The PS2 version doesn't replicate the Saturn version's water effect (or other surfaces) quite right. The original used an infinite 2D plane with raster effects applied for the water, while the PS2 version uses a surface textured with something approximating the original effects. So on stage 1 it looks like waves going out to the horizon when you're facing forward...but when you turn to the side, the texture doesn't rotate and so you can see it running vertically instead of horizontally. Kinda weird. And on a later stage, when you're high above the forest, you can see out to the edges of the surface and notice that you're flying above a finite square of greenery.
One lame problem is that PS2 analog controls aren't really supported. The original digital controls are just mapped to certain ranges of the Dual Shock's stick. There's no proportional control; it doesn't work like the Saturn's flight stick.
But it's a good, solid conversion, especially if you just want to use the PS2 Saturn pad with it. The Pandora's Box is a nice addition, and the game is all there the way it's supposed to be. The arranged mode could be said to be a little lazy, as they didn't improve the framerate or resolution at all, but... oh well.
Great article on one of the best forgotten franchises. Man, I can't help but cringe when I look at the US and Europe cover "artwork," especially after seeing how beautiful the PD cover was on the JP Saturn.
I have a couple of comments that revolve around the PD Saga portion. I would actually change the part where you state there are no weapons or items to equip; while it's largely true, Edge does equip different guns (or is it mods to guns? I can't remember exactly) during the game which gives him better criticals, wider attack area, etc.
It may also be worth noting that the EU version was not PAL optimized. As a result, it plays on a US Saturn, but only if you have a cheat cart like the 4-in-1. Once you input a code, it will allow you to play it with no problems. Oh, and the cover artwork for the EU version is the same as the US, but it comes in nicer packaging - a box that contains two slightly larger than dvd cases with the games inside.
Post by YourAverageJoe on Apr 11, 2007 18:32:26 GMT -5
Actually, here it's pretty hard NOT to pick up a few numbers in different languages, and if you want to dwelve deeper, it's taken from the word Panzerkampfwagen, "armored war wagon" doesn't sound all that awesome, so the more common translation would be a tank.
Wikipedia lists yet another Panzer Dragoon game, Panzer Dragoon R-zone.
"Panzer Dragoon R-zone was a Tiger R-zone game for the short lived system. It was one of the few launch titles made by Sega. It had the no plot, simply a nameless character in an armored dragon attempting to keep a dark dragon from reaching a tower while shooting and dodging robots"
Post by Discoalucard on Apr 12, 2007 8:10:36 GMT -5
It's true. The R-Zone isn't a "real" console though, it's a Tiger game thing that attached to your head and you could buy interchangable "cartridges" for it. My roommate has one, though I dunno if it works, and I've seen the Panzer Dragoon thing for it at the Digital Press store. It's not worth bothering with though, even for the sake of the article.
Post by ahnslaught on Sept 17, 2007 18:59:43 GMT -5
Hey, did you guys check out the really nice feature on Panzer Dragoon on 1up over the weekend? It has some really interesting stories about the development from one of the main guys, as well as a pretty comprehensive retrospective on each game.
The part about Saga is especially depressing, as (apart from the deaths that seemed to follow the development) hearing about the loss of the original code and its practically zero chances of ever being released on any format really hit home the fact that it really is a game that may be forgotten over time, since there are so few people who have, and will ever, play this game.
Really kinda makes me proud to actually own one of these copies, actually.
Post by justjustin on Sept 18, 2007 16:33:10 GMT -5
I actually like how you can't maneuver (very easily) in the Panzer Dragoon games. Since you can't just swoop gracefully through enemies and stuff, you have to really memorize or get a feel for those enemy patterns. This limitation really makes the series quite enjoyable (well, I haven't played Saga but I have all the others).
I wish Panzer Dragoon Orta would be released on PC. I remember buying a second hand copy and borrowing a friend's old xbox to play it. It was so hard and yet for some reason I enjoyed it a lot and after maybe like 20 attempts I beat the first level. I remember at some point it clicked in my head how you were supposed to play the game and deal with all the enemies and projectiles. The graphics are good and I particularly liked the second level. One of the few very difficult games I enjoyed and actually felt like playing it more actually improved my skill while still remaining fun. Being able to rotate the view and change to predefined positions in a boss fight was something that I thought added to the strategy. I never beat the last level and after taking a break from playing it I had lost some of my skill and didn't have time left to dedicate to getting my twitch reflexes back to try and beat it.