Friday, 6 December 2013
Review: Zone Of The Enders HD Collection (Ps3)
For those just seeking clarification on the v2.0 patch though, if you skip to the third paragraph that details graphics & sound you'll find what you seek. Lets begin the review for those still here. Throughout the Zone of the Enders series, The story usually focuses on 2 specific Orbital Frames; 'Jehuty' and 'Anubis', created as part of the Aumaan project as 'keys'. In the original game, BAHRAM forces attacks Jupiter's colony Antilia to secure the two Frames killing several civilians in the process. One of the few survivors, Leo Stenbuck, finds Jehuty and uses it to stop the BAHRAM soldiers. The sequel Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is set 2 years after the original and follows a former BAHRAM named Dingo Egret who finds the hidden Jehuty on Callisto. Dingo is found by his former group whose leader Nohman requests that he rejoins them. Dingo's refusal to go back to BAHRAM results in Nohman shooting him. Interestingly, Nohman's underling Ken saves Dingo's by connecting his body to Jehuty and requests his help to defeat Nohman. To be honest, I really enjoy the story & world created for this series. For me its some of Kojima's best work. While both games feature the MGS style dialougue sequences, each portrays its story in a different way. The original game goes for CGI cinematics (which don't look to be remastered at all for this release) to tell its story while its sequel instead chooses to use anime sequences for cinematics. ZOE 2 tends to feature more cinematics and has a more fleshed out story than the original though and builds upon the themes present in the original release too. Which story you'd prefer is purely subjective. ZOE has a more slower paced, personal story while ZOE 2 is epic, full of twists & turns to keep you engrossed. The structure for each game is also different. ZOE has a more 'open' structure, offering a central hub that you can glide in before entering a level. ZOE 2 on the other hand doesn't have this. Instead it has a level structure which makes it seem linear as a consequence. The only consequence of the 'open' structure of the original is that it doesn't always notify you of where your next objective is, which means on your first playthrough you'll be revisiting areas in the hope it triggers the next event. Not a deal breaker by any means though. Its the story modes for the games itself that present probably their biggest issue - Length. Both games can be completed in about 4 hours each for those returning. Granted, if you immerse yourself in the story it will take longer than that as dialogue & cinematics add much story to the game. For some though, it could be an issue. For a first time playthrough for a newcomer your probably looking at about 12 hours altogether (as long as your not on easy) which isn't too bad by today's standards (eg a Call of Duty can be done in 5/6 hours on its first run) Its only when you have already done a run of the game and know how to tackle situations that the length starts to drop. There is much replay value for each game though as you will unlock more characters for the Versus mode. Versus is a 1 or 2 player arena battle against each other, or an AI, using whichever mechs you have unlocked. Unlocking these is done by completing the single player story modes. The ZOE 2 release here is also the European release so it features all the extra content that we had on our shores previously (extra Jehuty models to play as etc) While the games length will become shorter the more playthroughs you do, the additional content and setting/story for each game will keep you coming back for more (Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner also includes an unlockable 3D remake of the original Gradius arcade video game called Zoradius) I found ZOE 2 in particular to be incredibly engrossing with its story. Like the original, it builds to an epic conclusion but here it maintains a good pace on the story at all times too. The gameplay is also of a very high standard.
With each game being a classic in there own way, having them bundled together in the same package is a joy to behold. While the length of the titles are questionable & may raise some concern, It shouldn't deter most people away from what is a superbly engrossing series that will reward re-playability. Kojima produces some of his best work here that still continues to impress, even today, in that this HD Collection doesn't seem at all out of place when compared to its modern peers.
一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 /00
Footnote: As you've probably guessed Im more fond of 2, but I have spoken to people who prefer the original so its purely subjective which is best which is why Ive looked at this review more as a complete package. If you intend to play the game without a patch, or are looking at the Xbox360 version (the patch was Ps3 exclusive), take a point off the score for the issues that will be apparent on ZOE 2 otherwise.