Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Zone of the Enders

Genre: Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation 2
2001 Konami. Screenshots and images courtesy of Amazon.Com.

Zone of the Enders Game
Zone of the Enders Strategy Guides/Art
Original Soundtrack
Toys and Accessories
Everything Zone of the Enders
Amazon.Com Editorial Description:
The humans living on Antilia, a colony orbiting the planet Jupiter, think of themselves as Enders, as they're essentially at the end, or furthest reach, of human civilization. After a sudden attack by a fanatical Martian military regime known as the Z.O.E. Ender Leo Stenbuck finds himself with access to the one weapon that can save Antilia: a mechanized attack vehicle called an orbital frame.

In Zone of the Enders, you'll command the orbital frame against several robotic opponents. The game features agile 3-D movement, both in the air and on land, and smart camera work that keeps your opponent in view during the most intense, furious battles. The game also comes with a playable demo of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

That's It? >>> by firesenshi (09.24.2002)
For mecha fans like me, ZOE is almost a dream come true. You get to control your own mecha called an orbital frame that's unlike any other. And true enough, the controls in this game were designed so well allowing you to easily navigate the map, select and use your weapons, burst, dash and attack set in an almost realistic interface. You'll simply gush, "So this is what it feels like to be inside the cockpit." The mecha designer for this one is also the one behind Sunrise's Gundam X. Him, along with MGS2's Hideo Kojima, made me think that this collaboration would bring a great game.

Graphics-wise, ZOE delivers. Taking advantage of the PS2's upgraded technology, playing real time battles is much more exciting with realistic environment and camera angles that give you a great view of the mechas you're fighting against where each is rendered in fine 3D design. The FMVs aren't as fine-tuned as expected from early games of any console. The 2D design is also very good. The graphical representations of each frame you fight looks like contemporary Egyptian design in papyrus. The 2D menu backgrounds and icons are set in this theme in tribute to the final boss.

But for such well-thought gameplay and controls that are easy to master, the game gets to be disappointing later on because the battles are repetitive. Each time you enter an area (which is a new stage for this game), you play against the same enemies who have the same weapons and movement. The only difference is that they have higher levels and therefore have higher HPs. There is only one way to defeat them though so that shouldn't be a problem. Easily defeating these enemies though is in stark contrast to the boss fights that you will actually forward to meeting them because you will definitely be itching for a challenge after clearing areas with the same old enemies.

ZOE also disappoints me story-wise. It follows the same formula where a very frightened boy stumbles upon a very special mecha that he operates really well, and he later becomes an unlikely hero. Too much Evangelion. The ending is also very open-ended. It assumes that ZOE will have a sequel so our Shinji-type hero here is somebody you will have to *groan* meet again.

All in all, I would have enjoyed ZOE if the game had been extended and the battles modified. There's just too much good in the gameplay and they left you to use it against useless enemies 90% of the time.

RATINGS: Gameplay 6; Battle 5; Story 7; Visuals 6; Characters 10; Sounds 7; Replay Value 7

I musn't run away. >>> by MasterChief (10.06.2002)

When space colony Antillia is attacked by unknown invaders, a lone boy finds himself in control of the massive Orbital Frame, Jehuty. Now, he must pilot Jehuty toward its destination, all the while fighting the invading force who would use it to bring destruction to all the universe.

Zone of the Enders is a game about a young man named Shin- excuse me, Leo - and his trials and tribulations as he delivers the Evangelio- I mean Jehuty to a transport leaving his now war-torn home colony. It is played through a behind the back perspective, allowing the player to get a good view of the battle area. Controls are explained in the opening sequence, and are simple to learn and master. One thing that got to me though, was that selecting special weapons was assigned to the digital pad. This is a little bit of a problem when trying to move Jehuty around, since movement is handled with the left analogue stick, and this makes the use of special weapons a waste of time.

The graphics, while showing lots of the trademark PS2 jagged edges, are absolutely beautiful, with everything from the towering heights of the largest buildings to the small cars in the driveways of houses lovingly rendered. There was this little design quirk involving Jehuty's, erm, cockpit, that does sorta stick out for all the wrong reasons. Also, non-boss enemies are totally generic. It's like they couldn't think of any original designs and just chose to use the same three or four designs over and over and over again. Aside from those little things, the graphics are sure pretty. Likewise, sound effects are loud, clear, and convincing. The throbbing techno music is also very fitting and enjoyable.

Not all is well, however. As I made note of in the beginning of the review, the story is horribly trite and reminiscent of mech anime, most notably Evangelion. Leo instantly reminded me of the whiney, annoying Shinji. Of course, the overly preachy manner of the story didn't help either. We already know killing and violence are wrong, so we needn't have that message banged into our heads with the subtlety of a neutron bomb. Also, aside from a VS mode, there isn't anything in the way of unlockables, and that leaves little incentive to play a game that gets repetitive in the first thirty minutes.

In summary, what we have here is a game that is generally fun, but annoying at times and with little replay value. Rent first.

RATINGS: Gameplay 7; Battle 6; Story 3; Visuals 8; Characters 2; Sounds 10; Replay Value 3

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright 1997 - 2010. The Kraiders Otaku Fridge. All content, except screenshots, belong to the webmaster.