Sunday, 28 December 2008

Sega + Xbox = Awesomeness!

Can you guess what was the first game I tried on my recently purchased Xbox? No, not Jet Set Radio Future, I was already playing that on my 360. It was none other than Panzer Dragoon Orta! The only title in this magnificent series not released on the Saturn, I've waited for a chance to play it ever since it was first announced. Now, I'm not the biggest Panzer Dragoon fan out there, but I played the PD Zwei demo to death when I was a kid, and one of the first games I played when I bought my second (and current) Saturn was the original PD, so I really like the series, even though I've yet to beat Zwei and never even played Saga (it's on my list...).

Anyway, now it was the time to see how the only 128bits game in the series compared to the rest of the pack, and oh boy, was I in for a surprise. This game is fucking brilliant! I know you were expecting a more elaborate opinion, but to cut it short, that's just how it is. The game plays very much like the predecessors, you control a kid (in this case, a girl) riding a dragon through a pre-determined path and you basically just have to shoot your way out (though you don't necessarily have to kill everything), hence the name "on-rails shooter".

But, of course, Sega didn't just want to do the same thing again, they had to introduce some new twists. Now you can accelerate and decelerate your dragon to strategically position yourself on the battlefield and, even better, you can change its form. No shit, it's like having 3 dragons instead of one! Don't worry, though, for this doesn't mean that you'll have to bust your head trying to figure out what to do. The acceleration thing is only needed in some situations and the forms of the dragon are more a matter of personal taste than necessity. Some situations call for a specific form, like when there's a swarm of weak, little enemies the rapid fire of the "glide" form comes in handy, and the powerful shot of the "heavy" form helps beating some bosses, but in the end this is an action game, not strategy.

Then come the graphics, and OMG, isn't this game gorgeous. Even nowadays it still blew me away. That's because it excells not only from a purely techically point of view, but from an artistic one too. The PD universe is unique and surreal, no question about that, and this game explores that like no other. It's just...I can't really express it through words, but trust me, this game is beautiful, in any and every sense of the word. Pictures don't do it justice, and neither do videos, you really have to play it and see it in motion before your eyes. The level design is basically perfect, the scenarios are unique and varied and everything fits together so well... Playing this game is an unreal, truly fantastic experience.

Finally, to top it off, there's the extras. Not only is this a pretty long game considering genre standards (depending on player skill, it can last as long as most action games/FPS of today), but it features tons of unlockables. Really, there's a lot of stuff to unlock. You'll find detailed information about the game's universe, concept art, bonus missions with new character's/dragons and even a port of the original Panzer Dragoon! Woot!

So, in the end, this game is awesome. It's a god-send gift for fans of the series, a must-have, game something that proves that Sega didn't die with the end of the Dreamcast. Heck, it's so awesome they even made a limited edition Xbox after it!


elend said...

Too bad I don't like that Xbox thing at all. Otherwise I would have played Panzer Dragoon Orta already. I also wondered, why they released a Panzer Dragoon Orta themed special edition as well...

Imagine there'd be a Panzer Dragoon Sega Saturn Limited Edition. Boah.

ArugulaZ said...

I wonder if I can coax this one to play on my Xbox 360? I've heard it crashes some systems after the second stage.

fatherkrishna said...

You can Arugulaz! I bought it after Nebacha brought it to my attention, some time ago... but to my eternal shame it has languished unplayed (along with JSRF) whilst I busied myself with more contemporary titles.

it's like the Wii edition of NiGHTs... When the SJY started, my Saturn love burnt fierce. But after a year of 360, I find myself distracted by shiny things. To my further, evn more... erm... eternallier... shame, after centralising, sorting and tidying my Saturn software collection, my Saturn remains unplugged in the next room.

I'm going to propose something "Saturn February!" My only videogaming will be on the Saturn. Care to join me for four weeks?

Seeing how my 'no smoking' has been going since the New Year (I've had about eight fags). I can't promise that I'll stick to it. I'll include worthy derivatives such as NiGHTS Wii edition, Sega Rally Revo or VF 5 if I find myself weakening...

But damn! This post is so inspirational, I think I might actually stick to it!

Good work Nebacha!!! :)

NebachadnezzaR said...

Come on, elend, think of the Xbox as a big-ass Saturn...with a dvd-player... and a, now that's weird :P

ArugulaZ, I've heard that too, but maybe they fixed it already.

Come on, Father, you got to play it! Now, I admit I also stopped playing when I was half-trough, but hopefully that's just temporary (what put me off was the difficulty of the latter levels).

"Saturn February", now that sounds nice! BTW, my birthday is in February, which kind of makes it even cooler :)

Ujn Hunter said...

I'll join you guys for a Saturn Feb as soon as I can get to my parents house and find the darn thing! :)

fatherkrishna said...

Ujn.. We'll hold you to that and await your reports on your progress through all things Saturn...

"BTW, my birthday is in February, which kind of makes it even cooler" :)

Right dear Nebacha! I owe you a present. What can I furnish you with from the world of gaming???

NebachadnezzaR said...

A rrod-free 360 or a PS2 with a working laser would be nice :)

Lol, joking, you don't have to give me anything, I know this is going to sound lame but your cyber-friendship is enough