Review by asdfgh

"The final proof that Sega are the best video game creators in the world"

Sega truly is an amazing company. Although perpetually struggling with their economy, they always seem to find inspiration to outdo themselves. Quite a feat indeed. Although I was always more of a Nintendo fan back in the day, I've later come to realize how extremely capable Sega was, and are. With some of the best racing games, fighting games, shooters, sports games, adventures, puzzle games, platformers, and, of course role-playing games ever produced filling their back catalogue, I hope that the rest of the gaming world will soon come to the same conclusion.

Which leads me into the game which this review is supposed to deal with. The best example of Sega's enormously flexible talent, Panzer Dragoon Saga manages to take the universe of one of the most appreciated shooters series, replacing the game system with a fantastic RPG dynamic and adding a storyline worth dying for, ending us up with one of the very best games ever made.

Graphics: The graphics of PSD are simply stunning and serve as excellent proof that the Saturn was indeed a decent 3D machine, despite its 2D focus. The life-like animation of the dragon you're riding and the atmospheric lighting effects make the game a sight to behold, although, of course it technically pales in comparison with the latest generation of games. (7/10)

Sound: No RPG can be complete without a good soundtrack, and PDS delivers. The soundtrack might not be as prominent as, say, its Final Fantasy counterparts, but the ambient nature of the soundtrack makes it just as important in relation to the product. Monolith Soft (of Xenosaga fame) should take heed; here's how to make an RPG cinematic. The fantastic voice-acting (all in Japanese, fortunately) and great sound effects help too. (10/10)

Gameplay: Panzer Dragoon Saga is arguably the most enjoyable role-playing experience there is, and definitely up there with the likes of Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy VII. The reason for this lie in the sense of freedom achieved by the flying dragon, the superlative battle system (which others have described better than I can), and the system for character development which I would describe as nothing short of genius. Adding to that the game also features fantastic pacing, making it a thoroughly cherishable experience. (10/10)

Story: The story in PDS puts players in the role of Edge, a young soldier working for the Empire. When a rebellious fraction, led by the mysterious Lord Craymen, attacks the soldier settlement which Edge is part of, his relatively calm life changes drastically as a bond is formed between him and an ancient dragon, with which he sets out on an epic crusade to find out the truth about the Empire and Lord Craymen's conflicting agendas. (10/10)

Lasting appeal: Here's the most notable flaw in Panzer Dragoon Saga's polished entity. The game is actually quite short. My first time through took me 25 hours, and I didn't hurry, struck as I was by the awesome production values. On the other hand there are reasons enough for replaying the game, loads of extras and hidden bonuses. (8/10)

Overall: There really is no doubt in my mind, Panzer Dragoon Saga deserves the perfect ten. Although the price of this game has soared above the skies, it is worth every last buck. It is, in short, one of the very best RPGs of the 32/64 bit generation, and a definite example of the huge potential that Sega and its sub-divisions possess.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/07/03


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