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Avatar ImageReview: Zone of the Enders HD
By: | November 14th, 2012 | Xbox 360
Review |X360

When the original Zone of the Enders was released on PS2, many people referred to it as the “Metal Gear Solid 2 demo with the free game.” Fortunately, while that was the primary reason I picked it up, ZOE ended up being a surprisingly quality game.

Years later, Zone of the Enders 2 proved to trump the sequel in pretty much every way possible. The recently released Zone of the Enders HD contains both of these classics, and not much else — so as you can imagine, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Pretty much everything is how you remember it, outside of a simple, short, new HD intro. This is a simple collection of the two games in the series, and not much more. The original ZOE, while fairly revolutionary and beautiful at the time, isn’t much to marvel at today.

The new HD sheen isn’t really that much of an upgrade, and the pacing can be fairly slow at times (repetition will set in) — plus before you know it, the game is pretty much over — cliffhanger and all. Sadly, it just hasn’t aged that well; end of story.

Zone of the Enders 2 on the other hand, is easily the highlight of the package. Even today, the sleek anime cutscenes and cel-shaded graphics still hold up, to the point where I consider it “required reading” for action fans — it’s just that good.

The pacing, acting, and action are all very well done, and after completing the game, you can easily see why people are pining over a Zone of the Enders 3. The environments are much more varied, you actually care about a fair few of the characters, and Jehuty’s upgraded abilities allow for more complex gameplay options. Make no mistake — if you haven’t already played it, you need to experience ZOE 2.

The only problem is, this new HD version of ZOE 2 in particular has frame-rate issues at high octane moments that the original didn’t have. It’s a rather odd situation to say the least, and not the first time Konami has injected extra problems into an HD re-release.

Another negative in the entire package is the lack solid online functionality, which, while not required in my mind, would have been a nice ancillary addition to the package. Expansive leaderboards, advanced online play options, and any other extras would have made this a great double or triple-dip for previous owners.

As it stands, it’s hard to recommend this to people who already own both games. There is some good news however, as the HD edition does include a few extra missions and difficulty levels that were exclusive to the Eastern release of the game — so if you’re a hardcore ZOE junkie, you’ll probably want the chance to take a crack at the new difficulties.

The packed-in Metal Gear Rising demo (which is a separate disc), while not worth the price of entry alone, is easily worth checking out. It’s fairly meaty (about an hour of content with a few deaths), and gives you a decent look at what the game will offer in 2013 — sadly, you can’t play it on hard mode, which detracts greatly from the prospect of multiple playthroughs.

At the end of the day, you may be better off just getting Zone of the Enders II on the cheap for PS2 if you can find it. Although I will always cherish the original ZOE, I wouldn’t heartily recommend it to everyone today, and the lack of extras in the HD edition of the game is fairly disheartening.

This review is based on a physical copy of Zone of the Enders HD for the Xbox 360.

  1. avatar Sunil

    How do I ship an xbox to xbox support?Ok, so my xbox 360 donset read the disc and I want to send it to xbox support so they will fix it and give it back but i dont know how to do that. can someone please tell me what you have to do. best description of how to do it will get the ten points.

    • avatar Syahif

      She is an absolute cutie!!! Your pics are batueiful only you see the lighting imperfections!! Maybe you should start gradually sitting with her more and more before you fly. She should be able to feel secure that she is safe when you sit the more she experiences it. Been thinking about you guys Can’t wait to meet D and see Z!

  2. avatar Rahul

    about what i had to take off the 360 before i sent it in. Can somoene tell me what i should do before i send it in?did you hear them say anything about your face plate?did you hear them say anything about your face plate?

    • avatar Seda

      Hey! This post could not be written any bteter! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    • avatar Lashonda

      Love the photos. Especially the black and white of Qin Qin and Zoe on the bed. Michele, you’re doing great! One day at a time she’s going to get more and more used to you, and soon you’ll reziale she’s fallen in love with you.Hope you got some sleep. XXXOO

    • avatar Well

      I know you don’t want to hear it, but you well know that this is actually the PERFECT satiution as far as Qin attitude goes .she is going to love her family FIERCELY and in the end that is all that matters. It is SO hard to get to that point, and mentally, physically and emotionally draining on all those involved.I feel so terrible for Zoe, it has to be so hard for her. She has waited so long for her sister and now it is probably not what she envisioned. But it will be soon. This might be a really good experience for her to understand the process she went through and how it all works out beautifully in the end. Glad she has a friend is it Adrienne? How awesome for the both of them. Shelba you do make it look easy even though we all know it SO is not easy. Hang in there and know we are all thinking of you, sending you good vibes and thoughts. You have two beautiful girls!!!xo

  3. avatar Geraldo Bane

    I keep trying to subscribe to your Letters thing, but there’s nowhere to do so! After i sign in, under the MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION backlink, there’s only my Book Club subscription. How do I add the Letters thing for $5?

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