So you want to play the widely loved second entry in the Zone of the Enders (ZoE) series? That’s all well and good, but which version should you play? As we covered in our article on the game, the versions all have their unique elements to them. This could be framerate, how the enemy-AI was changed compared to the original release, if the original particle effects are still intact or if the system can play the first game.
Below we’ve put together a table covering all the versions.
We’ve also indicated if these versions include ZoE2 Special Edition(SE) and ZoE2 M∀RS Edition content. For reference, SE added new difficulty levels and some fights to the main campaign, while M∀RS added a VR mode, quick-sub-weapon switching and some additional unlockable artwork.
|Output||Min FPS||Max FPS||Original AI||Original|
|JPN VA |
|Can play |
PAL / JPN(SE)
* Obviously the Japanese release has Japanese voiceover, but no ability to switch to the English voices.
**X1 BC = Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program; meaning inserting your original Xbox 360 disc into the Xbox One.
*** PC’s gamespeed is tied to the framerate, thus going beyond 60 will have negative results.
Depending on your region, the original Playstation 2 release offers the original experience if one can handle the hefty frame-rate drops. Conversely, the game runs butter smooth on the Xbox One while also coming with the first game in HD, though it does miss out on some of the original visual effects.
If you don’t care for the first game though, and we’d have to pick an all round version, it would have to be the M∀RS edition on PS4/PC. While there is no definitive version of the game with all the bells and whistles, this one comes the closest. Sporting the most stable frame-rate, some of the original visual effects being restored and also featuring new bonus content it is a great place to start.
Regardless of which version you play, you’ll find Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner to be an innovative and tense action game. Enjoy!
Definitely going to play this, thanks to you. I do remember giving the PS3 version a shot back in day. but that was before the patch and so I quit playing it very quickly. I assumed it wouldn’t be fixed(see: The Silent Hill HD Collection), ’cause Konami!
What are your thoughts on the new Ninja Gaiden collection? Man, I’d love a collection like that, but I wanted the OG releases, not Sigma 🙁 However, I still might get it just for NG3RE, on your recommendation.
Hey Swinny! Hope you’re well! Yeah the game had some shoddy releases, but the PS4 release is very well worth it, as is the PS3/X1 these days.
Regarding NG. I’m lukewarm to it. I’m happy more people will get to experience the series, but personally I had hoped to be able to experience NGII on my PC, which sadly won’t happen. I’ll still get it regardless, to help build towards NG4 is possible.
If you have an X1, I’d recommend getting its version of NG3RE over the collection. It’ll probably look a tad worse, but it does have online which is a massive boon. Cheers!
I would say MARS PC version is the definitive version of the game as you can play the game with the much superior Japanese VO on the English region version of the game through a simple mod called Haidara.
Honestly the Japanese VO made me like the story and characters a lot more than the English VO. I would easily recommend this game’s PC version to anyone having an decently specced PC to play this game with the Haidara mod installed.
The PC platform also has the ability to play the older ZOE games as well as the older console versions of the games.
The ps2 versions of ZOE1 and ZOE2 can be played on PC too via pcsx2 emulator with a better framerate and higher resolution than the ps2 version. you would need a slightly powerful CPU and GPU for this as ps2 emulation is quite demanding.
Lastly, the HD collection versions can be played on PC too via RPCS3 the ps3 emulator. but this one can be slightly glitchy as ps3 emulation on PC is still a work in progress and the games although playable still need to be tested somewhat. this emulator requires an high end 6 core or more CPU paired with a decent modern GPU, as ps3 emulation is even more demanding than ps2 emulation.
Cheers for the reply! Emulation is not something I personally want to dabble in within the articles, hence its absence. Obviously it’s a good possibility. This is why ZoE1 is noted as not being available on PC, as the only way to play it on that machine is through emulation; it never had an official PC release.
Regarding the Haidara Mod, I’ve used it but it will increase the difficulty in some sections like during the Inhert fight where you have to listen to ADA’s instructions. So make sure to turn English subtitles on.
As I can understand a bit of Japanese, I did not find any difficulty with this section. I did turn on the subs tho as I am not completely well versed with the language.
oh I can totally understand why you don’t want to get into emulation as it does require a lot of tinkering around and is error prone to an extent.
Also wondering if you are like interested in joining the Zone of Enders discord server ?
Some really passionate fans are there in this server and I feel you will find a lot of stuff in common as well learn some new and exciting stuff about the series.
I appreciate the offer, but I’m not that into chat-rooms and don’t use discord except for the occasional call. Hope you understand 🙂
If you want to join the forum of Stinger, there’s some discussions on the game again. Mostly talking about 0-death SS runs on Extreme currently and talking about DamagedJehuty+NoSubweapons.