Review by Fire_Starter
"Short, but sweet...."
I had recently gotten Panzer Dragoon Saga/Azel Panzer Dragoon RPG (via eBay). I must say, it is probably one of the best games I've played in years. It is probably the shortest later gen RPG I've played, too (the Zelda....wait, does that count?). But, in comparison, some of these games are too long, anyway. The overall combination of gameplay and story are interwoven perfectly, and the audio is done very well.
To begin, I want to start with the translation. This was probably a bit of an undertaking, but since they could only create 2,000 copies of the game in North America and less in Europe, all they could do is scratch the surface. That is usually the best thing to in a translation of a game, especially in this one, where they practically kept dialogue subbed in English (a few spots they missed), and translated almost all the text (in Monty Python fashion, they didn't even mess with credits). That made this game better, though they screwed up on a few parts (''Sestren, meet the Winged Death...'' Huh?)
Considering the firsts and the level of achievement they pulled in this game on a Sega Saturn, it's amazing. The textures do suck a little, but some of the marvels they achieve I thought was only possible on a PSX. The water effects at Uru were particularly stunning, and an entirely 3D graphic engine (The first out of any RPG...It would take at least two years before Grandia II hit that level) worked out very well.
Another amazing feat done here: All of the dialogue is voiced! Even that has not been achieved yet. The music is cool mix of techno and middle eastern music. The sound effects were mild but sufficient.
The response time for the switching positions in battle was a little slow, but otherwise the controls are great. Since the menu is placed on the start button, it gets confusing, but you get the hang of it after a bit. Luckily, the attacks are set onto A and B buttons, which makes things easy.
A very unique battle system. Think FF's ATB system, only you can actually move your dragon around, and use Berserks and attacks on a super move-style scale. Very intuitive, and the fact that you can move in battle kicks ass too.
The gameplay is not very interactive, but it is great otherwise, and very action oriented. The only thing that downgrades is how short it is: I completed the game in 15 hours. Yep. 15. Sucks, doesn't it? That, and the really sad ending.
I love this game. There are few shortcomings to it, but nothing that it overcomes with its gameplay and great storyline.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/12/02, Updated 04/12/02
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