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One of the Best Games You’ve Never Played- Panzer Dragoon Saga

If you are a ‘gamer’ you have no doubt heard of this game. You can currently find this title on Ebay and for around $200 (I actually sold mine for $380 about 5 years back when the graphics weren’t so vastly different). It is truly a collector’s item since only 30,000 or so were made for the US since it was near the end of the Sega Saturn. I actually owned a Saturn (and pretty much every game) and preordered this title and got a copy of this 4 disc RPG epic. It scored a perfect 10 across the board in EGM back then and was one of the finest games on the Sega Saturn not to mention one of the best games of the 32-bit era. You can learn more about this game at Wikipedia.

Gameplay: 10/10
Pros: Fusing the action of the panzer dragoon shooters into an RPG was no easy task, but Saga did it perfectly. The battles were exciting and action-packed with a real-time engine. You could even explore towns off your dragon as the boy and the world was incredibly immersive with one of the most epic stories of the era.
Cons: The gameplay was perfect and the only con is that more people didn’t get an opportunity to play this title.

Graphics: 9.5/10
Pros: I know the graphics look awful now, but they were among the best for Saturn. It’s hard to rant about dated graphics, but you can still appreciate the nice CG work for the story and the amazing character and creature design. At the time this was a beautiful title.
Cons: It had some of the quirks of a Saturn game, such as polygon clipping, poor textures, and weird zoom issues (as witnessed in the above video).

Sound/Music: 9/10
Pros: The score was epic and the subtitles and language barrier helped create an even eerier post-apocalyptic world filled with mutants and dragons.
Cons: It would have been nice to have the voicework of the premiere Playstation RPGs.

Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Pros: The game was LONG as in 4 Discs long and even after that there were additional dragons to unlock. The story was fantastic and I believed I played through the story at least twice. It was one of the most engrossing games and the best RPG I’ve ever experienced.
Cons: No more Saturn, no more Sega Consoles, no more Panzer Dragoon… It would seem that Panzer Dragoon Orta will probably be the last game in this excellent franchise as Sega seems to focus on crappy Sonic games over developing and expanding some of their excellent Saturn franchises (Burning Rangers, Nights anyone?).

Average: 96.25%
Tilt: +2.75%

It’s a shame that Saga will never see a sequel or really be played by the mainstream. It was truly a gem of the 32-bit era. It can really only be appreciated by being played and Saturns are hard to come by and Panzer Dragoon is even harder or will cost you. If you get a Sega Saturn emulator and search for ROMs you may be able to experience this game, but it won’t be easy and isn’t really the same without having a controller in your hand. Probably cursed to be a hardcore gamer’s classic and nothing more, Panzer Dragoon Saga is still a testament to what Sega could have been. Phenomenal!

Verdict: 99%

1 comment:

gnome said...

Amazing post, just amazing. And a most intriguing game too...