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.
Granted 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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