Panzer Dragon Saturn
Review by Joe Santulli Sega Shooter
Graphics: 9 Sound: 9 Gameplay: 9 Overall: 9

One of the greatest problems faced by new systems are those “first generation” blues, where the games that are released at system launch time really don’t show off what that system can do. Remember Genesis’ Altered Beast? Super Nintendo’s Super Mario World? 3DO’s Mad Dog McCree? How about 32X Cosmic Carnage? They all show that the system can do more than its predecessor, but not substantially so. The Saturn has leaped that hurdle. Panzer Dragoon is a marvelous first-generation game. It looks and feels more like an arcade game than any other system launch has stated it would be. You’ve seen pictures of it, and those look awfully good, but boy - you have to play it to really appreciate it. At its core, PD is a simple shooter that plays very much like StarFox. You’re riding on top of a dragon whose flight path is pre-determined. You can turn 360 degrees to fire all around you, but you can’t actually turn the dragon around. The effects are outstanding, with several show-stoppers on each level. Gigantic enemies float effortlessly across your screen without slowdown or flicker, and a dramatic soundtrack enhances the surreal atmosphere. Some gamers may complain that PD lacks power-ups and energy restores, but as I said in my Tempest 2000 review several issues ago, it’s the simple shooters that keep you coming back. If you can’t finish the level, it’s not because you missed something. You just aren’t good enough yet.

This should be your first purchase for the Saturn


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Last updated: Friday, November 14, 2003 10:00 PM