Review by pzykotikjp
Reviewed: 05/30/02 | Updated: 05/30/02
Not just the greatest RPG on the Saturn...
After paying about 150$ for this jewel on Ebay or some other site get ready to play what I praise as the greatest RPG ever.
The story is about a boy named Edge who works as a guard at an excavation site for the Empire. One day, after an attack from a monster, a revolutionary named Craymen attacks the site; capturing a mysterious girl who was buried in the site and killing all of Edge's friends on the site.While chasing after Craymen's henchmen Edge falls down a fissure, is rescued by a dragon, and the two set off to save the world and avenge Edge's friends. On the way they encounter betrayal from the Empire and a mysterious girl named Azel who also controls a dragon.
To say the least the story is down right awe inspiring with constant twists and revelations. And if you played Panzer Dragoon and Panzer Dragoon Zwei prior to playing Panzer Dragoon Saga you're in for even more of a treat since some elements/creatures from the prequels are brought back to life... literally.
There are three different modes of gameplay:
1. Walking - you wander around in a 3D environment as Edge and use the lock-on cursor to interact with people, doors, items, etc. Nothing much else to say about it.
2. Flying - basically this is what you do in dungeons where you can be attacked. You hold down the B button to move forward and use the D-Pad or Analog to move up/down/left/right. You can use the lock-on cursor to interact with objects and doors similar to when you're walking. The main difference is though is that when you're flying you can be attacked. Which brings us to the third mode of gameplay...
3. Battle - the battle system in Panzer Dragoon Saga is the best to ever grace a RPG. The best way to describe it would be to say its a hybrid of real-time and turn-based. You have 3 meters that fill up and allow you to perform different actions (1 full meter lets you use an item, heal, attack with homing lasers, or use your gun. Two or three full meters can be used for Berserk attacks). But even while your meters are filling you can move around your enemy. This adds a tremendous strategic element to the battle system since you can move to either side, behind, or in front of your opponent in order to avoid their attack (or at least the brunt of the attack).
At any rate, I'm going to shut up now and get to the point:
Gameplay - 10/10: The greatest combat system to ever grace a RPG. Aside from that everything else is enjoyable.
Graphics - 10/10 : For the Saturn these are beautiful. The twilight in the Uru ruins is astounding as are most of the battles in the game. It may not seem like much in this age of Xbox and Gamecube but considering the time period the graphics were amazing.
Sound - 10/10 : Best... game... soundtrack... ever. The sound effects from the dragons and the explosions and such are awesome too. Voice acting is Japanese though... ah well... probably for the best.
Controls - 10/10 : They're perfect. Analog support. Yay. Theres nothing else to say here.
Story - 10/10: Dark and moody with some superb conflict. The main character has a good purpose as does the dragon. Hell, even the enemies you battle have little paragraphs written up on 'em. I also love how they tied in some elements from the prequels.
Extras - 10/10 : End of game rankings, information on every single enemy you encounter, interacts with saved Panzer Dragoon Zwei file, several bonus ''mini-games'' are unlocked when you finish the game, hell, theres even hidden evolutions for your dragon... what more could you want?
Replay - 8/10 : There's no ''New Game+'' here but the ranking information and the secrets will probably give you reason enough to give it a few more tries. Or if you're fanatical about the series like me you could wind up playing through it 40+ more times... *cough*
Overall - 10/10: Best RPG ever. It actually has gameplay (which is something most RPGs are painfully lacking in), a great story, and the best game soundtrack I've ever heard. Props to Team Andromeda for this jewel!
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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