Short and quick review; Zone of the Enders HD Collection

I found Zone of the Enders HD Collection for 20€ new in my local store. I’ve heard many things said about how the collection is jerky and the frame rate suffers in many occasions, but as always I gave it a chance because I liked ZoE2 and I’ve played it through in several occasions. Actually, every summer I try to beat it once in a sitting just because.

I really wish the worst thing about this version would’ve been the cover art.

While the games themselves are identical in gameplay terms, the HD doesn’t add a thing to the experience. I can’t say that it has any better audio either. So in all actuality, the HD in this case causes the games’ frame rates fall in action intensive scenes, which is rather often for ZoE. The first game fares well and I got exactly one bad frame rate drop, but against Viola, one of the bosses, inside a room filled with boxes the game suddenly not only became smooth, but extremely smooth. Then I realized that the rest of the game outside this one battle had been running at a lower rate than intended. This really takes you out of the game. ZoE1 is a frustrating game as it is, and knowing that it could be played a bit faster really eats you a bit afterwards.


Jump into 7min mark to see the mentioned fight. Footage is from the PS2 version, which is more worth your money than the HD edition

However, Second Runner is the real ugly duckling of this package, and this duckling won’t grow into a swan. The very first minute you get into the proper gameplay, the game’s frame rate falls into slight stutter. After playing the first game and directly jumping into ZoE2, the difference is dramatic and insulting. Comparing it to the original PS2 it’s just… Damn, I paid too much for this collection.

ZoE2 isn’t unplayable, but it’s a far cry of what it was on the PS2. It’s comparable to when you’re sitting in a traffic because somebody in the front is driving 60km/h in a 80km/h zone. It frustrates because you know everything could go smoother, everything could look shinier and everything could be so much better than this. High Voltage Software was responsible for the porting, and they did a lousy job, but then again this also shows that Konami doesn’t care enough about the series to give it a proper treatment.

I want to emphasize that ZoE series was never popular. It sold moderately and has a strong and rather large cult following, but it’s a far cry what it was on the PS2. It’s comparable to when you’re sitting in a traffic because somebody in the front is driving 60km/h in a 80km/h zone. It frustrates because you know everything could go smoother, everything could look shinier and everything could so much better than this. High Voltage Software was responsible for the porting, and they did a lousy job, but then again this also shows that Konami doesn’t care enough about the series to give it a proper treatment.

I want to emphasize that ZoE series was never popular. It sold moderately and has a strong and rather large cult following, but the games do not really cater to the large audience. Anime doesn’t sell, it never has. Zone of the Enders embraces the anime roots it has, and this is why it sells only so much. I hope ZoE3, if it ever comes about, will go more for the Metal Gear route with western design to it all, at least in appearance.

If I had to make a choice between the PS2 games or the HD collection, I’d take the PS2 original in a heartbeat. I really wish they will patch the collection some day, but it’s unlikely. This will my first and last HD Collection I buy.

Zone of the Enders HD Collection shows that HD only takes resources away from what’s important.

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One thought on “Short and quick review; Zone of the Enders HD Collection

  1. I only really liked ZOE: Fist of Mars, but hey, that’s just me. I’m weird like that.

    On that note, I’d like to shamelessly promote my new blog, beefeatergaming.wordpress.com. Come by, start a conversation.

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