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Zone of Enders HD Collection PS3 Review - -
Zone of Enders HD Collection
Reviewed by
Cameron Grimes
Zone of Enders HD Collection PS3 Review. The Zone of the Enders HD Collection is once again a perfect way for fans of the original games to get a nostalgia fix, but this collection would have to be the weakest release thus far.

Gameplay 6.5
Graphics 6.0
Sound 6.0
Value 8.0
Distributor: Mindscape
Rating: M15+
Review Date: Dec 2012
Cameron Grimes


Zone of Enders HD Collection
Available on PS3  (reviewed), XBOX 360 & PS Vita

The recent surge of remastered editions of classic Playstation 2 titles has given faithful Sony fans hit after hit of nostalgia, and it continues with the release of the Zone of the Enders HD Collection. Not having played these games myself but having heard of their cult status, I was rather anxious to get stuck into this release. This collection comes with the original Zone of the Enders and its sequel The 2nd Runner, as well as a demo for the highly anticipated Metal Gear Rising. While the ZoE: HD Collection certainly is a beefy package, there's too much of a gap in terms of quality of the games, and even then both of the games have their own flaws, resulting in a sometimes inconsistent experience.


The ZoE games are all about robots shooting each other and little else. The original game has you play as Leo, a little boy who happens to discover the 'orbital frame' named Jehuty which assists him in fighting off the evil corporation known as BARHAM on his home planet of Mars. The 2nd Runner follows a somewhat similar premise, having you play as Dingo, an ice miner who stumbles upon Jehuty two years after the events of the first game, and is almost immediately attacked by BARHAM forces who still want the frame for themselves. While both games start almost the same way, The 2nd Runner is executed a lot better, giving players control of the character almost instantly, whereas in the first ZoE, there are some rather lengthy cut scenes to watch in order to get a grip of the story. Even after that the gameplay is constantly interrupted by conversations between Leo and Jehuty's computer, which in turn makes the short amount of gameplay available feel pointless early on.

Both games feature nearly almost identical gameplay, with both Leo and Dingo having to shoot and slash their way through countless of BARHAM robots and minions. What starts off as an intriguing premise quickly becomes stale, and you'll soon realise that after nearly 5 hours of gameplay (in both titles), you'll still be fighting the same waves of enemies, albeit being slightly tougher. While it can become quite tense in some situations when you're outnumbered ten to one, it doesn't stop this HD Collection from becoming old fast.


In my opinion the quality of the visuals in the remastered collection has been quite remarkable. Unfortunately the ZoE Collection fails to live up to the rest of the releases. The first game in particular features some rather muddy and blocky textures, and the environments are so dark and confusing to navigate it can become quite frustrating. While The 2nd Runner features some rather substantial improvements in presentation, itís bogged down by a poor frame rate which changes at the drop of a hat, making it difficult to take on a large wave of enemies in any sort of environment. Whatís shocking to realise is that the game actually runs worse than the original Playstation 2 versions, which is unacceptable considering the age of the Playstation 3 and the already low quality of graphics seen in this collection. The most impressive thing about the gameís presentation is how the great anime cut scenes have managed to hold up after all these years; theyíre extremely entertaining to watch.  


Thereís plenty of dialogue in the ZoE Collection but most of it is downright cheesy. Although everything the characters say is in context, the way itís delivered results in some serious moments becoming rather humorous. Characterís  say ĒdamnitĒ in an anything but serious tone when they die like itís not that big of a deal, and some of the sentences the characters say are poorly structured as if the voice actors forgot that the sentence wasnít finished. On the other hand the gameís soundtrack is done rather well. Fast paced electronic music is played as you fight off enemies, making combat a lot more engaging than it should be, and some of the orchestral pieces used in emotional cut scenes are quite spectacular. Itís just a shame that the bad voice acting kills the mood on more than one occasion. 

Final Thoughts 

The Zone of the Enders HD Collection is once again a perfect way for fans of the original games to get a nostalgia fix, but this collection would have to be the weakest release thus far. A choppy frame rate, inconsistency between games and a lacklustre presentation prevent it from being as satisfying for fans as it should have been.


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