Panzer Dragoon

Panzer Dragoon
4
Platforms: PC, SEGA Saturn
Publisher: SEGA of America
Developer: Team Andromeda
Genres: 3D Shooter / Third-Person Shooter
Release Date: 1997
Game Modes: Singleplayer

At it’s core Panzer Dragoon is nothing more than Afterburner with a Dragon motif, featuring the ability to fly and attack targets from the back of said creature. The end result is a pretty damn fun console-to-pc action game. Although the visuals seem a little washed on the PC, the thrill and excitment of flying around and zapping enemies is just as intense here as it was on SEGA Saturn. The introduction sequence alone is worth the ticket price.

5Granted there really isn’t anything all that original as a whole, but the glossy package the game comes wrapped in is almost enough to make you forget that you can’t choose your own course through the environment. And that the play is essentially of the, “blow away little creatures until you hit the big boss who will crush you” , variety. And you’ve only got two weapons to choose from (unless of course, you have a cheat code!). And, when you come right down to it, the game is pretty easy and too short.

The detail, the speed and the sheer frenzy of activity all lead to an immersive adventure. Obviously the developers spent some time in the meeting room. Every object, every obstacle has weight and dimension. The environment is completely realized and the attention to detail is inspiring. There are a few glitches and places where the backgrounds seem more texture mapped than textured but, all in all, you have got yourself one hell of a ride with this dragon.

The disappointing thing with Panzer Dragoon is that you get so close to having everything. If it allowed you freedom of movement and lasted a little bit longer, it would be perfect. We have to remember though, that this is first generation Saturn gaming. So, with the retrospect of having had to play “Altered Beast” for far too long during the Genesis’ first few months, we should be somewhat lenient towards Panzer Dargoon’s lack of innovation.


System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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2 Comments

  1. Gerhalt says:

    First of all, lemme say PD ain’t nothing like Afterburner. Well, at least compared to arcade originals, that is. There was a game called Sky Target, that you can call an attempt at converting an Afterburner formula into the handy-dandy 3D type of game. It also has an original arcade version, and conversions to both Saturn and PC (actually, I should say Win95 since the game has a 32bit executable, that cant be run in 16bit environment like DOS or Win3.11 as those platforms were still actual in 97) and you can quite easily play the PC port even if you operate Win10, of course if you know how to make it run, kappa.
    Oh, before I forget, this Win95 PD version looks and plays quite OKish even today, considering the average systems it was originally intended for. Why, it’s got an SVGA resolution, hi-color mode and 30fps paced action – pretty standard for a game of that era. Personally, when I look at some other games from that year (in my personal retrocollection), I can clearly see most of them have similar audio-visual quality overall. Yes, there were certain games capable of running in higher resolutions and smoother framerates (G-Police anyone?), but it doesn’t make this particular game bad or anything. It’s still highly playable even today, when there’s 1080p screens flooding the market at relatively low prices. And if you ask me why, I’ll tell you that it’s because PD’s got that awesome feeling of dogfighting while riding a dragon. A dragon that looks and moves like a real animal, instead of a puppet or another fake object. I could go on pointing out various aspects of this game, but I guess that’s enough, at least for now.
    Oh, in case anyone wonders: I played the Saturn version in SSF, and the PC replica’s better if you ask me.

    P.S. admin, could you please replace those “slightly inappropriate” screenshots (obviously taken from some other game) with the ones corresponding to the actual PD?

  2. Damn, my mistake. fixed.

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