of the Half Life series to be more precise, only Zone of the Enders has a much more captivating plot, and in a lot of ways it has much better voice acting; more so to think that the whole thing is dubbed. I can’t move during cut scenes, but to be fair, I don’t really want to as I never feel robbed of my time while watching genuinely amazing performances on screen; There are definitely exceptions to the no cut scenes rule, and this one of them.
Also enemies are not only highly varied, but the levels and ways you encounter them are too; this further accents the additional sub weapons; in a very Megaman sense, you’ll find that certain abilities work better than others depending on the situations. The game never gets boring, and when you finally think that it is, the game throws a whole new way to play in and keeps you going for longer.
In both games Jehuty levels up, but you never feel like you have “avatar strength” and it’s always hard as the enemies level up with you, increasing their speed and strategies as well, making for harder gameplay as you level up, and not ease of enemy disposal as it is with most other games that adopt the RPG style; What sets this apart from other games with hack and slash elements like ‘Devil May Cry’ is that you literally could beat enemies up and throw them around with endless possibilities; in games like ‘Devil May Cry’ however, eventually you just repeat the same most effective combo with no need to change up.… Expand
Feb 29, 2016I have never played any Z.O.E games, but I thought I would review this HD collection to review the improvements. aaand i was disappointed. There are heaps of graphics issues in ZOE, and 2nd Runner. The framerate would often drop below 30, seriously damaging the experience. They did patch up the graphics issues, but only for 2nd Runner, and only the PS3 version. These issues are what putI have never played any Z.O.E games, but I thought I would review this HD collection to review the improvements. aaand i was disappointed. There are heaps of graphics issues in ZOE, and 2nd Runner. The framerate would often drop below 30, seriously damaging the experience. They did patch up the graphics issues, but only for 2nd Runner, and only the PS3 version. These issues are what put Enders Project on hold. It does come with a demo for Metal Gear Rising, which is nice, but there's no replayability. If you want to get this collection, buy it on the PS3, but the only reason you'd want to buy it is if you loved ZOE on the PS2, or your'e desperate to play Metal Gear Rising. Otherwise, don't buy this.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
Official PlayStation Magazine BeneluxJan 8, 2013Part two has miner Dingo Egret (best name ever!) stumbling upon Jehuty, the mobile suit of his predecessor, Leo. Everything is better this time around: better story, better graphics and most of all: better gameplay. [January 2013, p.84]
Dec 17, 2012Zone of the Enders HD Collection has become a beautiful package. Both games offer original gameplay. Even though they are eleven years old, a surprising fact. The barrier between the two games can be pointed out as a negative thing, but both games are good enough to enjoy them throughout the full ride. This package belongs in your collection, no matter what.
Dec 13, 2012Time sure wasn't kind on the first Zone of the Enders and the HD remastering of the collection isn't perfect. Luckily the 2nd Runner remains a PS2 Classic and this, coupled with the feeling of nostalgia, are the only reasons you should care about this package.