Full Review: The MGS2 demo brought this game to an end.
The initial question for this game was ?Will Konami's first game for the Playstation 2 live up to the hype?? But I think the real question for this game was ?Did anyone buy this game NOT for the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo?? From my perspective I think this game was severely exceeded by the presence of Konami's flagship, MGS2. Even though the MGS2 demo was a little taste of heaven, Z.O.E was still a great little game that deserves its time in the spotlight.
Z.O.E follows the story of Leo Stenbuck a young boy who lives on a space colony called Antilia. Antilia is located at the very edge of the galaxy and its inhabitants are know as enders, because they live so far away from civilization. The sleepy little town is rudely awakend by a group of marauders who are looking for a mech suit named Jehuty. During the attack on Antilia Leo discovers Jehuty and takes control of the mech to combat the terrorist that are destroying his home. The rest of the game basically has you running around trying to save the colony and at the same time rid it of the evil mechs.
The gameplay is for the most part really smooth and easy to get the hang of. I especially like the auto lock on target feature which lets you deal with on threat at a time. I found it helpful in controlling Jehuty in the 360? 3D world of Z.O.E. The auto lock on lets you follow an enemy without having to navigate through the environment, Jehuty will go where the enemy he is locked on to goes. Jehuty comes equipped with an electric sword that is deals massive damage to characters in close range. This attack works hand in hand with auto lock on feature. When enemies are out of range the sword act as a projectile. Jehutys also come with special weapons that deal tremendous amounts of damage to long range enemies. Jehuty also has a grappling line that can hook onto enemies and then reel them in for you to do damage with your sword. Most of the weapons are easy to use and equip and don't take much time to figure out. You can finish the game by just using your sword and close range attacks. Throughout the game Jehuty must collect disk, which give the mech more abilities that are scattered around the colony. When you spot one having Jehuty swoop down and getting it makes you feel like you're on a roller coaster. Very cool feature. Occasionally Jehuty must answer SOS calls that tell you how many buildings were destroyed in the battle and how many lives were lost. This feature decides upon which ending you get. The more people you save and less buildings you destroy, the better the ending. This adds to the games replay value. At first run I didn't care about the colony or the people. This let me get the hang of the game and later gave me a challenge to get the better ending.
The graphics of the game are rich and detailed. The mechs are very smooth and the frame rate is just perfect for an initial PS2 game. All the fights and chases look, feel, and run smoothly and without a hitch. The energy outburst from the weapons and explosions look extremely real and beautiful. Just watching things explode puts a smile on your face. The only one problem I had was the actual colony itself. The colony looked so bleak and uninteresting. It was like a whole bunch of Lego buildings in the background that never seemed to change, no matter where you went. I also like the anime angle the Z.O.E takes on. It reminds me of Gundam: Wing, but not nearly as interesting.
The music is done fairly well. I like the techno beats they add to the fast paced nature of the game. But as for the voice acting?well I think Konami should have made Z.O.E a silent feature, I've seen better voice acting on children's cartoons.