Nov 7, 2012Zone of the Enders HD brings together one of Kojima's lesser known titles. The title "High Speed Robot Action" doesn't fit too well with this HD bundle as both the games fall short due to their framerates. ZOE 1's framerate keeps up and doesn't let the experience die down, but ZOE 2 lacks in speed due to the framerate continuously dropping during its shinnying moments. ZOE 1 & 2 both haven
Dec 3, 2012Having only ever played the first ZOE when it came out on PS2 and loving it to pieces when I was a kid, I was pumped for this the moment it was announced. Having just completed both games in the pack, I can say it's one of the better HD conversions to modern hardware I've seen for a while. And having not played ZOE 2 before, I can say with certainty this is probably one of the best, if notHaving only ever played the first ZOE when it came out on PS2 and loving it to pieces when I was a kid, I was pumped for this the moment it was announced. Having just completed both games in the pack, I can say it's one of the better HD conversions to modern hardware I've seen for a while. And having not played ZOE 2 before, I can say with certainty this is probably one of the best, if not the best action game I've ever played. There are flaws with the game, like the odd framerate stability issue and the occasional difficulty spike, but nothing that can blemish what is one of the best combat engines you'll ever seen in a game taken beyond scales you can imagine (bit with the warships and the vector cannon in ZOE 2). If you call yourself a hardcore gamer, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a shot.
ZOE 1 is definitely the weaker of the two games (although the plot is easier to follow and the soundtrack is better weirdly) but both feature the genius controls and combat - utilizing the face buttons for ascend and descend plus attacks might seem weird but it's easy to pick up, and when combined with dash on R2 the fights turn into a graceful ballet of swords, lasers and exploding mechs. The lock-on can get confused with the sheer numbers you face in the 2nd runner from time to time, but it's not too big an issue as changing target is easy (assuming you can keep up). And oh yeah - this game is fast. Like, REALLY fast. If you're a newbie you might wanna crank the difficulty down a notch or crack through the first game so you've got a little practice under your belt. I can guarantee you've never played anything quite like this before.
Developers take note - this is how you upscale a game. Not once did I notice a flat or low-def texture in the entire pack. Everything has been cleaned up really nicely. The first does suffer a little with age (you have to remember it was basically a launch title for the PS2) but it still looks clean as hell and runs well to boot. The 2nd runner takes it to a whole new level though - it's astonishing to think that old black box churned out this level of detail and carnage. Enemy counts go through the roof at times, and there's tons of particle effects and physics going on at the same time. The 50/50 cel shading and realism blend looks fantastic and is a joy to behold.
That said, the framerate does stutter badly from time to time, especially in 2nd runner. But it's not that often. In fact, the worst drops came when fighting one on one with many of the game's spectacular bosses. Weird how the game can handle 100+ little enemies on screen at the same time (and the subsequent explosions) and it stutters during Anubis fights, but I can forgive it easily. It doesn't impact the flow of gameplay in the slightest.
I got 4 hours out of ZOE 1 and about 8 hours out of ZOE 2 on normal difficulty, but there's quite a bit of content to get through. You also get a two player versus mode, extra missions in 2nd runner, and the games track your performance and give you rankings for your completion. I already wanna dash through both games again and chase down all the trophies, and the only other game I've done that with is Prototype 2.
Honestly, give this a shot. The only thing holding back my score is the framerate issues. If anything, buying this game is a vote to see a ZOE 3. Hell, borrow it or rent it to give it a shot. If you've never heard of ZOE or played it then this is a masterpiece. Oh, and it comes with an awesome Metal Gear Rising demo.… Expand
Dec 19, 2012Certainly flawed by issues such as the framerate, short playtime on the first game and some other minorities, ZOE HD is still a decent game collection. If you already own both games for you good ol' PS2, it's probably not recommended. If you liked them but don't have 'em anymore, reach out and grab this.
It's very fast-paced and enjoyable for what it is and the HD-ed graphics workCertainly flawed by issues such as the framerate, short playtime on the first game and some other minorities, ZOE HD is still a decent game collection. If you already own both games for you good ol' PS2, it's probably not recommended. If you liked them but don't have 'em anymore, reach out and grab this.
It's very fast-paced and enjoyable for what it is and the HD-ed graphics work decently well for this title. As far as the story goes it's hit or miss, either you like anime-ish space-war-robot stuff or you don't. If you don't this might not be for you. For returning lovers of the old version and the ones that like the story however, this is worth the coin and it gets a lot of sympathy points from nostalgia.… Expand
Jan 21, 2013As someone who had never played a ZOE game before this collection I was glad to have finally experienced these wonderful games. Although there are many reports of fps issues I have yet to meet any considerable drops on the PAL version of the game. Now onto the games themselves.
The first game in the collection would obviously be a good place for anyone new to the series to start. TheAs someone who had never played a ZOE game before this collection I was glad to have finally experienced these wonderful games. Although there are many reports of fps issues I have yet to meet any considerable drops on the PAL version of the game. Now onto the games themselves.
The first game in the collection would obviously be a good place for anyone new to the series to start. The gameplay here is simple but not repetitive, simply because of the length of the game. Combat is split into long range and short range attacks which can be changed by "charging" them up or dashing. Throughout the first game short range seemed to be most effective in fights and long range for bosses which was odd to me for the most part. Additional weapons can also be added each with different effects and abilities to give the combat slightly more depth. Sadly there aren't many enemies to fight in this game, most of the time you will be fighting a generic robot with swords/fists or a robot that shoots energy beams. Even with it's simplistic nature the combat is satisfying and definitely gets the "High Speed Robot Action" title meaning.
However despite these things this game suffers from its plot. And that isn't to say the characters or story are bad, it just feels like this game was originally planned to be longer. Although the sequel obviously remedies this problem it feels lazy to make the first game so short lived. I remember only beginning to truly warm up to the game during the games "final moments" and then I am suddenly met with credits and an ending cut-scene. I am only glad that the second game was included in the collection or I would have definitely felt cheated.
Moving onto ZOE 2. Now this is were most gamers will find the fun. The combat feels much much faster and more fluid when compared to the first. Everything is similar to the first but you don't feel like the game is being repetitive at all. Weapons feel easier to use and enemies are a lot more varied than before. Although ZOE 2 is longer than its predecessor it is still a relatively short game but I do find myself replaying it simply because I find it so fun to play. The plot definitely answers a lot from the first game that I was confused about and rumors of a third game coming have excited me even more for what the series holds.… Expand
Mar 21, 2017Zone of the Enders HD Collection is a great bundle of 2 robot action games made by Hideo Kojima. Zone of the Enders was a side project of Kojima when he was working on MGS2, and ZoE came out with a demo of MGS2's opening tanker chapter back in the early days of PS2, stuff of legend.
The first game is short and rather bland compared to the sequel, but it nailed the core gameplayZone of the Enders HD Collection is a great bundle of 2 robot action games made by Hideo Kojima. Zone of the Enders was a side project of Kojima when he was working on MGS2, and ZoE came out with a demo of MGS2's opening tanker chapter back in the early days of PS2, stuff of legend.
The first game is short and rather bland compared to the sequel, but it nailed the core gameplay mechanics of controlling a super robot in 3D space. Actually, it must be the first ever game that really understood what was special about anime super robots and executed it perfectly. You guide the Jehuty robot in a 3D space with dual stick configuration and the triggers make you ascend/descend, and then you beat up the enemies with both close and long range weapons. Along the way you pick up gadgets and backtrack to get upgrades in order to bypass obstacles, typical of Metroidvania-style games. The 1st game's graphics have aged somewhat poorly and the story is meh, but the core gameplay and art style are excellent (not counting the protruding cockpit in the crotch of every robot XD). The boss fights are rather few and only one or two of them are great. Overall ZoE is a decent game, and you should treat it as an introduction tutorial to The 2nd Runner.
The sequel is very different and much better than the original. Instead of a Metroidvania structure, The 2nd Runner is a purely linear game. The art was changed into a cell-shaded style that suits perfectly the game and is more pleasing to the eye than the 1st game's dark 3D polygons. Gameplay was expanded with far more options and more spectacular FX. The protagonist was switched out, but the original hero makes a cameo. Even the boss fights are much more challenging and entertaining, and the campaign is easily double the length of the 1st game. There are many OMG moments in this game, like a massive battlefield where you have to fight tens, even 100s, of enemy robots along with allies whom you have to protect in parallel, or an aerial fight with big spaceships you have to destroy while fending off enemy robots. Unfortunately The 2nd Runner wasn't marketed adequately at the time and failed commercially despite critical praise from the Gaming Press, ending the series. Kojima tried to revive ZoE in 2013, but the Enders Project was cancelled due to lower than expected sales of this collection. And since Kojima has left Konami for good, while Konami are only interested in mobile gaming nowadays, it's fair to assume there will never be another ZoE game.
This HD Collection brings to life two lost PS2 gems and updates them for the HD era. Even though the collection launched in a messy state with worse graphics and frame rate than the original PS2 versions, both games now run at 60 fps and target an HD resolution. Bluepoint Studios made a great job of patching The 2nd Runner after the original conversion studio messed it up. The collection is also available on Xbox 360 but it hasn't been updated like the PS3 version, so if you have the option get the PS3 version for a better experience. This collection is highly recommended to every gamer who likes action games and super robots.… Expand
Oct 31, 2016Zone of the Enders HD Collection. Bundling together two great games into one great package.
The original Zone of the Enders was a classic, with unique mech combat and fun gameplay. The second was that and so much more, providing a lightning fast hack and slash that tests your reflexes and skills. Both of them together, revitalized in HD, is a great deal. Gameplay of the original ZoneZone of the Enders HD Collection. Bundling together two great games into one great package.
The original Zone of the Enders was a classic, with unique mech combat and fun gameplay. The second was that and so much more, providing a lightning fast hack and slash that tests your reflexes and skills. Both of them together, revitalized in HD, is a great deal.
Gameplay of the original Zone of the Enders was centered around a high-tech mech called an Orbital Frame. Full 360 degree control and combat ability were the highlights, though the game does feel a little bit dated now. The second game provided a much more solid and fast paced experience. The first game could feel a bit bogged down and methodical, whereas the second game was all about speed and precision. Bouncing to and from multiple enemies and hacking them to pieces before barraging a group with homing lasers and moving back in to sweep up the stragglers is cathartic and fun, with full 360 degree movement in open spaces. The boss fights in both games feel great, and in going up against the impossible to beat Anubis is both terrifying and thrilling. In the second game towards the end, when you become equal to Anubis, the ability to teleport to enemies and tear them to pieces makes the action even faster, and makes you feel like a real badass when you're able to clear entire rooms in a massive enemy gauntlet. Both games are great and worth playing in their own rights.
However, some criticisms must come with the story and dialogue. A B-team of voice actors were called in for both dubs, and the dialogue feels stilted and awkward all the time, making it hard to actually get into the story, and the stories of both games aren't that immersive. On top of that, both games are woefully short, and you can complete either in just 3 or 4 hours, less than if you're an experienced player.
On top of that, the game's performance on launch was dreadful, with framerate dropping down to 10 frames a second for the second game during the more intense sequences. Luckily, this was later fixed by Hexa Drive, and the game now runs fantastically smoothly.
Both Zone of the Enders and The Second Runner are fun to play, and are worth their price in the amount of fun you can have, and despite shortcomings, they're still great games that I can replay from time to time.… 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.