Dec 10, 2012Zone of the Enders HD is a great collection. The first one feels a bit dated and simplistic, but the second one is definitely one of the best mech games ever made. If you've never played these and find yourself intrigued by the concept, don't hesitate to buy it.
Dec 2, 2012Its incredibly short stature makes ZOE an almost pointless re-release, and the de-evolved frame rate handling of 2nd Runner isn't much to pine for unless your PS2 copy was lost, stolen, or destroyed. If this is an effort to get people amped and ready for the recently announced Zone of the Enders 3, fans certainly deserve better than this.
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 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
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… 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. 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
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 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
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 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.… Collapse
Jul 26, 2013I strongly suggest you never launch this first part of this collection, even if you got it for free.
Zone of the enders is unplayable mess from every point of view.
Plot is non-existant, main character makes me want to kill him every time he opens his mouth.
Worst of all are awful gameplay mechanics and fact that this is unplayable without a strategy guide, because game NEVER explain what needs to be done next so its up to you to decide which of 5 already finished levels you must visit for 5th time to get another "password" to progress further.… Expand
Sep 10, 2013Japan really needs to invest in better voice actors, story tellers, and stop shopping for the lowest bidder. The amount of hype this game got from its fans really got me wanting to play this game. Boy was I disappointed. We have been getting alot of from japan the past few years and the hd collection of this crap was a reminder. JAPAN GAME GAME.… Expand
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