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Produced and Directed by Hideo Kojima the creator of Metal Gear Solid and Boktai. Zone of the Enders is another impressive title to add to this mans glowing CV.
The game is set in the 22nd century where things are looking bleak for Leo the main protagonist having just seen his friends killed before him he runs off in search of a place to cry and as he sits down he falls in to an Orbital Frame (Mech) named Jehuty with a built in AI named AIDA
And within seconds of falling in the mech he soon realises that there is more to this orbital frame then just carbon fibre and bolts. That frame is an important tool for an evil army and small rebellion force that is trying to stop them.
The game is played from the third person perspective meaning that you can see and control the entire body of the orbital frame. Which is a great thing as you get to see the many majestic movements you orbital frame makes during intense battles. The control scheme has to be congratulated as this could of been a major stumbling block but Konami did a stellar job making the unusual decision to use the Cross and Triangle buttons to adjust your height whilst unusual at first is stroke of genius.
Graphically for its time it is was very impressive with great detail in the design of the orbital frames and added features such as blurring when moving at a fast speed or the fuzzy lines that will appear on the screen when you have taken damage little features like this add to the immersion. However the enviorments are bland, repetitive and ten a penny
The cutscenes are well animated even by todays standards but I can imagine how much more impressive they looked when this game was released 10 years ago. Voice acting is suitable for characters but not spectacular
My final summary is that It is a fun game with an interesting and coherent story. The game is let down with its short length you could probably finish it with 4-6 hours. But very few mech fighting games of this quality have been released so take what you can get.
There is a Sequel called Zone of the Enders the second runner which I will review when I get my hands on a copy and the GBA Spin off called Zone of the Enders : The Fist of Mars
From the producer and director of the metal gear solid series, Hideo Kojima from Konami, comes this advanced robot manga inspired game.
The story is based around a young boy, scared of death and his disapproval of killing, he must conquer both these fears in order to survive and realise his own destiny.
Using a giant orbital frame, named ADA, which is a giant mech battle suit who can think and act for itself as well as buy its pilot.
This game is an intense 3d shoot em up action game with amazing graphics and a superb in depth story line too.
The games graphics are extremely clever, with danger lurking from every corner of the screen you need to master the relatively simple controls to ensure you can evade incoming fire and destroy your enemies. The graphics look outstanding with bright bold colours mixed into fast paced action. The game holds up brilliantly to the fast movement, things blur when they need to and not at any other time.
The movements of the mechs is spot on, whether its normal movement or the actions they do when firing weapons or taking damage. A lot of time and effort has gone into creating all of the characters in the game as well as their individual frame movements, colour and weapons. Explosions and fire look real with more detail being taken on how these events would actually look. You will also notice great graphics from the backgrounds too, such as the night sky and the buildings below and around you.
Hideo Kojima is re-known for some immense cut scenes and this is also the case here, yes they may not be as long as ones found in Metal Gear. But the attention to detail is still present. Great looking cut scenes and game play mix easily.
Overall this is one fast paced game with lots of shooting and evading, but whilst this is going on its all so beautifully designed and looks amazing. From the small lines that run around your mechs frame, which change colour depending on health status .Down to the blue propulsion jets which erupt out of your frame when moving around.
Definitely a game worth adding to your collection, Hideo Kojima has created another successful game which blows away competition. If your into mech games then look no further than Zone Of The Enders.
Oh and you also get a preview disc of metal gear solid 2. What more could you ask for????
From Konami, and not only that, but the mind of Metal Gear Solid developer Hideo Kojima, there was a lot of hype surrounding Zone of the Enders, and although it may not give the MGS series a run for its money, it's still a superbly crafted game with more than its fair share of influence coming from Anime and bi-pedal cartoons in general. Also, it originally came with a demo for Metal Gear Solid 2, which was a big selling point of the game, with people I know even shelling out £40 just to get a glimpse of MGS2!
You play as a young kid who is given the best gift ever - a huge bi-pedal robot, which you then get inside and take to various locations with the hope of finding a pilot for it. A lot of the game is comprised of fighting other enemy robots, then hunting down the "driver", who is normally a boss that takes a fair beating to destroy. There's not a lot to it, but it has an endearing plot, led by exploring the relationship between a boy and his trusty robot.
Visually, this is a rather impressive game for 2001 - the robots have a very unique design and are superbly rendered. Also, the locations, whilst not exactly dissimilar, are well captured and original looking, if too many of them look the same, sadly. The real meat of the game, though - that is, the weapons - are the best done part of ZoE - they are well modelled and brilliantly thought out, ranging from simple machine guns to awesome rocket launchers. There are few more satisfying moments in the game than firing a fleet of missiles at an enemy mecha and watching as they explode in a glorious fireball.
It's a game designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, which is encouraging and means that anyone whose anyone can pick the game up. Also, a multiplayer mode is unlocked after you beat the single player offering, meaning that you and a buddy can duke it out to see who is the best bi-pedal soldier. My main complaint with the game is that it's HUGELY short, and if you skip the cutscenes, can be beaten in about 2 or 3 hours. However, there was an MGS2 demo with the game at the time that made it seem a little more worth the money - especially as the demo lasted about two hours!
Zone of the Enders is an action game developed by Kojima Productions and Konami exclusive for the Playstation 2.
Zone of the Enders stars protagonist Leo Stenbuck, his city is attacked by Orbital Frames and he stumbles into a warehouse when he stumbles into Jehuty, a super advanced Orbital Frame that the enemy happens to be looking for.
The story follows Leos journey to protect his friends and discover what Jehuty is and why the enemy want to capture it. The narrative is pretty well told and it is engaging, with extensive dialogue with the games boss characters to discover their motivations, you can tell Kojima has worked on this one.
The gameplay is no slouch either, Jehuty controls brilliantly. You have a standard laser attack and can do special moves like homing energy bursts and a big bomb. Once you get up close and personal the action gets really good, Jehuty is equipped with a laser sword you can use to brutally and stylishly defeat enemies. You can pick up a variety of weapons but they are pretty weak when compared to Jehutys arsenal so you are better off sticking with that.
The level design is less impressive, levels are large in scale but usually bland and just littered with a few enemies for you to dispatch on your quest to obtain metatron ore to fully power up Jehuty and get new programs. The levels draw distances are also a little poor and suffer from pop up though the environments are destructible which is a nice touch.
Graphically apart from the poor draw distances the game is good, the voice over is well recorded and brings the characters behind the big metal suits to life.
Packaged with the game is a demo for Metal Gear Solid 2 which now that I think back is probably the reason I bought this game!
Zone of the Enders is an excellent action game, it could have used a little more love in the level design but overall it is still of constantly high quality.
Usually, when a game is classified as a mech., it is related with slow, heavy, clanking Japanese robots smacking each other with lampposts or massive missiles, but I can assure you, this one is very different. Imagine you are behind the "wheel" of a robot as large as a house, which has the destructive capabilities of several atomic bombs under the hood, whilst being able to move at almost the speed of sound. That’s Zone of the Enders. So, just why is ZOE just about the greatest and most exciting mech. game so far? Well, for starters the action is breathtaking. The shear fluidity of the game is something special, with as many as eight high quality enemies, textures, backgrounds, and a whole load of lasers on screen with absolutely no slowdown. At the push of a button, you can send barrages of lasers flying towards an overly confident foe, and even charge up a large amount of energy into a ball, and send it’s destructive force to an enemy volleyball style. The sounds in the game are all very good, and if you close your eyes, you can really imagine the heated battles. The cutting sounds of the lasers, the destructive sounds of the explosions, and the…err… whooshing…sounds of the boosts are all very nice. It does however get slightly irritating when you’ve heard "Warning, damage exceeding 75%, hull critical" for the millionth time. The game starts by showing you a brief intro, in which the main character, Leo Stenbuck, a young orphan, stumbles upon a mighty ‘orbital frame’, (a fancy term for giant robot), named Jehuty. When you first take control of Jehuty, you enter a training style mode, in which Jehuty tells you how to pilot it. After this training mode you are able to go onto the main game. It just so happens that this orbital frame is what the evil Mars military are looking for, and only you…(yawn)…can save the satellite colony named
the "Zone of the Enders". Besides this cliché, the story line is extremely well thought out, and very moving towards the end. The only problem with this game, (I thought), was the longevity. It took me about a week to complete on easy, and another week after that to do it again on normal. After that, I lost the motivation to play it through again in hard mode, so it is best to start on either normal of hard mode. A bonus though, is when you complete the game once, a versus mode is unlocked, in which you may compete against a friend in either Jehuty, or one of the enemy robots you encounter. You start with a limited number of characters, but if you complete the game again, you unlock more playable characters. This adds to the longevity, but there are only so many times you are prepared to play through the whole game. All in all, I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys high speed, fast paced action with an intriguing plot. It is truly addictive, and you will find it hard to put down, (the first time you play). This truly is a landmark title for the console.
zone of the Enders is a robot fighting game. A young boy named Leo Starbuck is thrown into a position of massive power by forces well out of his control. Leo finds himself at the controls of an incredibly powerful robot fighter. In the game he is made to come to grips with the horrors of war and the pitfalls of life as he attempts to deal with his new responsibility. This game tries too hard at making Leo a cute little, sympathetic character. His personality gets quite boring though and pathetic. Hardship after hardship hit him as he sees his friends murdered his father killed and his girlfriend shot. Perhaps a game not for the kiddies then. The graphics are rather good pushing the PS2 to its limits, with smooth movement, but the design end seemed lacking. The game is ridiculously short and ends after only a few hours of play. Zone of the Enders is an action packed game but not a very interesting one. It is hard to imagine that the creator of ZOE also made the excellent metal gear solid. After completing the game I traded it in and instead got something worthy of the money. Oh by the way you get Metal Gear Solid 2 demo included. If you can?t wait for MGS2, then you will probably buy ZOE just for that.
Hideo Kojima. MGS. Two words that will send a tingling sensation down the spine of any true gamer. And now, back in all his glory, Hideo Kojima releases his latest masterpiece. ZOE. Now, a lot of people probably went out to buy this game because of the free metal gear solid 2 demo in it - which is understandable, taking into account the mind blowing original. But under all the hype and the MGS2 demo lies a truly amazing game, which lives up to the name of its producer. Zone of the enders is a hack n' slash game, set on a colony called Antilla, which orbits Jupiter. However, one day Antilla is attacked by giant orbital frames. After witnessing the demise of his friends and family, one boy, by the name of Leo stands in the way of its total destruction. Finding himself in the cockpit of a huge orbital frame, Leo (unwillingly at first) sets out to end the invasion and bring about peace. On the way, Leo meets a few friends, not to mention enemies which help him on his way: There’s Celvice, another young ender, and a good friend of Leo's, Viola, the main 'bad guy', and the crew of the 'Atlantis' to which the orbital frame must be delivered. When you first load up the game, the orbital frame, named Jehuty, springs to life. The onboard computer, by the name of ADA begins to tell you a bit about Jehuty, and its mission. A few short training sessions get you used to the very easy controls. Now its time to set out to battle. You have to confront a huge army of pilot-less frames, called raptors, while attaining new 'programs' and weapons. And that is most of the plot. While trying to deliver Jehuty to Atlantis, you must overcome moral issues, viruses, puzzles, and of course, bosses. As soon as you begin to battle, you'll notice how fluidic the controls are. Move around easily with the analogue stick, and use different 'bursts' and attack combos with the ot
her buttons. Set in a fully 3D environment, on 3 axis, its surprising how good the camera is. You'll never miss a moment of action, and the nearest enemy will always be close at hand. The graphics, also are superb. Cut-scenes are amazingly rendered, and even the in-game graphics are amazing. From the backgrounds to the weapons fire, and even the frames themselves, the graphics are clear, sharp and beautiful. Ok, so the normal fights, with only 3 different variations of the basic enemy raptor, can get a little repetitive. But don't forget the bosses! Even the first boss really tests all you have learned so far, and they get a lot harder. Often, only one attack or weapon will do them any damage! The huge frames look amazing, and the cut-scens before each one can often reveal their weakness. With ADA's help along the way though, you'll pull through! But there must be a downside you ask? Well, unfortunately there is. I have 2 gripes with the game, and although they do not detract from the game, they can be annoying! The first is the voice acting. Hideo's other games have been translated really well, with great voices. But alas, ZOE is different. Most of the characters are not so bad, but Leo, who is heard most frequently is very badly played. But, it doesn't affect the game too much. The second of my complaints is the ending. After beating Viola, another boss comes along, caled Anubis. ADA tells you that you are not destined to meet yet, and you are no match in this condition. So, the big guns come and rescue you with Anubis escaping. And then the credits roll! What happened to Anubis? I can only hope this was a blatant hole left open for ZOE 2. Its also a little short! I managed to complete 'medium' mode in 4 hours! However, a versus mode upon completion helps it to last a little longer. Besides the ending, voices, and longetivity, ZOE is a perfectly blanced game. With great
graphics, a great storyline, constant action and huge fighting machines, it has got to be a hit! And even if you don't like it, there’s always the MGS2 demo!
Zone of the Enders (Z.O.E) is a futuristic shoot 'em up cum beat 'em up. You play a small boy who is orphaned and stranded from his friends on an planet that is subject to robot attack. Our hero stumbles across an empty orbital frame named Jehuty. Jehuty is a huge robot that your character operates from the inside with help from the on board computer - ADA. The game looks stunning. The futuristic back drops and huge robot characters look lush. When there are three or four frames attacking you from different directions, the visuals burst into life with laser fire and explosions. However, we all know good graphics don't always make a good game. I believe there are some serious flaws in Z.O.E. The gameplay is simple to the point of monotony after a couple of hours. There is no real appeal to 'beat' the game and it is certainly missing that special ingredient that makes you want to play it over and over. The game doesn't last that long either. Seven or eight hours of play and it is over. There is also no need to come back and play again. The two player mode (which unlocks upon completion) is pathetic. From the perspective of one player, player two has a poor view of their frame.
i got this game and i think it is really cool. but what would you expect from the makers of metal gear solid? the best of course! okay this game is about a little kid called Leo and his friends get killed before his very own eyes by a giant robot falling on them. not nice at all. so from then he is really mad and angry and he stumbles upon an orbital frame (giant robot) and the adventure begins from there. if u r into games where there are giant robot battles and destruction then this is the game 4 u. it also includes some really cool in game cut-scences which i quite enjoyed watching. the graphics r excellent. the story is quite intriguing once you get into it and the best thing of all is dat when you buy this really cool game guess what u get2? a real copy of the MGS2 DEMO WOW. now dat is worth your money in its own manner.
hello there my graceful fans! As promised last month, i have finished Zone of the enders and the MGS 2: Sons of liberty. wow i have never thought that the amount of japanese i would have to decipher would take me to the brink of madness and back, but i kept trying and prevailed in the end. you've probably worked out by now that Z.O.E stands for zone of the enders but in my case the end of my cash. this game cost me a whopping £100 until i decided to bombard cex.co.uk with e-mail's of why they didn't inform me of the price, anyway that's another story on to the review. Z.O.E is set on a giant inhabited satellite which is under siege by mechs/frames, in other words giant robots. The main character who is a 12 year old i might add, accidentally falls into a frame after running away from a damaged frame that stumbled and squished his family (lovely!?). The cut scenes are bursting to the brim with the common place japanese over the top melodrama of the east, which is great as one cut scene was about 25 minutes long!?!? It was a choice between dying of thirst or missing a chunk of the storyline (that's the point where i made my self a cup of tea) i chose the latter and had to play the darn thing twice to see what happened at that point. Overall Z.O.E has great graphical quality that could only be imagined by the one hideo kojima, the manga inspired cg animation is beyond any mech game ever seen (yes that goes for mech warrior as well). once the game has been completed there is a choice for a 2 player game which is weak in comparison to the one player game as it's a floating robot beat'em up *gakk* sorry that section of the game makes me want to (place your anagram of vimto here). this game gets an amazing 4.5 out of 5, the half point being taken away because of the dog awful (yes i mean dog) two player game. Metal Gear Solid 2: sons of liberty (Demo) if i could sum thi
s demo into one word it would have to be "sweet", the effect of the rain alone could sell this game. As before you take the role of solid snake but this time you have to stop russian troops from stealing a new gear from a cargo ship guarded by U.N soldiers. Imagine a game where the cut scenes look exactly like the in game graphics.... THIS IS IT, the attention to detail is amazing, when you come in from the rain you leave foot prints and if a soldier sees them he will follow you until your feet dry off. that's not the only feature in the game that stands out you can now hold enemies at gun point and make them scream for their parental units. to complete the demo the average person will finish it in 15 minutes, but the record on konami's web site shows that one insane person went through it in 1min 35 seconds only using 5 tranquilliser darts! The demo is only 5% of the game but i'm looking forward to the japanese release, my record for the original metal gear solid is 1hr 57 mins but mgs 2 is going to be like a fine wine, savour the taste or you'll regret it.
Ok, where do I start! This game is a very good game! The speed at which the "orbital frames" (I will explain these soon) is very impressive! The orbital frames which I mentioned earlier are robot war machines! The Jehuty craft is the frame you control, while the Neith frame is piloted by Viola, a lady that wants to kill the pilot of Jehuty and steal the frame! The levels are actually quite small but they offer a lot! For instance, if you battle an enemy near a building, chances are that the enemy will miss you with his guns and shoot the building! Thus ending the buildings life. In one level, there are nine groups of enemies, all looking for you! You have to wipe them out one by one to make sure that you will survive for the battle with Neith! The game is short lived. Completing it isn't usually a challenge. If you beat it twice however, you unlock extra frames and stages in the versus mode. This is where you choose a frame for yourself and the computer enemy and then choose a level. It will then be a one on one between both frames! The sound is extremely impressive as you can hear the onboard computer system, ADA talking to you! The graphics are really good and it is an easy game to learn how to play. It is just so simple! It is a cool game worth playing time. Give it a try!
Published by Konami, developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, mechanical designs by Yoji Shinkawa (Metal Gear Solid), character designs by Noboyushi Nishimura (Gundam X), directed by Noriaki Okamura (Tokemki Memorial) and produced by, Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid). Quite a colourful (and semi-famous) cast of names ain't it? This game only requires both the names Konami and Hideo Kojima to sell, plus tagged along the beautiful graphics, it would probably sell a million in a few weeks no? Actually, it didn't, it rather came quietly from what I saw, and many reviews came from millions of websites and magazines, most saying the same thing: A disappointment. Perhaps it's the fact too many expected a lot from this game, or they thought tagging along the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo was Konami's idea of making Z.O.E. sell even if it was a bad game, and refused to buy it due to the belief they were being tricked. Or perhaps many should have actually just listened to what the developers actually said rather than listening to rumours or pieces of exaggerated news. Actually, it's probably the fact that the famous names associated with this game didn't work on this game as much as many believed and were actually just there to make the game sell, contributing only in small parts... Whatever the reason, this game does not deserve the current status it is being given right now. As I've said, too many people expected far too much, either blame it on the magazines and websites that over-hyped this game or actually blame it on the developers themselves, but both contributed to the fall of this game below the high expectations of every avid gamer. Whichever magazine first said "this game is going to be the best" or "it's going to be amazing" should be burnt down the ground for such a comment. Did the developers say that? No, they said they wanted to bring a unique experience for everybody who plays this game,
not "rock" the industry... The developers however, must be at fault as well for making this game too short, with no decent reward or unlocked secrets through finishing it in five hours. Yes, that's five damn hours, and while I did (sort of) liked the story, five hours is just too short, and the lack of addictiveness makes this game's life even shorter. What's worse is that KCEJ added much more insult to injury by just giving you a horrible two-player mode and nothing else to unlock, and if they tell me that I have to finish it on "Very Hard" before I get anything decent, I'm just going to go nuts!!! However, let's not say this game is horrible, like I said, it doesn't deserve the status it has right now, but what it does deserve is to be played and enjoyed with the minimum of expectations... Placing the disk of a recently purchased game into the console can either be a momentous or regrettable moment for me, as what I see in the next twenty minutes will decide that. Suffice it to say, I'm quite happy with this game, the pre-intro sequence is rather nice and makes apparent to the player the game's Animé roots of this game. I'd say the part where the names Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa were shown were less annoying than I initially thought, as they do show the achievements these two have had and it alone testifies what they can do, fair enough, but what if what they can do was only used through less than a third in the making of this game? I am honestly more than happy to see the names Noboyushi Nishimura and Noriaki Okamura than the other two, as I'm aware of some of their achievements like Gundam X and Tokemki Memorial, and I know they contributed their skills as much as possible into this game's creation. The introduction to the story begins rather quickly than expected, as the pace speeds up higher each second. From the hero, Leo Stenbuck's escape run, to the flashback
s explaining briefly what has happened, and to the explosion that led to Leo's accidental encounter with the prototype Orbital Frame called Jehuty. This then leads to a very seamless sequence that shows Jehuty's release towards battle, THEN the controls are yours, all in just around ten minutes. Controls are initially very tricky to get into grips with, although the first battle more than lets you get used to the controls and you'll be more than familiar with them at around the sixth battle. The sixth battle though, is your first battle with the main villain, Viola, who was introduced earlier in the intro and from there you can see how merciless and relentless she really is. She can kill innocent children and she still has the guts to smile at it, and now she has found Leo, a survivor and a witness, and he must be destroyed. And it is this first battle that soon triggers her obsession towards Leo, as she was humiliated through her defeat against him. Later, she will return to fight you once more and survives again to now harm those dear to Leo... Throughout the whole game, Viola shows her abilities to be a great villain, she also has one of the best voice acting out of everybody else in the game. Her Orbital Frame, Neith, is one devastating and intimidating hunk of junk, in battles, it moves swiftly with the grace of a bird in the air, and it attacks leaving massive destruction like a natural disaster... However, under this dark side of her hides the reasons for her actions and her end in the game is the one of the best scenes in the game and ends up showing the more "human" side of Viola's personality... Leo on the other hand, is the kind and "apparently too skilful for his age" hero. Seeing as his encounter with the Orbital Frame Jehuty was an accident, he actually wants no part in the war that is currently going on, and he later shows his hate of killing human life. Lucky for him, most of the enemies he will encounter
are basically "robots", with no life but to follow the commands of its leaders. He immediately begins to interact with Jehuty's battle computer and teaches the emotionless program the value of life. ADA, the battle computer, is - along with Viola - the most interesting character of this game. "She" starts as an emotionless program, suggesting battle decisions that are most "efficient", even with the cost of a life. She thinks that Leo's actions are "illogical", but she still helps Leo during battles, assisting him with information to help him know what to do and will occasionally be annoying in-game when she repeatedly says "Holding battle position." or "Your actions in battle have caused much destruction to the colony, I suggest initiating one-on-one combat.". There are however, some unintentionally humorous remarks to be heard from her as well, adding to her development in the game. ADA's development throughout the game and her outcome at the end is excellent, as is the voice acting and this earns her much praise as being the good character that she is. The supporting cast however, leaves much to be asked about them. Celvice Klein, the "love" interest of Leo, is a prime example, while she has big potential, she doesn't take any advantage of it and is stuck as either the "back-seat passenger" or the "damsel in distress", requiring Leo to save her. The other two support characters, Rock Thunderheart and Elena Weinberg, again have potential, but they apparently want to just sit by the cockpit of their big starship and wait for Jehuty to arrive to them and fulfill the mission. I can say that the people controlling the four other Orbital Frames (They're the bosses) are other extras, but they seem to be limited only to making fun of your skills and making some rather basic threats against you I'll just ignore their details as they have non
e worth mentioning... As a conclusion, the major disappointment here in the story department is that all the characters don't get all the time they deserve to show their story to the player, hell, I don't even know who's name it was that Viola mentioned in her end, and neither do I know why there was actually a war in the first place. Sure, it might explain it all in the manual, but do we read them? Sadly, not many of us do... I feel that the development team either didn't have time to integrate all the necessary parts into the story and has left us wanting more. Or they were in thought that they can get away with a "suspiciously unfinished" game. While it can be solved by a sequel, who are we to believe that the sequel will answer all our questions, nor can we not think it won't add more... In-game, the game runs so smoothly with the effect of you being unable to believe you're doing the things happening on screen, and at times, you're just left to wonder how to respond to what's happening. That's one thing about the battles, as there are some points when your reaction time to what the enemy frame does is imperative and that you must time your button presses properly, as Jehuty can only perform one movement at a time, and there's a short lag before the next move can be performed to balance it all out. It's not that big of a lag though, it's only barely noticeable and is only present to prevent people from constantly pressing random-buttons to fight. This means battles will require some skill and proper timing, and with time, you will be able to perform quick manoeuvres such as the one where one moment you're in front of the enemy, the next, you're behind them and about to perform a super-charged slash. This is the kind of unique experience the developers want you to have while playing Z.O.E. and it is, the Orbital Frames move with such amazing fluidity and speed without any glitches
or slow-downs to bother the experience. Detail amongst the Orbital Frames is amazing, with light effects and little things floating around some of them, following the machine without any troubles. The work of Yoji Shinkawa is apparent through the... 'beauty' of these Orbital Frames. Their design can look human with the fact it has the same body shape as us, but little things such as their rapid movements or the lights around them make it more than human and machine, it more like lies somewhere in between both. The attacks of each Frame contain great effects such as motion blur, with the ones with the best effects often causing much more damage than the ones with the least effects. Each area of battle has fully destructible buildings, with the exception of those beyond the battle area, which is marked by a force field. The way you fight though, will determine the evaluation grade you get at the end of the game, although it is of no importance whatsoever as I've found out, it does feel nice to have a good grade, and the only way to earn good grades is to avoid as much fatalities and damage to the colony as possible. In an interview, the developers said they wanted the player to find ways of fighting safely, adding greatly to the skill level needed in the game, as trying to avoid the enemy from firing at both you and the surroundings is not an easy task... This is another thing about Z.O.E., the fact that the story's link towards the gameplay can be seen greatly. For example, Leo doesn't like anybody to be hurt, in-game or in cut-scenes, and during in-game, you are asked to avoid hurting innocent civilians, and at the same time, you are asked to use your skills to the best of what you can do to avoid getting other buildings destroyed from both you're misses and the enemy's. This brings on the theme director Noriaki Okamura wants everybody to get: he wants us to take life more seriously. While to us it might sound silly, in truth,
the game is somewhat successful in this, as the link between the gameplay and story work together to bring about this theme. Combat in the game is simple, though you can get more complicated if you want to show off. While it is very difficult to do much complicated tasks, the rewards for successfully pulling them speak for themselves. The controls are well-placed to enable you to use your Orbital Frame with as much control as possible. While I have a complaint about the lack of a good height altitude adjuster in this game, - it is kind of messy as it can be altered somehow through the use of the Left and Right analog sticks even though the proper buttons are Triangle and Cross - you can perform swift manoeuvres and attacks that -especially in two player - is sure to leave a shock down the enemy's spine. The secondary weaponry can sometimes get basic, although you can hold a seemingly unlimited ammunition amount of them, you can actually do the game without the use of most of them. It's the primary weapons that shine most, and they automatically change between "shot" attacks when the target is out of the short-range "blade" attacks. These two different primary attacks can be "super-charged" by the holding of the proper button along with the attack button. There is also another move you can perform, and that is the "Grab and Throw". Basically, hold the button to "hold" the enemy while in proximity to them and then release the button to "push" them away. While it is one of the moves most fun to do, it is also a difficult one to perform as precise timing is required to be able to use it. During the early days of this game's development, there was much query unto how the camera will move in this game, and many were worried that the experience would be ruined without a decent one. Well, to say this game's "lock-on" system was stolen from Zelda 64's "Z-lock&qu
ot; is true, although the word "stolen" is not right, as the "lock-on" Z.O.E. uses is what makes the battles easy and exciting to play. What it basically does is lock-on to the enemy and the camera and Jehuty will always face that enemy while you're free to move in any direction, able to attack while say, moving backwards. Of course, you can also change targets while in this mode, or have no target at all, hence allowing you to escape and run when needed. In the music department the only musical pieces that shine are the ones at the CG cut-scenes of this game, while in-game music is full of "not so bad" techno music. Some of the music again shows this game's Animé roots, with the main menu screen music reminiscent to Ghost in the Shell's. The ending music is memorable and nice to hear, and you'll want to finish this game all over again just to hear it once more! Sound Effects aren't bad, but nothing out of the ordinary, as some are some familiar sound effects you will hear from famous mecha-based animés such as Gundam, most notably, the strain of the Orbital Frames whenever each one of them are locked in combat, each struggling on to try and overpower the other. Did you read all that? Wow, thank you for doing so, and now I'll finish of with my final conclusion to end this... Z.O.E. is not a bad game, nor is it an extremely good one, but it does prove such games with great speed and graphics can be done. It might be the fast-paced action of this game that prevents it from getting as addictive as say, Metal Gear Solid, which was almost same in length, yet it provided more replay-value than Z.O.E. Perhaps with more time to develop it, this could have been something revolutionary, but the game is fine with the way it is now. We can only hope the idea of an even better sequel is in the works, and this time, the people and press shouldn't expect too much out of it, as it will on
ly disappoint them. Sometimes, it is actually best to not expect much from a game, as it is more fun and exciting playing it with no expectation as to what happens. So in my final words, this game is good, it is in a way, unique, much unlike other games, and one that should be enjoyed, probably when it is much cheaper for those who wants to question this game's value, but all in all, it did bring up a unique experience as the developer intended and it was fun while it lasted...
I was going to buy Zone Of The Enders even before it was announced that it would include a Metal Gear Solid 2 playable demo, unlike most other people. I bought it last Friday the day it came out in England, and I completed it the same night. When I started playing it was one of the best games I had ever played and that stayed until the end. The game ended more akin to the end of a half an hour television episode of ZOE. Even the onboard computer ADA says "You are not meant to battle Anubis at this time." And you never get to because the game ends there. It is as if they were putting everything into the game up until that point when they decided to include an MGS2 demo to skweeten the deal but when they came back to it Hideo Kojima said, "Oh we forgot about... what was its name again? Oh yeah ZOE, it doesn't have a proper ending. No worries with the MGS2 demo along in the package everyone will buy it so we'll just stick an ending that doesn't finish off the game and a really cool versues mode." That is my personal opinions over with now on with the review. The graphics are top of the range, making it clear that is is a next gen title. The voice acting is also well translated most of the time even though at times Viola's is rather iffy. Also the gameplay is carnage but it is not mindless, you must consider whether to engae the (small) variety of enemies from long range or close range, even though at close range there is much more damage dealt...the boss battles are also well thought out with different strategies needed for each one (of the 5). The story writer also lives up to the claim that he can make peoiple cry with a speech from Viola at the *quote unquote* end. Also upon completion the unlocking of a cool 1/2 player mode is very nice showing off more of the fluid graphics in fighting. Also the game is rather easy even on the hardest setting but that's not that bad. Overall it is clear that the game starts not b
eing rushed atall with superb music and most other things, but after a not so long while, things get grim when the MGS2 demo was announced. But then again we can't complain with the inclusion of the MGS2 demo because it's sooo good, but some say that zoe is more like a demo than te MGS2 demo itself...
You’ve got to love giant robots. I mean, technically, physically and tactically they are completely implausible, but damn they look nice on screen. This is obviously what went through director Noriaki Okamura mind when conceiving Zone of the Enders, probably a result of prolonged exposure to shows like Gundam and Evangelion. Of course, as an experienced veteran of the Saturn version of Virtual On, I am well aware of the complexities of piloting an anime robot in a video game. The home versions of Virtual On took hours of play just before you got the hang of piloting the thing, let alone stand a chance of finishing the thing. So does Zone of the Enders improve on that? I’ll answer that one later. Through Konami’s extensive publicity you will no doubt be aware that the games producer was Hideo Kojima of Metal Gear fame. Structurally this game is quite similar, that is the game is very plot heavy (or very stop-start in nature, its your call). In ZOE you play Leo, the archetypical anime teenager who, after seeing his friends crushed to death by a toppling mech, accidentally stumbles into Jehuty. Leo lives on Antilia, a space colony orbiting Jupiter. Under attack by the Bahram army, Leo finds he has to reluctantly fight to protect the colony from destruction by those who wish to acquire Jehuty for their own purposes. Frankly, the plot is stereotypical and uninspired. Its been done thousands of times before, and in most cases infinitely better. Frankly I was just waiting for the ‘Evangelion moment’ – the moment in a game in which you feel you are watching an episode of Eva – and yes it did come. Then again, not everyone has seen Evangelion. Heck, not everyone has seen an anime giant robot show. For those who haven’t the plot will probably be fresh and engaging, with the fallible teen character proving a welcome change from the macho heroic types common in video games. I f
ound it dull and grating. Leo is a little too whiney and you just don’t feel sympathetic towards him. This is possibly the result of the fairly dire localization Konami put the title through. Now, onto the game itself. The game takes place in various areas of the space colony. You, unsurprisingly, start in the warehouse in which Jehuty was being temporarily stored. After a simple explanation of the control system and a brief – and simple – boss encounter you are informed of your task by the Jehuty computer Ada. Not to make it too simple, this isn’t something you can do straight away. Jehuty has just been serviced, and as such is at bare minimum in regards to system functions. This sets up much of what you will end up doing in the game. For Jehuty to stand a chance against Bahram you need better equipment, which has conveniently been left scattered across the various areas of the map. One of the first systems you obtain allows you to do long-range flight, which takes you to what is basically a map screen. From here you can move to the various locations across the colony. Things obviously aren’t quite that simple though. For example, Bahram has set up a system preventing you from reaching your destination on the far side of the colony, and the gain get past you need to destroy two communication dishes being used to generate it. Before being able to reach them, however, you need to destroy an amplifier, which is protected by a field requiring a Sniper weapon to penetrate. Much of the game follows the system-to-progress cycle. The problem with this is that sometimes it is just not too clear what you are meant to be doing. It is often the case that you need to fly around all the areas, desperately trying to find an item box or an opponent carrying the password required to unlock a weapon box. Its massively frustrating at times, a fair amount of the game time I clocked up was looking for items. Whilst some items are
marked on your map, others are not and the proximity you need to get to them to activate the next event is alarmingly small, leading to you having to comb every inch of land. I haven’t spoke about the control system at all yet, and with good reason. Frankly, it is absolutely perfect. I never thought I’d say that about a robot game, but they got it absolutely spot on. The left analogue stick is used to navigate your robot around the landscape, whilst the triangle and cross buttons are used to alter your altitude. There are only two attack buttons in ZOE. The Square button is the main attack move, and performs two tasks – at range it fires your guns, whilst up close it will attack your opponent with Jehuty’s combat blade. The circle button also has two functions. Firstly, it is used to operate the additional weapon systems (such as the aforementioned Sniper add-on), and secondly it can be used up-close to grab onto your opponent and throw them into things to cause big damage. In addition to these main attacks, the right analogue stick can be used to rotated the camera allowing you to make more accurate shots, whilst the R1 button will produce Jehuty’s force shield, blocking you from damage from basic attacks. Much more useful that both is the R2 button, which causes you to use Jehuty’s inbuilt thrusters to gain great speed. This can be used in conjunction with the basic attack to produce other attacks, such as a charging sword attack. Pressing the boost button without a direction control will cause Jehuty to go into ‘burst’ mode – pressing the attack button will cause a very powerful attack, but it leaves you wide open for damage. All this is all well and good, but when you are fighting as many as six badguys at once it sounds a bit difficult to use. Thankfully Konami implemented a Zelda Ocarina style lock-on system, which allows you to select on enemy in particular to pick on. You can e
ffortlessly cycle through your opponents by tapping on the L1 button, and locking onto the opponent causes you to circle around them rather than navigate the landscape. If you are particularly outnumbered you can deselect everyone and choose to flee from the current battle. This will produce a timer telling you how long you need to stay away to escape. Konami have also implemented a great radar system as well. Jehuty will appear to have a number of circles around it, each representing a different ‘squad’ of opponents. By observing the tilt of the circles and the position of the ’squad’ tags it is easy to estimate the positions of opponents in 3D space. Just to make combat extra fun, the game provides you with a number of extra missions which involve protecting buildings containing people from the invading mechs, trying to limit damage to the areas. Depending on your success in protecting the colony dialogue in some of the games areas will change. The boss encounters are something special as well, looking great and requiring a bit of thinking to get past. It’s a shame these are so few and far between. The fact that there are only three types of basic opponent in the entire game doesn’t help either. Combat often degenerates into hitting the attack button close in, the opponent doing the same. The result is two mechs charging each other only to bounce off at high speed over and over. This in itself is, of course, an anime cliché, so I guess its kind of acceptable, and doesn’t manage to ruin the fun. I mentioned looking great, and damn this game does. Its nice, crisp high-resolution visuals with fabulously designed mecha. The scenery looks great, and the areas are quite large with it. One particularly great scene is a battle with a boss mech, which takes place in a warehouse fully of huge crates. As the battle goes on the scenery gets increasingly reduced as you both try and use the crates as
cover to hide from the hail of ammo. Destruction of scenery typically results in a heat-blur effect coming from the destroyed building, whilst the game throws around dozens of lighting effects. Now, I have hopefully given the impression that this game mixes the wonderful (the combat and control system) and the truly banal (the storyline and the tedious lack of direction). Now comes the big problem. Its less than six hours long. Frankly, it’s way too short. Skip the copious story sequences and you could probably be finished in four the first time you play, and even fewer once you know what you are doing. The fact is that the ending will come as a surprise as well, it is absolutely dreadful, and leaves the whole thing wide open for the inevitable sequel. This game should really be around twice the length in order to be worth the outlay. Still, while ZOE lasts it does so much right it is well worth at least renting, and if you are the type who likes to play something to death you will extract some replay value by trying to improve your performance on the bonus missions, or trying to complete Very Hard mode. Who knows, you might unlock a good ending (I somehow doubt it however). The game also comes with a short Metal Gear Solid 2 demo. Frankly, it looks great, plays well and it great fun. It is also – wonderfully - in Japanese with subtitles, which is something that Zone of the Enders should really have given you the option to play in. Its not as if the game is large enough to fill the entire DVD, and being saved from the awful localization may have made the story actually engaging (as well as adding to the Anime Factor surrounding the game). Anyway, in summing up ZOE is good but not great. Given a little more work it would have rocked seriously, but instead it merely wobbles a little.
Most people are going to buy this game for the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo. Fair enough. But what's the game you get with the demo like? :) It's a mech game with itself is an unusual (but very welcome!!) release for the west. I guess with the Cartoon Network now showing Gundam they thought they'd release it here ;-) Anyway, the game... I'll start with the graphics, the first thing to hit you. And, they DO hit you like a wrecking ball! This game is visually stunning. Loads of attention to detail on the mech bots, such as the "electricity" (?!?) flowing around their bodies. There's frequently 5 or 6 bots on screen fighting with lasers firing everywhere and it doest drop a single frame below 60fps. Steady as a rock. FMV is also executed very well, as you'd expect on a DVD-ROM disc. Sound is top notch and those with stereo set-ups will benefit. The gameplay. Here we go (downhill). Theres only a few different enemies. Both of which you can dispatch the same way - dash+fire repeatidly. You move from area to area picking up an item to use in another. But occasionally you'll have no idea where to look for the item so you have to trawl all the areas in search of it. It wouldn't be so bad if the enemies didn't respawn when you go back to an area. If it weren't for the MGS2 demo then it wouldn't be worth getting this game. As it is, I can only recommend it if you are after the MGS2 demo. In which case you'll probably ignore this review anyway :)
An adventure game developed and published by Konami of America.