Review – Zone of the Enders HD Collection (Part 2)

What’s good, guys? Joshua Evo back again with Part 2 of my Zone of the Enders HD Collection review. This time, we’re going to take a look at the second game of the series, Zone of the Enders, The 2nd Runner.

My apologies for the huge delay on Part 2, it’s been pretty busy around here as of late. Anyway, let’s get right into the review. ZoE: t2R, apart from obviously being the sequel to the original Zone of the Enders, is widely considered the better of the two games due to things like its much faster pace, wider array of enemies and refined character designs and overall look. The cutscenes had been changed from 3D CG models to a more traditional anime look and the dubbing (while still pretty comical) was improved. Particularly Nohman’s voice characterization, which was SO over the top that you almost had to admire how nutso the guy was. Much different from a voice over the radio that you never saw, like he was in the first game. This time around, the game focuses on the character of Dingo Egret, former BAHRAM soldier turned mining man, who happens to find himself (not unlike Leo Stenbuck from the first game) in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dingo, being the army-hardened-soul-hiding-a-traumatic-past, climbs into the cockpit of our old friend Jehuty and must battle his way out using the skills the combat skills he mastered in his time as one of the enemy.

As well as those mad brooding skills that round out his anime roots.

Like Zone of the Enders HD, 2nd Runner HD is simply that, an HD version of the original game. As I stated previously, aside from the Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance demo, t2R is the primary reason that gamers picked up the ZOE HD collection so obviously, the HD remastering of this game was treated with heavy attention to detail…Β 

…one would think.

If you’re a regular and astute reader, you’d realize that this is one of the FEW reviews where I didn’t say which console version of the game I reviewed. That’s because I have such reverence for the series that I got it on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and will be discussing both. There was a lot of talk before the release of this game that the Xbox 360 version was the superior one, as the PS3 version was said to have severe lag and frame drop issues. Upon firing up the PS3, Xbox 360 and PS2 versions, I found out that while not game-breakingly severe, the PS3 version did in fact suffer from some pretty nasty lag issues. The Xbox 360 version also has some lag but it doesn’t seem as bad.Β There’s also a few fairly obvious graphical issues, particularly during a main story point where Dingo visits his mentor, Lloyd.

A 1.0.1 patch has since been released and fixes some of the lag and frame rate issues. Now, I must stress, this are hardly issues that anyone would consider game-breaking, more and that the collection (Limited Edition or otherwise) definitely still warrants a purchase for anyone who was a fan of the original games or just missed out on them the first time. As touted, the version of the game included on the HD collection is the UK version of the game and does indeed have added difficulty levels and generally feels tougher than its PS2 counterpart. Some of the levels have also been lengthened with new battle sequences that do a decent job of throwing in more action for players to enjoy. The game also retains a solid amount of unlockable content which encourages multiple playthroughs and a relatively fun VS mode. As with ZOE HD, trophy support was also added to t2R and further extends the replay value of the game. All of these great gameplay elements, topped off with a very manageable price tag make the ZOE HD Collection a worthy addition to any gamer’s library.

— Evo out

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