Zone of the Enders 2

Zone of the Enders is the only title I’ve ever purchased that wasn’t even the best game in the box it shipped in. I’ve only been playing ZoE2 for two nights now, but so far it’s looking to be the game I really wanted ZoE to be.

This time around you’re forced to use the arsenal of moves and weapons at your disposal, as the enemies actually pose a threat. You won’t be able to get away with dash, dash, attack, repeat. They also throw a lot of them at you, so while the enemy AI isn’t superb, you’ll definitely have your hands full. I’m playing on normal and I’m getting my ass kicked.

It’s a Kojima game, so there are cutscenes. A lot of them. Fortunately, they’re all (with one exception) short. They do what they have to do, and then they let you play. And they’re also much easier to watch than that bratty kid from ZoE. Plus, the main character’s name is Dingo, so, you know…Dingo.

Anyway, am I the only one who’s picked this up so far? Did I mention it’s the best looking game I’ve seen on the PS2? Smooth framerate, lots of special effects, great looking mechs (frames, whatever). It’s absolutely beautiful, and it plays as good as it looks. Check it out.

My officemate has it, it’s freaking gorgeous and pretty darn fun too. I’ll be picking it up once I’ve cleared my game pile.

Got it, beat it, loved it.

Such an intense game, with so many memorable moments. Boss battles stole the show, and the effects being spewed out in those final few boss encounters were mindboggling.

Challenge level was quite nice, it really will hand your ass to you forcing you to adapt and wisen up to the patterns required, often a subweapon can really be the key to survival. I really loved pushing through this one.

So is the game longer than an hour?

GamePro says you can button mash through it in about six hours if you skip the cut scenes.

They also gave it the lowest score so far from all the reviews. Kind of strange because I’ve noticed that GamePro is often one that is giving out the higher scores.

Does it have a multiplayer mode like the first did? I’d look it up myself, but I’m way too lazy right now, up far too late with a multiplayer console gaming session. I played so much THPS3 last night that I was ollieing in my sleep! :shock:

–Dave

It does have a multiplayer mode pretty much just like the first one. I haven’t seen what frames are available in it…

Anyone know if most of the bosses are available in the vs mode?

I like this game more every time I play it. The packs of Raptors are not messing around, I’ve died a number of times already and I’m on Normal difficulty. Can’t wait to try Hard and Very Hard.

About the graphics: holy shit. There’s so much going on that you just keep noticing little touches and effects. I love how they’ve blended in some cel-shading effects for smoke and weapon trails, and the hand-drawn cutscenes not only look great, but they fit in perfectly. This is easily one of the best looking games on any system.

I guess if I had to complain about something, it would be the camera. Fortunately, I have a pretty high tolerance for wonky cameras in third person games, so it doesn’t bother me that much.

Why didn’t I call out today?

The versus mode lets you play with pretty much every major mecha in the game including bosses. Some require unlocking on a second playthrough though which I am currently working on.

There are MGS2:Substance-esque VR missions that unlock as well, most of them are pretty basic however but do offer an incentive to keep chugging along with Jehuty and co.

By far this is the best looking game the PS2 hardware has been able to churn out, just watch the visual ecstasy that occurs during the final battles! The particle effects and amount of color thrown haphazardy across the screen is dangerous for your optic nerves! Absolutely incredible.

Game only lasted about 10 hours or so, which is a fair bit longer than the original did. Expect quite a bit of extra hours logged just from dying and figuring out enemy patterns and strategies. This one will kill you.

Game only lasted about 10 hours or so

Does the back of the box say “Exponentially increased gameplay”? :roll:

My total clear time was 5 hours 1 minute. The only cutscenes I skipped were the ones that were in the demo, which I’d already seen a couple times.

Overall, the game is better than the first, as it keeps the focus on what the series does right–riotous robotic rampaging. The sub-weapons are largely the same as 1, but they seem to have more punch this time around. All of them are useful and fun to use, which was terrific. The vector cannon is kingly to be sure. Controls are excellent, especially considering how frenetic the game is.

The visual storytelling is very nice, but the writing is awful. I’m amazed the voice acting is as good as it is given the nonsensical lines they’re delivering.

The end bosses are graphically delightful, but they’re not fun to play due to simple patterns but loooooooong health bars. It ends up being both dull and frustrating becasue…

Spoiler

They take all your weapons(exept the sword) away for the last two battles! UGH!

Spoileroff

All in all, pretty good game. Absolutely worth a rental and there’s enough extras to help justify a purchase(maybe).

I rented it last night and hope to find time to play it this evening. Given how short it is, I hope to finish it before I have to take it back one week from today.

Thanks for all the opinions guys. I probably would’ve waited longer without reading all the good words here.

–Dave

I agree that the end-bosses can be pretty frustrating due to having so much health, and almost no freedom in your combat tactics due to limited features, but the actual pattern was such a rush! I had a solid good time dodging and counterstriking those blood blasts. A true showdown between the two superpowers that can’t be beaten with the ease of subweapon use. Maybe I just really got into the Zero Shift.

All in all I felt it could have been a bit longer. Unfortunately the bonus VR missions are kind of weak and uncreative especially in comparison to some of the stuff MGS2:Substance has you doing. Zoradius is a very cool bonus that I wish could have been fleshed out more than it was.

Much like Panzer Orta, it is a pretty unique and well crafted 3D shooter. It had me mesmerized from start to finish despite the horrendous quality of writing. That Pitch dark boss battle was astonishing, so much creative thought in this one.

Man, talk about eye bleeds from graphics. This game is just gorgeous. The motion is so fluid and yet incredibly detailed. I got down on Mars last night and died facing off against the Vic Viper (THE VIC FUCKING VIPER!) which was super cool.

There’s just something about the ZOE universe and the frames themselves that is instantly appealing to me. I like how the gameplay seems to be designed around the action and the abilities they wanted for the different frames rather than sitting down to write a story and shoehorning in gameplay where appropriate. That’s probably why people dislike MGS2. I think it followed a similar design and I love it for that reason. Gameplay is primarily superb but there’s this wacky story going on around it.

–Dave

Dave, did it take you long to get past those Raptors just before the fight with the Vic? I couldn’t believe I died so many times that early in a game. I only played about half-way through the first ZoE and never hit a challenge like that. And once you get going on Mars they start throwing swarms of mixed forces at you. This is going to be insane on Very Hard.

Actually yeah, until I yelled STFU! at ADA and started grabbing Raptors instead of trying to immobilize them with the Geyser. I literally cakewalked through that fight when I changed my strategy.

It didn’t tick me off either because grabbing, throwing and spinning violently with an enemy frame in my hands was so satisfying. I’m really glad the load times are pretty much non-existent when you die. You’re right back in the fight… that’s cool.

Did I mention how good this game looks? Sheesh…I needed a bowl to catch all the drool.

–Dave

Grabbing and throwing is a very welcome strategy to taking down those pesky foes like Raptors or Mummyheads. Later on you’ll get the Wisp subweapon which increases your throw capability to insane levels. (And beyond that, there are subweapons that will make you damn near untouchable) I almost wish they did lengthen the gametime a bit longer as it keeps throwing more abilities in your face with progress than you have actual level areas to test them out. Nevertheless, the game is an absolute rush to play.

That Vic Viper fight was great, (I just loved hearing him power up throughout the battle, 'Ripple! Missile!, Option!) it only gets crazier too, wait until you face Inhert and some of the larger campaign battles that appear closer to the end. The final battle is just oozing with all sorts of alpha and visual effects, the kind that can just screw with your rods and cones. It’s mesmerizing.

You bastards! I went out and bought this game during my lunch break. I blame my impending bankruptcy on the glowing recommendations of the folks here!!

You’re not gonna find any sympathy here. Within the next month I’ve got the new GBA, Pokemon, Amplitude, Raven Shield, Zelda, Ikaruga, and maybe Primal lined up. And I thought this would be the slow part of the year where I catch up with last winter…

Yeah, that bit right before Vic Viper was crazy hard at first, until I tried separating one enemy from the pack, then grabbing him and using him to beat the shit out of his buddies. Nice, that.

The story is so incredibly, stupidly convoluted it makes MGS2 look like the product of a positively lucid and disciplined storyteller. After about 3 cutscenes, you can’t help but look forward to what random, clumsy nonsense Kojima will pull next, in an attempt to justify varying the gameplay. What the hell was that crap with the guy hiding in the crate on the ship anyway? And do we really need 4 fruity-sounding acronyms in every other line of dialog?

All that shit is comic relief though, because the gameplay IS a blast, and the variety never feels “mini-game-ish” - it stays pretty rooted to the core gameplay mechanics while offering a few wrinkles for flavor. They expanded upon everything I enjoyed about the 1st one, and have only hamstrung me with that “protect the city!” noise on one level thus far (I’m only up to the train chase on Mars). Even then, I don’t think it was a deal breaker if you wanted to say “the hell with this” and just start chucking spiders into the nearest building, or using them to beat up on the friendly units. I could be wrong though - haven’t tried it. From what I’ve heard, it’s still a bit on the short side, but I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve played so far.