Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Zone of the Enders - Destroying the EPS generator

My first impression of this game was that it was kind of a tech demo/experiment/half-formed game created by Hideo Kojima that largely served as a vehicle for the demo of Metal Gear Solid 2. I recently learned that there's a bit more to it than that. Yes, the game doesn't quite feel fully realized, but apparently it's a pretty good giant robot simulator that was improved upon and made truly good in its sequel.

Several nights ago, I couldn't sleep, felt like playing a game to settle myself down, and decided that I would start with this.

It really does a good job of making you feel like you are controlling a huge, mechanical, man-shaped robot. The two analog sticks allow you a good sense of movement in three-dimensions and the ability to lock on enemies ensures that you will always stay in the action. There are a wide variety of attacks, including both long range and melee attacks and there are also a variety of weapons and other upgrades you can get for your mech.

All that said, the game taxes your fingers on the controller as you often have to hold down three or four buttons or sticks in order to do what you want. For those who have played Metal Gear Solid 3, this will seem par for the course of any Kojima game. I'm not really sure how it could be improved, but it definitely takes awhile to get use to all the controls and what they do.

I'm also wondering about the strategy of the game. I can't remember whether I'm playing it on normal or hard mode, but so far pretty much all of the enemies can be defeated by using the same technique. While I know the game is short, I am very curious as to whether I will ever have to seriously adjust my tactics. Then again, given I stopped playing after some normal (but level 4) enemies were totally kicking my ass, I think I may have found the answer to that question.