Day 9 of 31 – Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner

All the way to Day 9? I’m actually sort of impressed with the crew. Good job, guys!

 

 

If you can’t read the text in the image, I apologize as marquee photos of this game are kind of hard to come by. Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner (or Anubis in Japan) is the sequel to the Playstation 2 launch title Zone of the Enders. It’s also one of my top three favorite video games of all time and currently occupies the #1 slot of my own personal “Greatest Games No One Knew About” list. The first ZOE game was a decent effort for a launch title but was more memorable to gamers as “that game with the robots that came with the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo disc” which was a pity. When ZOE2 hit the shelves, it wasn’t a particularly widely touted game but those who were in the know were treated to much faster game play, a more fleshed out and expanded story, shinier graphics, new weapons and powers and a more optimized mech combat gaming experience. I first heard about it when my cousin from Canada visited for Christmas one year and happened to have the game with him. I hadn’t heard ANYTHING about it at that point, apart from a small blurb in a gaming magazine, so when he fired it up, it was a wholly satisfying and surprising experience. My brother and I ended up playing the hell out of it so much that when my cousin returned home after the holidays, he left it to us with the words “I was going to sell it back since I was done with it but I’d rather leave it to people who love playing it that much.” That sentiment holds true for me even now, as I fire ZOE2 up from time to time just to play through it again (as it is quite short). I have a pretty incredible amount of fan-nerd-ness for this franchise with a particular emphasis on ZOE2. The way it ties into it’s predecessor but still takes on a story of its own, the huge battles, memorable characters, the soundtrack and hybrid of rail shooter and open wandering game play are things that just combine together almost seamlessly to form the incredible story of the Orbital Frames Jehuty and Anubis, their runners and the larger conflict that the world around them that they are simultaneously the center of. It’s a game that shouldn’t be missed AND lest we forget, a HD Collection of the Zone of the Enders games was announced and is slated to hit the shelves in Fall of 2012. Hopefully, the sales and interest generated are enough that Hideo Kojima sees fit to green light what Β fans of his and of the ZOE series have been clamoring for for years now; Zone of the Enders 3.Β 

-Evo out.

 

Well it’s about time we talk about this awesome title! Zone of The Enders from my point of view, has got to be one of the most creative games I have ever played that revolved around giant robots. The first installment of the series was indeed a sleeper hit, mostly because it was probably out-shined by the demo disc of Metal Gear Solid 2 that was included with the game (REALLY? A DEMO DISC? COME ON PEOPLE!). However, when the second game came out for the series, I was blown away by how amped up the battle system of this game was. It was MUCH more fast-paced and it was very much enjoyable. I especially loved how I could grab enemies and repeatedly press the Circle button to almost comically spin them around and throw them into a wall (or other enemies for that matter). I also found it hilarious that you could also use enemies as melee weapons by grabbing them and using the attack button to swing them around, but my favorite thing about this game was the unique design of some of the robots. When I see the main robots Jehuty and Anubis with those lines of energy coursing through their bodies, it gives me an idea on how powerful and badass these two are. Seriously, it’s like they are giving a message to others saying, “if you %*@# with us, were gonna beat the living hell out of you”. This kind of attention to detail to the characters and the other robots and craft made me into a fan immediately and I have been drooling over it ever since. All in all, Zone of The Enders is one hell of an underrated series. It has been hiding behind the shadows of some of Konami’s best titles and has yet to see the light of day. Hopefully with the release of the HD collection in the fall this year, people will finally give the proper attention to this awesome masterpiece and maybe, just maybe, like my brother said, long time fans like he and I will be able to finally play Zone of The Enders 3.

–James B. Boss

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