Monday, May 30, 2011

Zone of Enders

One of the best mecha action game

Shortly after Kotobukiya announce they would release Jehuty i tried to play this game. Since i don't have my PS2 in my current place i used emulator instead and it is quite hard to get the game run due to demanding specs of the game but i managed to get it running smoothly in the end. I have to say the quality of the game is really amazing despite it is released on early years of PS2. Compared to ACE, ZOE wins in big margin if only the playtime is long enough.

The ZOE settings takes place in few hundred years in the future where Human are able to settle in space where they build Space colonies across Solar System. The story takes place in a Jupiter colony where there are sudden invasion from humanoid giants and a mysterious green mecha known as Jehuty are activated during the incident.

The main character in the first game is Leo who is typical whiny teenager protagonist in mecha series. He incidentally came into the Jehuty cockpit in the middle of the chaos and quickly make short work out of the enemies. He hold his idealism not to kill his opponent which makes him argue ADA for several time. He had his character developed but he is still pretty terrible and the voice acting even make things even worse.

Another main character in this game would be ADA, the sophisticated AI of Jehuty which is capable of thinking and decision making. I would say ADA is considered to be main character since she is the one who had real character development in the game. Near end of the game Leo and her develop strong bond of friendship.

The reasons why this game is really good despite the short time are due to graphics and gameplay. Graphic is really amazing which is hardly to believe that this game made on 2001, the special effects makes you wonder whether you are watching movie or playing the game. As for gameplay it is pretty revolutionary for such genre while the control is simple you can perform crazy actions from the scheme. The mecha itself is pretty original and Jehuty is one heck of sexy beast, Yoji Shinkawa did amazing job on mecha design nonetheless which is why Linebarrel designs are inspired from this series. Hideo Kojima did really amazing as producer for this game which make me wonder how much he is involved for this game.

The ZOE gameplay is 3rd person action where you visit maps to maps to defeat the enemies. Throughout the game you will have to perform missions to progress through the game and sometimes there will be rescue mission where you need to minimize casualties as less as possible.

There is a small overworld in this game where you travel from areas to areas and sometimes you need to backtrack to the place you previously visit to continue to the story. Jehuty travels on the overworld by its flightmode where it stretches its body abit.

Jehuty will find powerups throughout the game which some of them are key items and sometimes you need to kill the enemies in order to unlock the item. In this game the only way to recover your health is by killling some enemies which let you recover a portion of your health or obtaining the metatron ore which is the blue cube found in areas.

The battle system in this game is fairly simple as you use only single button to attack, the types of the attack depends on your current condition where you shoot in the distance or engage in close combat when you are close to the enemy. You can also shoot laser projectiles while you are running which serve as good distraction.

The second type of attack is charged attack where it is slow but hits really hard. Probably you will rely on these attacks alot to kill your opponents especially for the bosses. Another information about the enemies that there are only 3 types of grunt in this game though they are pretty tough opponents when their level gets high enough.

Jehuty also got some subweapons which are mostly not useful but handul of them are quite useful. Probably the best subweapon in this game are either Gauntlet or Bounder. While in the close range Jehuty throw the enemy instead of using the subweapon.

The bosses in this game are not that hard as long as you know what are you doing considering even in the story itself Jehuty is known as one of the best machine. After the first boss you won't fight any bosses until near the end of the game.

However you won't be able to defeat the final boss as the story implies it. You will fight Anubis the counterpart of Jehuty and your aim is to survive until the time ends. Just like Jehuty, Anubis design is pretty awesome as well.

The first ZOE doesn't feel like a game as it seems to be demo version of the actual game due to short playtime. I want to try ZOE 2 which even had more awesome graphics but probably i will have to wait until i went home and play it on my PS2 since the game is too heavy for my PC to run. Nevertheless i strongly recommend to play this game since the production quality is really good and if you had played Another Century Episode(ACE) before you will like this game as well.

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