Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Zone of the Enders HD Collection

Review: Zone of the Enders HD Collection

2:00 PM on 11.24.2012 // Brett Zeidler

Mecha action brought up to speed

Zone of the Enders was a welcome departure from Hideo Kojima's legendary brainchild Metal Gear Solid back in 2001. While a stark contrast to tactical espionage action, Z.O.E. always weirdly felt like it could easily fit into MGS' universe and fiction, no doubt stemming from Yoji Shinkawa's beautiful design on the games' mecha.

The series isn't perfect, but anyone who played either Zone of the Enders or Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner certainly remembers their time with the titles. This has kept a strong following for the series and demand for a third entry, which has finally started development as of May this year. Now we have the solid Zone of the Enders HD Collection to help tide us over until the aforementioned project is in our hands.

Zone of the Enders HD Collection (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])
Developer: Kojima Productions, High Voltage Software 

Publisher: Konami
Release: October 30, 2012
MSRP: $39.99

If you're intimately familiar with these games after playing them countless times on your PlayStation 2, yes, these are the exact same games you remember. They stay true to the originals by keeping the exact same content, but upgrading the textures, smoothing out the jaggies, and expanding the aspect ratio to widescreen. These are the games you know and love, looking more beautiful than ever before. Read on for more technical details.

The first Zone of the Enders was developed concurrently alongside Metal Gear Solid 2. Even back in 2001, it was clear which was neglected in design and budget. The story was a mess and, frankly, wasn't interesting at all (voice acting was equally painful to listen to). It follows Leo as a group of his friends are killed, and he happens upon Jehuty (your Orbital Frame from here on out) and its AI A.D.A., where they go on adventure not unlike Zelda where you must find particular upgrades so the ship can leave the Jupiter colony installation in one piece. The climax never really comes to a satisfying resolution, and the player can never really feel bothered to care for the characters.

It was the gameplay and the visuals that kept players invested. I can even recall a time when I thought it was the best-looking game I ever saw up to that point. Combat was quick, sleek, and made the player feel like a badass. Even though the player never meets any new enemies, and the camera can prove to be a problem occasionally, fighting always felt right. There is nothing quite as satisfying as pulling out insane combos with your sword, backing off to fire a few shots, boosting to the side to launch some rockets, and finishing it all off with a final strike. All in beautiful HD now, to boot.

No other game (that I know of) to this day plays like Zone of the Enders. It holds up remarkably well, save for the awful story and voice acting. The game's aesthetic looks better than it ever has -- colors just pop with the increased resolution. Only the game's cinematics were not able to receive the HD treatment. But really, there isn't much reason to watch them anyway.

Flash forward ahead to 2003, and Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner took everything that was said about the first Z.O.E. above, but multiplied it by ten. Even the PS2 version still looks gorgeous now. Kojima Productions went with a cel-shaded look where particle effects glow and shine through all of the action perfectly, and there's much more variety in the environments which all helps to create a perfect storm of eye candy in HD. The anime cinematics were also redone in full HD this time around, so nothing was left untouched when it came out of its time capsule.

The story and voice acting are slightly better in this sequel, but there's still not much that can be said about them. It's all very forgettable. Again, it's the gameplay that makes all of the same problems passable. Combat moves much, much faster than in the first title, and the game will throw many more enemies at you than before. Good thing Jehuty has a revitalized moveset and array of weapons to take care of them like it's nothing.

This is the best way to experience mecha action that no other game can offer like Z.O.E. But if you just want to catch up on the series, High Voltage Software did an amazing job bringing these cult classics up to speed on the Xbox 360. Be warned, however, that the PlayStation 3 version (which we did not play for review) is well-documented to have a significantly lower performance.

If you're an old fan, dedicated fan, or a would-be brand new fan of the series, Zone of the Enders HD Collection is easily worth your time and money, especially with the inclusion of the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance demo and The 2nd Runner alone.



Zone of the Enders HD Collection - Reviewed by Brett Zeidler
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Brett Zeidler, Contributor and Engineer
 Follow Blog + disclosure BrettZeidler Tips
Destructoid's Resident Baby/Super Contributor. Musician. Computer Science Student. Panda, corgi, burrito, iced tea enthusiast. Praise Yeezus. more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Zone of the Enders HD Collection

  May 03

The new Zone of the Enders game is on hold

I think I heard a piece of my childhood cry

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

I Haz Kickstarter!

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

Insidia REVIEW - A whole dark, gloomy, and kinda creepy world to explore

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Been playing Gears of War 3's campaign on Xbox One. Looks great on there, and Sam's voice actor is Chloe's voice actor in Uncharted 2/3. Hell yeah!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: With all the controversy surrounding review scores, what do you personally consider a "bad" score versus a "good" score? Is there a game in particular that was panned by critics that you nevertheless enjoyed? Or vice versa?
TheVeganGamer avatarTheVeganGamer
Finally got around to playing Diablo 3 with some friends, holy smokes! That game is rad!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -