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Panzer Dragoon Mini

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Released: 1996

Genre: Shoot-'em-up

Format reviewed: Game Gear

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Sega

panzer dragoon main

Sometimes you have to see something for yourself. I’d fallen in love with Sega’s Panzer Dragoon series after first experiencing it on my friend’s Saturn, and eventually bought all three games. I’d love to tell you the story about how I purchased Panzer Dragoon Saga for just three British pounds, and how our current staff writer Nick Thorpe nearly bought it from me (at a greatly inflated price of course) at CGE UK 2005, but that’s a tale best saved for another day.

No, this is the sad tale of when I realised that the version of Panzer Dragoon Mini that was in my head turned out to be nowhere near its reality. I’d experimented with the Game Gear after playing with a friend’s and while it wasn’t a patch on Atari’s Lynx I loved the Sega exclusives it offered.

As a result Panzer Dragoon Mini was top on my list and became one of the few imports I bought for the machine. I needn’t have bothered, as it was a world away from previous games. Clearly aimed at younger gamers, it featured basic visuals, an erratic reticule and simple enemy waves.

Gameplay switched between into-the-screen Space Harrier-style flight and side-on shooting, but it couldn’t hide the bland approach of Sega’s game.
I completed the game – I’d paid £40 for it after all – but it was a bitter pill to swallow seeing one of my favourite modern franchises stripped back to its bare bones like that.

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