Panzer Dragoon Saga – for the gamers that more than likely might have missed this EPIC RPG. SHAME ON YOU! Then again can’t blame them for missing it. Only 30k copies where released in the US alone.
Game Title: Panzer Dragoon Saga
Publisher: Team Andromeda
Sales: Not enough, roughly 30k, assuming all copies were in fact purchased. (Gamers blinded by Final Fantasy)
Why you missed it:
Chances are you owned a PS1 and was heavily hooked on Final Fantasy 7, crying your eyeballs to sleep thinking about how Square Soft could of had the heart to kill Aerith & spending a couple of weeks watching a VHS recording of the ending.
Why you need to play it:
First off, WOW! for a game that didn’t sell no where near as much as Final Fantasy 7, it was highly recognized and praised internationally for it’s unique style , story and cinematics . It was Most definitely a GEM amongst the coal mines of games out at that time. With it’s very unique story, game play and soundtrack, you as the gamer really felt like you were transported to another world, forgetting all other traditional RPG’s in it’s time. With a game like Final Fantasy, players can always expect the same elements found in each of the previous Final Fantasy games (Chocobos, Summons, Airships, etc). Where as Panzer Dragoon Saga had turn based air combat unlike any other game of it’s time. The artwork and design seemed very foreign and distinct and the Soundtrack was Epic indeed, easily compared to that of a film. The first time I popped in the game into my Sega Saturn and saw the intro, I knew and thought to myself “I wasn’t in Kansas anymore”.
The story takes place after Panzer Dragoon Zwei and the original Panzer Dragoon, and before Panzer Dragoon Orta, in a Post-Apocalyptic world fighting for survival from The Empire’s Lust for Power and Dominance. A young soldier named Edge discovers a young girl buried in the wall where Ancient artifacts are being recovered. A chain of events unfolds and Edge is intercepted by a flying dragon. The dragon somehow makes a connection with Edge, on some sort of spiritual or telepathy level (C’mon how cool is that! Think Eragon, but Badass) and with its help, Edge’s EPIC adventure begins. During the course of the game Edge deals a lot with the Empire (The largest faction in the game which so happens built upon the buried technology of the Ancients) and “The Ancients”
an old civilization that was seriously advanced in technology that has been shrouded in mystery for a very long time. As all Evil Empires do (this one being no different) They want more “Power”, and the ability to use it as they see fit. This is where Edge’s role comes into play as he sets on a journey to uncover the Ancients secrets while trying to put a stop to the Empire’s twisted lust for power & control.
All the awesome combat game play, and cg cut scenes takes place in mid-air rather than on the ground. The gameplay is based on a traditional turn-based model, though maneuvering takes place in real time. Like most RPG’s, the player is able to attack, use items, or cast spells called Berserks (Berserks that are comparable to the magical spells found in other RPGs). The Dragon has five attributes: normal, agility, spiritual, attack, and defense. What I found most interesting and fun was how the dragon itself would change forms depending on what attributes I would focus on more (Saga used a sophisticated system that allows the dragon to transform into hundreds of different forms). Panzer Dragoon Saga story unfolds in such a way that it makes it hard to to let go of the controller, even for a bathroom break, and the cinematic cut scene portray feelings and emotions that most games have a hard time expressing.
Let’s wrap it up:
All in all Panzer Dragoon Saga is ONE SOLID game to play and most definitely to own, especially if you can get lucky enough to find a copy on Ebay . Copies tend to sell for a relatively high price ( Ive seen it go for up to $200 on Ebay). To make matters infinitely worse, the geniuses at SEGA lost the original source code to the game, which means a re-release will have to be done from the ground up. Assuming SEGA hate’s money, the chances of them wanting to remake this from scratch is a no-go.
I’ll leave you with this last comment: The ending to the game blew my mind in such a way that up until now I haven’t come across another game that has remotely tried to do what they have done. I know, It’s a pretty bold statement. But it’s coming from he guy who played the game 14 years ago and will never forget!