Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Mech Week : Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
Zone of the Enders is made of so much concentrated awesome, it's barely describable. For Metal Warriors I chose the game play more or so than the mechs themselves, sure they are cool but not menacingly cool like Evas or like the ones I'm going to be talking about here. There are other games of the Zone of the Enders series, which is logically the first game and a hand held which I haven't played. The first game is good but it simply isn't a refined as the second, for obvious reasons being the second and all. There is an anime based on the game, kinda of a prequel, but sadly I haven't been able to track it down. Anyways, it's simply incredible gaming experience, all from the mind of Kojima of course (pre-head inflated phyco). A must play on the PS2
The game oddly starts with you piloting this hunk of junk called a LEV that wobbles along in a blizzard storm, so you are hunting down a perfect place to mine ice or something. Really lame I wanted to stop playing after the first 15 seconds, wobbling around barely able to jump was a pain. But, suddenly you get a signal on your radar, find something strange (Of course!). It's an Orbital Frame, which essential kick ass compared the LEVs (LEVs later become red shirts in a way), they're way more powerful with flying capabilities and much more. After the little training with your new Orbital Frame, your are taken aboard what was attacking you a giant BAHRAM ship (Big evil military corporation). So you meet old friends from you old military days, and well unexpectedly get shot multiple times in the torso. Whats amazing about being shot in the torso? That it's all in anime, yes amazing anime cutscenes! So after being shot in the torso, multiple times, you are revived and placed inside the Orbital Frame know as Jehuty. But you can't get out because it powers your life supports, so something about this girls father (I stopped caring at this point I wanted to drive the damn thing), so she's forcing you to do her dirty work. Since you can't get out the Frame, why not? Anyways I made brief mention of the story, but really it is fantastic. Made from when Kojima still had some mojo left in him, and instead of making no sense at all, it made kinda of sense.
On to the gameplay! Now imagine this; Dragonball Z but with Mechs...and you have Zone of the Enders! At a glance theres a simple beat-em up, but at the core there's something way more thrilling and enjoyable. You are equipped with a bunch of default weapons, firstly the energy shield which can block most light-medium attacks. You can also shoot small energy bullets to pick off smaller enemies, or you can lock onto a numerous number and unleash a massive homing attack, really impressive to watch. You can also charge a massive energy orb with your hand and launch it for a devastating attack, even cooler to watch! The really impressive part is the blade attached to its arm, you can slice and dice enemies with lighting speed! Once again impressive to watch. OH! Almost forgot one feature of this mech! The hands! So you can basically pick up a bunch of stuff, even enemies and use them as a weapon, shield or projectile. The projectile is especially fun to watch, you tap on the assigned button to start spinning so it essentially protects you from small attacks and hits everything in radius and finally you can trow it with great vigor at anything you want. You do also have sub weapons, only a few are useful but one is really beyond awesome, its this giant canon that can destroy anything really. The whole game is just fun to watch really.
Something that really stands out for me is the boss battles. I do love Capcoms approach of bigger the better but in Zone of the Enders with the type of game that it is that wouln't of work as well. Most boss battles are against other Orbital Frames, so it is really an equal match and the best man win. They pulled it off amazingly, one battle stands out, you're fighting in complete darkness and the only light is from the sparks of your swords clashing together. Truly an amazing battle you really feel like you are battle in the dark for your life. Some fights need pure skill and reflex while other require more of a tactical approach. All and all, the game shined in the boss battles. As for the multiplayer, one on one, you'd think it would work but there simply something wrong with it and I can't put my finger on it exactly.
Now for the actual design of the mechs, they bring a new meaning to the word "cockpit", seriously the cockpit is directly located in the crotch area. They're so sleek, with the added energy lines and how to ripple trough is pure eye candy. By far this is my favorite design for a mech ever. Not only that but the animations are incredible and for the first time they make you feel like you are in full control of a mech and not a bumbling machine, the sense of speed is way better demonstrated then even some racers out there. There isn't only you're mech Jehuty that's cool looking, there are a bunch of others that are as equally cool in their own respect. The mix of speed, boss battles and the cool sleekness of the mechs is what made the list.
Side note : Might not post tomorrow.