Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Reader Review
You know i generally play games for fun. I know this is true of most gamers, however what i mean is, the majority of games now a days take stupid hours to complete every single side mission and collect every little thing.. I tend to complete the story and then never play it again.
The enjoyment of a game usually, for me at least, goes into tedium after that point.
However I keep coming back to Zone of the enders: 2nd Runner.
First of all The lush art direction is enough to make any mecha fan wet their pants, The only game i have seen that managed to get cell shading spot on.. no big black lines or lack of shading.. its a nice balance between 3d objects and anime styling, simply beautiful.
The game runs on a modified version of the Metal Gear Solid 2 engine, which as any ps2 owner can tell you looks fantastic, and ZOE2 has some really nice particle effects and explosions.
The original ZOE had a lot of issues control wise.. you could go through most of the game just dashing and firing lasers, which made all the sub-weapons a little pointless. In this sequel the controls seem spot on, and most of the sub-weapons are simply brilliant, most notably later on you get "zero shift" which lets you warp immediately to the next enemy, which means huge chains of constant battling. There is also the adition of using enemies and scenery as weapons which is a lot of fun.. Simply the combat accurately re-creates action scenes from mecha anime, and places you right in the thick of it.
Plot is vastly improved from the original game, no more whiney 14 year old pilot, its still not the best story in the world, but is a very good excuse for some Robot action.
A lot of people have complained about the length of the game, as it generally takes around 5 - 8 hours on first play through, and afterwards you can get through it in about 2 hours when you know what your doing.. which is pretty shocking. However the replay in this game is very high, there are lots of Extended missions where you have to beat high scores etc, and the usual boss survival mode etc..
The games only flaw is really this length, even those who want to do the extra stuff might still be disappointed, but I still feel this is the best action game i have ever played. Its more accessible than Devil May Cry, and yet has many challenges for the more hardcore.
All in all the best attempt at unrealistic Mech combat on a console. Highly recommended, and also very rare, not many copies were pressed, but if you can get your hands on it, get it!
9 / 10