The fast, exhilarating combat and amazing production values, make these the best giant robot games you'll ever play.

User Rating: 8 | Zone of the Enders HD Collection PS3
Zone of the Enders 1 and 2 are hands down the best giant robot games you'll ever play. Unfortunately despite the positive reception from critics and gamers, the public as a whole ignored them. A lot of people did buy the first game, but they brought it mainly for the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo, which resulted in people giving it the bin. But Konami is now giving the series a second chance with an HD Collection featuring both the first and second game, along with an early demo of the upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengance.

When you start the game up, you'll be treated to a brand new six minute opening created by Sunrise, the anime studio behind the popular Gundam franchise. Next you'll find yourself at the game select screen, where you can choose which one of two Zone of The Enders games you wish to play and before you ask, the GBA game Fist of Mars is not present in this package. Neither is the anime in any form. Although I should point out that the second game is based on the European Special Edition which contains extra missions, new game play sequences, additional cut-scenes and a harder difficulty level that were not present in the original USA version.

Both of these games were definitely among the best looking games on the PS2 and they look incredible in HD. All the textures have been redone to make the games look sharper and the aspect ratio has been changed from 4:3 to 16:9. The pre-rendered cut-scenes have been up scaled to fit the 720p resolution, but because they weren't designed with HD in mind, they look blurry compared to the crisper in-game graphics. At least the music hasn't lost any quality with the HD translation. In fact the soundtrack for these games stands as one of the best, with loud techno and incredible vocal tracks that will shake the speakers on your TV.

Of course we have to deal with the pink elephant in the room, the framerate issues. Now in the first game, the frame rate is pretty good and constantly runs at a fast speed. But in the second game it goes all over the place and at times its worst than the PS2 version. This contradicts Konami's initial promise that both games would run at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. Having said that, it wasn't bad enough, that I found it annoying or made the game unplayable. Yes it's unacceptable and lazy, that these framerate issues exist, but it still runs at a playable 30 frames per second for 95% of the game's duration.

At the beginning of the review, I said Zone of The Enders 1 and 2 are the best giant robot games you'll ever play and it's easy to see why. Your typical giant robot game is slow, boring and has controls so bad; you just want to jump out the window. But Zone of The Enders is fast, elegant and extremely playable. The controls are easy to master and the combat is so intense and exhilarating, that you never get sick of slashing robots and throwing them into buildings. Of course like many games, the boss battles are easily the highlight of the experience. Because not only do they come in many shapes and sizes. But they're extremely challenging and force you to experiment with various attacks.

I have to admit the story in the first game is really bad. The game attempts to set up a story about the value of life and war. Unfortunately the terrible script, poor translation and silly voice acting will make you laugh, instead of being intrigued. Enemy and objective variety is certainly lacking in the first game, plus most of the sub weapons are pretty useless. The second game addresses these problems by giving us a smoother, more developed story and a less annoying, older protagonist. As well as more types of enemies and locations than the first game.

Completing the campaign for both games should take somewhere between 12 and 14 hours. Each game offers a Versus mode featuring many of the robots from the main story mode and can be played against a computer or a friend. Unfortunately there is no online option available. Hungry for more content? Well the second game contains a mode called "Extra Missions" with over a 100 levels built with locations and enemies from the main game. Some missions have special parameters and restrictions to help mix things up.

While the second game has some frame rate issues and the story in the first game is so bad it's comical. But the fast, exhilarating combat and amazing production values, make these games the best giant robot games you'll ever play. If you're fan of giant robot cartoons or Hideo Kojima's other games. Then you'd be crazy not to pick up the Zone of The Enders HD Collection.

RATING – 8/10