Simple controls help Zone of the Enders deliver
Platform: PlayStation 2
(IDG) -- Zone of the Enders is the finest mech-fighting game for the PlayStation 2 yet -- which probably isn't saying much considering its only competition is Armored Core 2. However, ZOE delivers on two fronts -- not only as a mech-sim, but as an action-adventure game, too, thanks to simple controls.
You're Leo, a youth who accidentally becomes the pilot of a giant mech -- called a Jehuty -- through a very long adventure. The game's biggest hook is the emphasis on action instead of on mech-maintenance and play techniques, with an easy-to-learn interface and responsive controls. Although ZOE is heavy on dialogue and has a tendency to be preachy, you'll quickly find yourself immersed in intense combat and high-tech weapons. The included Metal Gear Solid 2 demo doesn't hurt the overall package, either.
Zone of the Enders delivers slick, detailed visuals and flashy special effects. The only drawbacks are an abundance of jagged edges, draw-in problems, and fog.
Excellent sound effects are the audio track's high point, and the various character voices are backed by well-cast talent. The effects are combined with a repetitive techno-pop score.
Moving your Jehuty around is mostly a breeze. The most demanding -- and, at times, frustrating -- aspect is the cumbersome special-weapon selection where it's impossible to select immediately the weapon you want.
Zone of the Enders is an enjoyable action title that's easy to pick up and play. If you can get past the preachy narrative and dialogue, you'll be immersed in intense combat and cool weapons.
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