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Zone of the Enders (PlayStation 2) artwork

Zone of the Enders (PlayStation 2) review


"While most reviews are inclined to credit Zone of the Enders as the work of Hideo Kojima. His association is nothing more than an endorsement for the game rather than something you could truly consider as the mastermind of his work. Instead, the idea for the game came from one of Kojima's disciples. Zone of the Enders has the dubious honor of being called a Hideo Kojima game without much involvement from the man himself. His name only appeared twice during the ending credits..."



While most reviews are inclined to credit Zone of the Enders as the work of Hideo Kojima. His association is nothing more than an endorsement for the game rather than something you could truly consider as the mastermind of his work. Instead, the idea for the game came from one of Kojima's disciples. Zone of the Enders has the dubious honor of being called a Hideo Kojima game without much involvement from the man himself. His name only appeared twice during the ending credits. One was for creating the game's opening movie while the other was for assuming the role as producer. Up until that point, the self-indulgent game designer had wrote, directed, and produced virtually every game he had a major part in. This changed with Zone of the Enders. For once, Kojima relinquished writing and directorial duties to his development staff.

That isn't to say the Kojima influences aren't there. Zone of the Enders follows the same blueprint with big robots, melodramatic characters, convoluted plot twists, Hollywood kitsch, and even more robots! No doubt, the game's main attraction are the exquisitely crafted mechs which were modeled by Yoji Shinkawa, the character designer for Metal Gear Solid. The mechs in Zone of the Enders are called Orbital Frames. Their designs have much in common with mecha animes such as Gundam, but with a few interesting quirks.

For instance, the surface of their entire armor have branch-like vein patterns that glow as an energy current courses through them. The effect is like the sheen a peacock feather produces when it flares its feathers. The Orbital Frame's design share the likenesses and names of Egyptian deities. They also have a leaner and curvier build compared to other mechs that give it a slightly more feministic appearance. However, don't let looks decieve you. These Orbital Frames are not lightweights. In fact, they are some of the fastest, most aerodynamically agile fighters in the mecha world.

Mech games tend to feel clunky, but rarely have you played a mech game that controls fast and effortlessly. With its speed, Jehuty can easily find an opening in the enemy's defenses then seize the opportunity by slicing and hurling bursts of energy at its mechanical opponents. The action can best be described as two robots doing an aerial tango in space.

Unfortunately, what Z.o.E lacks are the personal touches Kojima is known for. The mind-bending fourth-wall moments and the edginess synonymous of his previous works are not present here. It's also obvious Z.o.E. was aimed at a much younger audience. As much as I wanted to force myself to like Z.o.E, my feelings grew even more distant and cold. Most of the problems stem from the game's reluctant protagonist, Leo Stenbuck. Granted he is only just a prepubescent boy, I just couldn't come to terms with his annoying personality.

Rating: 6/10

jiggs's avatar
Community review by jiggs (January 03, 2010)

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zippdementia posted January 08, 2010:

Whoa, what happenedhere, Jiggs? This is an incomplete review if ever I saw one. And it was holding my attention, too.
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jiggs posted January 08, 2010:

i was going through some personal problems at the time that kept distracting me from writing it. sorry to leave you hanging. i only posted it so i could just "show" up for the contest. this is one i'm definitely going to have to revisit and polish up some more. i'll let you know when i do a major update on it or i may just delete and resubmit it again at a future time.


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