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Anubis: Zone of the Enders

13 February 2003
Anubis: Zone of the Enders - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.59 / 5.0
0.5
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112 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#1,066 All-time
#41 for 2003
Two years after the events of Zone of the Enders, a miner named Dingo Egret accidentally discovers the Orbital Frame Jehuty hidden on Jupiter's moon Callisto while working, and upon entering it to escape BAHRAM attackers, gets dragged once again into the conflict between BAHRAM and the Space Force.
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Releases 7
2003 KCE Japan Konami  
DVD
JP 4 582114 080063 SLPS-65236
2003 KCE Japan Konami  
DVD
XNA 0 83717 20053 6 SLUS 20545
2003 KCE Japan Konami  
DVD
ES 4 012927 022405 SLES-51113-GER
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Anubis: Zone of the Enders Special Edition
2004 KCE Japan Konami  
DVD
JP 4 582114 080216 SLPM-65361
2013 Konami High Voltage  
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Title
Zone of the Enders is an odd franchise. The first game came out on March 2001 for the PS2, then received an OVA, anime series, and GBA strategy spinoff all in the same year(!) Two years later it got a sequel, The Second Runner, which received a much better reception than the first game, and then the whole series went dark. After a sloppy HD remaster in 2012, a new entry was announced, but was later canned as Konami's relationship with Kojimai ended and their relationship with pachinko turned into a love story. All we got was some concept art that kicked fucking ass. That's just how it is on this BITCH of an Earth.


Zone of the Enders falls somewhere between a hack 'n slash and a (then-nascent) character action game. The visual flair definitely qualifies for the former, but the combat isn't quite deep enough, and the combo system (which is really just tracking how many hits you can make uninterrupted) is totally superfluous. Regardless, I like ZoE's combat. Attacking an enemy at long range will shoot projectiles while getting up close to them will initiate melee combat. You can block weak attacks at the expense of the subenergy gauge, which powers the various side weapons you unlock over the course of the game. You can also grab enemies at close range and mash a button to spin them around and throw them at the nearest enemy, which never gets old. The controls tend to catch the brunt of ZoE's criticism (triangle to ascend, cross to descend, square to attack, circle for secondary weapons, R2 to dash.... etc etc) but I think once you mess around with the VR tutorials a bit you can get a solid grip on them.


The same can't be said for the lock-on system, sadly. Targeting is automatic unless you use the right thumbstick to switch between enemies, but this somehow manages to feel both unresponsive and oversensitive. If you kill one enemy you automatically lock on to the nearest, and the camera snaps at a breakneck speed. When you engage in combat with an enemy the camera whips around in all sorts of directions, and I actually kind of like the chaos, but I'm sure few will feel the same. While ZoE's core combat is great, the boss fights are a mixed bag. Some of them are enjoyable and have decent gimmicks, while others feel like a tedious exercise in mashing buttons and defending while praying you get an opening to actually attack the enemy. The somewhat paltry selection in enemy grunts doesn't pose much of a problem, as the missions tend to be well variety. Unlockable orbital frames, extra missions, and new game+ add to the replay value.


The Second Runner has a decent plot: Dingo Egret (yeah...) discovers an orbital frame (read: mech) Jehuty on a mission from the Mars independence group BAHRAM. After getting shot by his commander, Dingo is saved by a secret agent, but his body is only able to survive within Jehuty. Everything kicks off from there, and there are enough story beats to move it along at a steady pace. Some of the events of the first game are alluded to, and some of the characters (Jehuty's AI included) make a return, but the story stands on its own without needing prior knowledge. Unfortunately the plot is betrayed by the one-two punch of awful dialog and awful delivery. The protagonist is also an unlikeable, whiny asshole, and I found it hard to really care about what happens to him. The supporting cast is alright for the most part, but the cutscenes tend to drag on too long (this is a Kojima-produced game, after all). Action cutscenes are handled with the in-game engine while most pilot interactions are handled with anime cutscenes, provided by studio Gonzo. The former are blurry and a bit choppy, but not so much as to make them unwatchable. The soundtrack, handled by Kojipro regulars, is good enough to handle the slack, and while this might be a controversial opinion, I think it's strong enough to go toe-to-toe with Metal Gear Solid.


The Steam port stops just short of being a trainwreck, but dammit Konami tries. The main game isn't affected much, and it ran at a pretty stable framerate for me, but everything surrounding it is either lazy or disappointing. The fact the first Zone of the Enders game isn't bundled in is a bit strange (well, "strange"), more so considering it already has an HD port. It's not as good as the Second Runner, but it's very short and there's still fun to be had - at the very least it makes you appreciate the improvements in gameplay. I can't speak for the included VR support as I didn't play it, but apparently it's really clunky and lame. Most damningly, the PC controls aren't shown anywhere in game - you have to either discover them for yourself of look them up online. What's more, none of the key binds are changeable. The gamepad fares much better, but even then the L3 and R3 buttons don't work (this isn't just my controller either, apparently everyone encounters this problem). Considering how flawlessly MGSV ran on PC, this is unacceptable. Unless you're hell-bent on playing ZoE 2 on Steam, I would recommend either emulating it or buying the remasters on PS3 (just make sure you install the 60 FPS patch). It's a must-play for mecha dorks, and still trumps most mecha games todays (I'm looking at you, Daemon X Machina). Work past the flaws and you'll find something pretty special.
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twogunmoomin 2022-01-02T03:23:08Z
2022-01-02T03:23:08Z
3.5
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I was kind of disappointed with this one, honestly, with how well-received the Zone of the Enders games are, but I think it's one of those cases where you had to play them when they originally came out and when janky game design was more tolerable to "get" it. The recent remastering looks great with the upscaled textures and models, and if you can get it to run at 60 fps the combat and explosions verge right on the point of being overstimulating but in a good way.

That said, the gameplay itself just feels old. You end up wrestling with maintaining control of the camera about as often as you're firing bullets and slashing swords with enemies, which back in the era of 3d action games where they were just figuring out how to handle working in that space it was more forgivable but these days it's just kind of irritating. A lot of the subweapons aren't really usable, and a lot of the strategy for fights feels like it devolves into just button mashing and hoping your attacks are allowed to go through.

I didn't really care for the story, but I can see the appeal for those who like mecha anime kinda nonsense. The English dubbing is kind of atrocious though, especially with the lead protagonist. It's kind of amazing when you consider Konami already had experience with Metal Gear Solid which is the kind of style they're clearly going for, but somehow it veers away from being stilted and awkward in a fun way into something that's just rather laughably bad. The soundtrack's pretty good, at least.

I'd give this one a look if you think you'd like these kinds of mecha action games, but I don't think it'd change your mind if you're biased against this kind of affair to begin with.
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tetsucabra 2021-12-28T21:43:04Z
2021-12-28T21:43:04Z
2.5
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It's one of those games that requires you sitting with it extensively to learn the mechanics of it. It's pretty hard out of the gate, especially the HD version, and it's just too overwhelming when you're immediately starting out. If you want to sit with it for hours to nail down the controls, sure, do that. But that's going to require restarting a lot, and for me, that's no fun. Visually stunning, and I can see the appeal, but these kinds of games are not for me.
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TooBrokeToCare 2018-09-06T15:22:04Z
2018-09-06T15:22:04Z
2.5
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Catalog

Megistotherium Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner 2024-06-14T17:12:59Z
PS3
2024-06-14T17:12:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Compilation
bewater Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-05-28T15:04:08Z
2024-05-28T15:04:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lol1slayer Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-05-23T21:07:33Z
2024-05-23T21:07:33Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
roman_cancel Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-05-15T01:58:09Z
2024-05-15T01:58:09Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
wallrooseyes Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-04-20T02:24:42Z
2024-04-20T02:24:42Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ukmi Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-04-15T07:08:00Z
2024-04-15T07:08:00Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
fshwers Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-04-12T15:14:19Z
2024-04-12T15:14:19Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ricopomelo Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner 2024-04-11T17:30:17Z
PS2 • ES
2024-04-11T17:30:17Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bisellone7 Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-04-02T20:16:35Z
2024-04-02T20:16:35Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-03-29T14:40:18Z
2024-03-29T14:40:18Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
OffModel Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-03-26T20:09:00Z
2024-03-26T20:09:00Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten Anubis: Zone of the Enders 2024-03-11T04:35:57Z
2024-03-11T04:35:57Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
1x DVD
Franchises
Also known as
  • Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
  • アヌビス ゾーン オブ エンダーズ
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • IGGEL 2023-12-19 03:16:07.090723+00
    undub mandatory
    reply
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  • wallrooseyes 2024-04-21 02:05:23.895293+00
    call me insane but i kinda prefer the first one
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