HD collections seem to be popping up everywhere these days. One has to wonder if these “collections” are attempts at cashing in on consumer nostalgia or if they are genuine offerings of fan service. The answer to that question varies game to game and in the case of Zone of the Enders HD Collection it appears to be service.
The original Zone of the Enders and its sequel Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner were well liked back in the days of the PlayStation 2. And why wouldn’t they be? They are after all predicated on one of the universal truths of gaming: Giant fighting mechs in space, good. ZOE and 2nd Runner also represent a strange fluke of fate. 2nd Runner is obviously the reason to own this HD Collection as it is the superior game, but back during their original launches Zone of the Enders out sold that superior successor.
Zone of the Enders is a bit of an odd duck with a nuanced, strategic, and satisfying combat system paired with simplistic and repetitive combat scenarios. The task at hand; saving the world by grinding through waves of evil robots. Your motivation; outdated 3D cut scenes that are wonderfully corny. 2nd Runner on the other hand is an exercise in stomach control and motion sickness tolerance. The chaotic three dimensional space battles are more varied and unique than ZOE’s wile maintaining the strategic elements. Essentially 2nd Runner is exactly what a sequel should be, an improvement on the original.
Both Zone of the Enders and Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner fair very well with their fresh coat of HD polish. With a sub standard ($39.95 SRP) price tag and a demo of the next Metal Gear, Zone of the Enders HD Collection is also a pretty good value.