Nov 7, 20129Zone 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, 20129Having 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
Jan 8, 201372Part 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, 201280Zone 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, 201260Time 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.