Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner | PlayStation 2 Retro Video Review

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is a PlayStation 2 game that has become a beloved classic among gamers. Released by Konami in 2003, the game features an engaging narrative, mesmerizing graphics, and intuitive gameplay. The game takes players on a journey through an intergalactic conflict between two factions, with the player taking on the role of the protagonist, an amnesiac pilot named Dingo Egret.

The game’s mechanics allow players to control “Orbital Frames,” giant robots equipped with various weapons and abilities. The mission-based gameplay allows for a plethora of possibilities and challenges, making the experience different for every player.

The game’s unique selling point is its combination of anime-inspired aesthetics and fast-paced action, making it an unforgettable experience for everyone who has played it. In this article, we will delve into the game’s elements, including graphics, story, sound design, replayability, difficulty, and gameplay. By the end of this article, you will discover why Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner has rightfully earned its place in the history of video games.


Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is a game that is renowned for its fast-paced and action-packed gameplay. The game has an extensive range of movements and an incredible fluidity that allowed players to execute a series of attacks and combos smoothly. The gaming mechanics were advanced and innovative at the time of release, and it still holds up to this day as one of the most enjoyable games to play.

One of the game’s significant selling points was the variety of ruthless bosses that players had to fight against. Each boss had its unique battle style and abilities, and they presented a genuine challenge to players. Additionally, the game features a diverse cast of enemies that had different strategies to defeat them. The dynamic battles and numerous enemies kept players on their toes, providing a thrilling gaming experience.

The unique selling points of this game resulted from the combination of the exceptional gaming mechanics and excellent boss designs. For example, players can charge up an attack and unleash it when an enemy was almost upon them, creating an incredible cinematic experience. Additionally, the game’s various weapons and abilities allowed players to experiment with different play styles, providing flexibility and variety.

Controls and Responsiveness

The game’s controls were a significant selling point as they were intuitive and quick to learn. Players had the ability to control their mecha with precision and skill, making each movement smooth and satisfying. The controls and mechanics were designed to make the player feel like they were piloting something massive and lethal, providing an incredible immersive experience.

The game’s responsiveness was impressive as it allowed players to execute precise movements quickly and accurately. The controls were designed to work exceptionally well with the gaming mechanics, making it an intuitive and straightforward game to learn. The game was responsive and challenging, providing a unique gaming experience that still holds up against modern games.


When Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner released for the PlayStation 2 in 2003, it was considered to be at the forefront of the gaming industry’s graphical capabilities. The game’s visual design paved the way for future developers to push the limits of what was possible on the platform.

The game’s 3D graphics were truly impressive at the time, featuring intricate details in character models, intricate mech designs, and top-tier environmental rendering. It also features a ridiculous amount of action happening on the screen without any stuttering or slow down. Gameplay was the main focus of this game, and everything around it had to support it, including the graphics.

The Art style and aesthetic of the game is impressive. The game’s anime-inspired art style is eye-catching, and the world that the game is set in feels organic, rather than simply being a collection of environments cobbled together for gameplay. The attention to detail is evident in everything from the backgrounds to the enemies.

In terms of performance optimization, the game ran remarkably well on the PlayStation 2 back in the day. There was no vast resolution and FPS options back then, but the developer put their best efforts to ensure that the game runs smoothly in all phases. There were no issues of lag or stutters experienced during gameplay, which is impressive considering the sheer amount of action occurring on the screen.

Overall, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner’s graphics aged well with time and are still considered to be groundbreaking for the era it released in. The game’s art style, aesthetic, and ambitious approach to graphical design make it a standout title in the PlayStation 2’s library.


Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, developed by Hideo Kojima and released in 2003 for PlayStation 2, has a story that dives deep into the universe that it resides in. The game puts players behind the cockpit of the giant mechas known as Orbital Frames, and the story follows the journey of the player character Dingo Egret. The game takes place two years after the first Zone of the Enders game, and it features several returning characters as well as many new faces.

The story revolves around a conflict between humanity and an alien race known as the Bahram. Dingo, a former mining worker, gets caught up in the conflict after discovering the Orbital Frame Jehuty, which provides him with the power to take on the Bahram’s forces. The game’s narrative focuses heavily on the theme of war, and it often delves into the cost of conflicts and the toll it takes on humanity. Furthermore, its story questions morality and the ethics of war; it does not shy away from showing the negative consequences of violence.

In terms of plot points, the game has several twists and turns. It has multiple endings that are dependent on the player’s choices. Throughout the story, players will encounter a host of characters, each with their own motivations, secrets, and backstories. Among the standouts are ADA, the sentient AI that assists Dingo, and Nohman, Dingo’s former colleague who plays a significant role in the game’s story.

Overall, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner features a complex and thought-provoking story. It has themes that are relevant even today, almost two decades after its release, and its plot points still surprise and entertain.

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is an iconic game that has remained popular among gamers since its release. The game’s sound design is one aspect that has contributed to its success and continued recognition in the gaming community.

The sound design in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is unique and innovative, as it adds to the game’s immersive experience. The game features an incredible soundtrack that blends in seamlessly with the gameplay, adding a new dimension of ambiance to the game. The stellar soundtrack was composed by Norihiko Hibino, who also made music for the famous Metal Gear Solid series.

The game’s sound effects also play a big role in its success. The sound effects are realistic and diverse, immersing players in the game’s world. The sound of the mechs clashing and lasers shooting is realistically executed, providing an immersive experience.

The overall sound design in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is one of its strongest points. It does an excellent job of complementing the game’s visuals and mechanics, fully immersing players into the game’s world. The innovative sound design of the game adds to the fun, offering an experience that players will not forget.

Overall, the sound design in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is top-notch, adding a realistic touch that pushes players further into the game’s world. The soundtrack and sound effects are a prime example of how incredible sound design can enhance a player’s gaming experience.

Replayability and Difficulty

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner has a high replayability factor. After completing the game once, players can revisit it to uncover new areas or discover new challenges. This feature offers an exciting element of discovery and can lead to new paths of exploration.

The game involves a certain level of difficulty, which can vary depending on the player’s skill level. While some players may find it challenging to master the controls and mechanics, others may find it easier to progress through the game. However, it should be noted that the game offers a tutorial mode for inexperienced players, which can help them familiarize themselves with the game’s mechanics.

In addition to the base game, the PlayStation 2 version of The 2nd Runner also includes several unlockable features. Players can unlock new characters, weapons, and modes as they progress through the game. These added features provide great value and extend the game’s replayability even further. Fans of retro games will find this type of feature particularly rewarding.

Overall, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner offers a reasonable level of difficulty that makes it challenging enough to keep players engaged, but not impossible to complete. With a high replayability factor and additional unlockable content, players will find themselves coming back to this game for more.

Conclusion and Final Score

In conclusion, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is a game that expertly blends immersive gameplay, stunning graphics, and an engaging storyline to create the ultimate retro gaming experience. Its unique selling points truly set it apart from other classic games of the time, and it continues to be beloved by gamers to this day.

The gameplay mechanics are intuitive, offering a perfect balance of challenge and reward. The game’s bosses and enemies are thoughtfully designed, providing engaging battles and fun gameplay. The controls are responsive, making it easy to become fully immersed in this action-packed experience.

The graphics of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner are impressive, with a unique art style and aesthetic that still holds up well today. The sound design is equally outstanding, elevating the game’s immersive experience.

As for replayability, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner offers a wealth of unlockable content and extra features. Its difficulty level is well-balanced, ensuring that gamers of all skill levels can enjoy playing through the game on multiple occasions.

Overall, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is a must-play classic for any retro gaming enthusiast. We give the game a final score of 9 out of 10 and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an unforgettable gaming experience.


1. Is Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner worth playing?

Yes, absolutely. This game is a beloved classic among gamers for its fast-paced gameplay, compelling story, and stunning visuals and sound design. It’s a must-play for anyone who’s a fan of the action and mecha genre.

2. What makes Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner different from other action games?

The game’s unique selling points are its fast-paced combat, the variety of bosses and enemies, and the ability to control a giant mech, known as an Orbital Frame. The game’s controls are tight and responsive, making for a very satisfying gameplay experience.

3. Can you customize your Orbital Frame in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner?

Unfortunately, no. The game does not have a customization system, so you cannot change the weapons or appearance of your Orbital Frame. However, the game does have a wide variety of weapons at your disposal, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

4. How difficult is Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner?

The game’s difficulty can be challenging, especially on higher difficulty levels. However, the game does have a variety of difficulty settings to choose from, so players can adjust the game’s challenge to their liking. Plus, the game’s tight controls and responsive gameplay make it easier to navigate the game’s levels and defeat enemies.

5. Is there any extra content to unlock in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner?

Yes, there are several unlockable features in the game, such as a new game+ mode and a secret final boss fight. There are also several different endings to unlock depending on certain choices made during the game. Additionally, players can replay the game to try and achieve a higher score or complete certain challenges.

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