|Summary: When the name Hideo Kojima comes to mind, most people think of Metal Gear or Solid Snake. Without a doubt, they are his greatest creations. But he has another that most don't know about, the series called Zone Of The Enders. The latest and greatest addition to the series is called Zone Of The Enders: The Second Runner. It's, in my opinion, one of the best games ever made. It's also not a very popular game for some reason, which is a shame.
This has got to be one of the fastest games I've ever played in my life, and one of the most fun! Mechs move like we always knew they could, fast and furiously. And the enemies vastly outnumber you. You will literally, at times, face what looks to be hundreds of enemies. But don't be afraid, your mech is much nimbler and stronger than anything the enemy throws at you. And if you're fast enough, you'll have no trouble destroying the enemy before they can even touch you. Now I'm not saying that this game is easy, because it's not. It can be very, very challenging and will always leave you wanting to come back for more. The bosses are particularly challenging. Once you think that you have a boss' pattern down, they'll throw a new, even deadlier attack at you. But I found no parts of the game to be so frustrating that I'd do something like throw my controller at the wall. The fighting can get slightly repetitive with regular enemies, but is always fun to do. The environments are destructible, and you can even pick up some of it to smash your enemies to little robot pieces with it. You can also grab your enemies and use them as a shield or throw them at others. And best of all, no bad camera angles! You control the camera with the right analog stick.
As soon as you see this game in action you'll notice the similarities graphic wise between it and MGS2. That is not a bad thing, this game is beautiful! Honestly, some of the best graphics I've ever seen on the PS2. It blends traditional graphics with cel-shaded graphics, and it works wonders on the eyes. Every explosion is a joy to behold and the mechs are just downright gorgeous with their "vein-like" look. The environments are a little bland and repetitive, but it's no big deal really. There can be a few slow downs also, but nothing to major. The anime cutscenes are well animated and are also a very nice touch to the game because it's an anime-like story. Even if you're not into that kind of thing, you'll enjoy them.
As always, Hideo's games have a wonderful soundtrack. From the techno beat theme song(which is just wow) to the slightest explosion from destroying something, you won't believe your ears. The stage music isn't all that great but the boss music is awesome. The voice acting is pretty good as well. The only problem is that because it's from Japan, the mouths don't always match up with the dialogue. But, from what I've seen, the voices seem to actually only be about half a second off. So maybe something got screwed up in recording. And in the cockpit, the mouths move very fast for some reason. Either way, it's nothing that'll bother you much.
You can probably complete the main game in about 10 hours or so. You'll probably want to play through it a few times though because it's just plain fun. Oh yea, and for the extras. And from what I've heard, there are a ton of them. However, I've only played through the main game once so I haven't unlocked much. I have however played multiplayer with a friend or two and it was pretty fun. It had us for almost a whole day, and we'll probably play it again many times to come. Most people will say differently about the multiplayer though.
If you like mechs, you will like this game. If you like fast combat, you will like this game. If you like fast mech combat, you will absolutely love this game. This game is a blast to play and the hours that you get from it may be the best video game hours of your life. I, for one, believe this is one of the most underrated games ever and not enough people have played it. Even if you aren't a Hideo Kojima fan and/or didn't like Metal Gear Solid, you may still love this game because it's not like anything else out there. The ultimate question is to either rent or buy however. All I can say is if you liked what you heard in my review, then buy it. If you didn't, I say at least give it a rent. That is, if you can even find it. This is a gaming experience that no one should miss out on.