The Platinum Log: Zone of the Enders

Zone of the Enders. I had heard about the series, but I didn't really know much about it. Back when I was in middle school, my friend Ryan REALLY got into the Metal Gear Solid games, and eventually he convinced me to look into them as well. At the time I didn't really know who Kojima was, but when I started doing more research into him, I started to realize I knew more about him than I thought. Or at least, I knew of his projects.

Thanks to MegaMan Battle Network, I knew what the Boktai series was, and thanks to the random GBA game I tried out, I technically knew about Zone of the Enders. But again, the only thing I knew about it was the fact it was a mecha series, and that it was a turn based strategy (which I sucked at). I didn't know that the mainline games were PS2 games, nor did I know what they played like. Heck, I didn't even realize the clip I saw in MGS Twin Snakes was Zone of the Enders. So when I finally finished the MGS series for myself, and wanted more, I turned my sights to other games Kojima had worked on. That's when I discovered what ZoE really was, but also quickly realized I most likely would never be able to play it... I was a college kid at the time, and the games were really hard to come by. So I put getting them on the back burner, and just focused on what I could play. But then something unexpected happened -- a collection was announced!

I wont lie, one of the main draws to the collection for me was the included demo of Metal Gear Rising, but being a mecha fan I did want the games as well. So I watched the prequel anime to the series to get myself ready, I saved up some money, and bought the game on release. I don't regret it!

While the original ZoE isn't my favorite of the two -- I did really enjoy it. The gameplay was a lot of fun, and I liked that it borrowed elements from other popular mecha series. The main character was a little annoying, but it was clear that was the point. (Entire thing reminded me of NGE, which was clearly the inspiration behind the game.) The structure of the game caught me off guard as well, as it used a city map system with missions popping up in different areas. These missions acted as the "stages" in the game, but what made them unique is the fact that damage carried over between said missions. So if a building got destroyed during the fight during, say, mission #2, but you came back for mission # 10, that same building would be gone. Which is where the struggles come into play.

First time playing through the story I didn't care about being perfect. I destroyed everything in my way, and took out the bad guys anyway possible. I really liked the game though, and didn't want it to end -- so I checked the trophy list to see if it was something I could accomplish. It was! However one of the requirements was to get A ranks on all stages, and to do that you can't have any building damage. See the problem? If you mess up at all near the start, that makes it impossible to continue getting A ranks, so you had to be perfect. But of course, I was up to the challenge!

Although it didn't take me long to do, I really had a lot of fun with this platinum. It extended the length of the game for me as I was replaying it, and it made me actually learn how to play the game. It's pretty short overall, but that's also what helps give it such replayability. It's honestly a game I would've replayed multiple times even without a trophy goal, but the trophies gave me something to work for. Overall it's a solid mecha game, but it honestly does get blown away by it's sequel. But I feel like that's how sequels should work?

Zone of the Enders was Platinum #7.

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