Experience Hideo Kojima’s Mech Series Before Jumping into Armored Core VI

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Not many mech games deviate from the norm, but Hideo Kojima’s underappreciated Zone of the Enders offers a unique and enjoyable experience in the world of mech games.


For decades, millions of people have found the concept of climbing into a massive, powerful, and weapon-packed robotic suit captivating. As a result, video games have given players a chance to live their fantasies and experience what it’s like to operate a mech. From Armored Core and MechWarrior to countless Gundam games, players can sit in the cockpit of a mech and engage in battles with other mechs. The announcement of the sixth entry in the Armored Core series demonstrates the immense popularity of the mech genre in the gaming world.


While the mech genre offers players a chance to pilot massive robots, it is often lacking in gameplay diversity. Many titles feature slow and cumbersome robots that are difficult to control, which was the case in 2001 when Hideo Kojima and Konami released the first Zone of the Enders. Kojima drew inspiration from mech anime to create a game where players control robots that move with speed and agility. Despite the great idea behind the first Zone of the Enders, it had some shortcomings. However, its sequel, Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner, was a huge improvement and is now considered a classic. Both games offer a unique and thrilling experience for fans of the mech genre. They provide an opportunity to dive into a fast-paced world of robotic combat and adventure and are well worth exploring.

Zone of the Enders Had a Unique Approach to Mech Combat

In his video game career, Kojima has showcased his love for mechs in various Metal Gear games, including Metal Gear Solid 4, where players can pilot the iconic Metal Gear Rex. However, the combat in Zone of the Enders is a stark contrast to the traditional, slow and bulky controls found in most mech games. In Zone of the Enders, players engage in 360-degree battles against other mechs in midair. They blend lightning-fast melee attacks with homing missiles to defeat enemies, and their dodging is just as quick, making the combat fast-paced, exciting, and enjoyable. Unlike the slow-paced gameplay found in games like Resident Evil, Zone of the Enders delivers a thrilling experience reminiscent of Devil May Cry.


The limitations of the first game in terms of enemy variety, world design, and length were fixed in the second game. The second game, Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner, improved the combat by making it faster and more engaging and adding new enemy types to reduce repetition. It perfected its style of mech combat, which few games have replicated.

Zone of the Enders Is a Must-Play for Mech Fans

Players crave the feeling of climbing into a giant robot, and mech video games deliver that experience. However, while games like MechWarrior and Armored Core excel in offering tactical and customizable aspects, some fans seek a different kind of mech game. Zone of the Enders provides a unique and dynamic style, delivering a fresh take on the mech genre.

Players of Zone of the Enders, especially in The Second Runner, can still enjoy the tactical aspect of mech games. They upgrade their mech, strategize how to tackle each fight and make quick choices in the midst of frantic battles midair. This creates the feeling of piloting a powerful mech. With mastery of the controls, players experience the power of anime characters as they swiftly maneuver around enemies and defeat them before they can respond.


Fans of mech games or anime can experience a fun departure from the genre with Hideo Kojima’s Zone of the Enders. Kojima created a title that illustrated the power of the PS2 and redefined a genre that was stuck in its ways. With lightning-fast melee attacks, 360-degree combat, and lightning-fast dodging, Zone of the Enders offers players a powerful mech-piloting experience. Players still make tactical choices, upgrade their mechs, and engage in frantic battles, but they do so quickly and with a sense of being powerful anime characters. Unfortunately, Kojima’s departure from Konami makes it unlikely that fans will ever see another installment of Zone of the Enders, but both games are still available as part of the HD collections for Xbox 360 and PS3, with The Second Runner recently ported to PS4 with a VR mode. Any fans of the mech genre or anime should play both games.

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