Out of all the reboots and high definition rereleases, Zone of the Enders HD Collection
is one of my most anticipated of the bunch. I thoroughly enjoyed the original two games, even if the first one was just a sacrificial lamb to the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo. The gameplay was great in the first game, and was somehow vastly improved in the second game, making it one of my favorite titles in the PS2 line-up, terrible translation and all. Getting a chance to play these overlooked gems at E3 last week was definitely the highlight of my visit to the Konami booth.
Running at a higher resolution and at sixty frames-per-second has done wonders for how good the Zone of the Enders games look. The texture work is still pretty flat, but as a whole the games look a lot sharper. The HUD displays a perfectly crisp, making them completely readable. The effects look like they've been touched up too, though it's hard to notice when the action is so intense. The demo build fo Zone of the Enders 2 had players go through the first mission of the game up to the battle with Ardjet, leaving newcomers with just enough of a taste of the story. Unfortunately the weird translations were still left intact, and with that the at times awkward voice-acting remains as well.
The controls remain unchanged as well, making them weird yet familiar at the same time. I had initially forgotten about the controls, but it was like getting back on a bike after a long absence. Gameplay is still as fast and frantic as ever, and most importantly, fun. I couldn't get enough of dashing, slicing, tossing, and launching salvos at enemy units, which all felt like fantastic.
There's still no solid release date for Zone of the Enders HD Collection, but from what I played and saw at E3 I am happy to see that it doesn't look like we'll have another Silent Hill HD-esque fiasco on our hands. Check out the screenshots below and hope that Konami announces a release date soon.