We have become a culture that is
willing to pay to be advertised to. We wear t-shirts with huge Nike logos, we buy stuffed
Budweiser lizards and we pay for movies that we dont want to see so that we can
watch the trailers. Now were buying video games for the demos they come with. Zone
of the Enders is stuck in the shadow of Metal Gear Solid and thats a tragic thing.
Zone of the Enders looks like its going down in history as the game that came with
the MGS2 demo. I was probably the only person I knew who was looking forward more to ZOE
than the demo. Ive been itching for a fast, arcadey, big robot game on the PS2 for a
while now, and ZOE is everything I hoped for, almost.
In Zone of the Enders, youre
Leo, a boy who accidentally stumbles into a big robot called an orbital frame as your
space colony is under attack. The story disintegrates into your typical loss of innocence
through violence. Theres nothing groundbreaking here, and even the cut scenes seem
more of an afterthought. Fortunately, theres not too much story to slow down the
pace of the game.
is a shooter, clear and simple. If thats what youre looking for, youll
be more than happy. If youre looking for Mechwarrior style depth, look someplace
else. You have a basic primary and secondary weapon set up with long and close range
variations. The controls for this game are some of the most intuitive and straightforward
that Ive ever experienced. It has a particularly nice targeting system and really
maneuvers the three-dimensional space well. At times I felt I was playing a game closer to
Power Stone than Armored Core (thats a compliment if you werent sure). The
action is fast and unrelenting, and thanks to the nice controls you dont feel like
you have to wade through dozens of training missions before youre ready to save the
a hint of Blast Corp (one of the few games on the N64 that I really liked). I cant
describe how much fun it is to grab onto your opponent and then throw him into a nearby
building. Nearly all of the buildings can be leveled (interestingly, the church is
impervious to budding mech powered atheists) and like Blast Corp, theres more to
this game than just blowing things up. The game actually keeps track of the damage you do
on some levels, and if youre not careful it can actually count against you. I really
appreciated the fact that when you level a building, it stays leveled no matter how many
times you exit and reenter an area.
like every week theres a new game for the PS2 that raises the bar for PS2 graphics.
Well, this week its ZOE. Bar none, this has some of the nicest graphics that
youre going to find on the PS2. If you want to show off your system, this is the
game to do it with. The explosions alone enough to woo you. There wasnt a hint of
slowdown in the game.
action isnt completely unrelenting. Sometimes you do have to take a break from
blowing things up and hunt down various items to get you through to the next level. In
order to progress through the game, you will have to revisit cleared areas to get
necessary passcodes and items. Unfortunately, you may find yourself spending an inordinate
amount of time just looking around for that one item you need. And each time you reenter
an area all of the opponents respawn, so you literally feel like youre playing the
same level again and again. A few more hints about where you needed to go and what you
needed to do would have been much appreciated.
the Enders is a little short and a little repetitive. Some of the levels look pretty
similar, and I would have liked to have seen more variety in the robots that you battle,
but these are all problems that could be remedied with the sequel (heavily hinted at in
the games final scenes).
got sucked into this one. In all honesty, after I got past the amazing graphics on MGS2, I
got pretty bored. Zone of the Enders grabbed me right from the start and didnt let
me go until the final battle. Its a pretty easy game to sum up: Big robots, cool
graphics, and fantastic gameplay. You could accuse me of being a shallow gamer, to which I
would reply, "If I have to work hard to enjoy it, it cant be much of a
game." ZOE is all fun and no work. What more can I say? This is a game that could
have and should have stood on its own. Fifty bucks is too much to pay for Solid
Snakes brief adventure, but its just about right for Zone of the Enders.