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Panzer Dragoon

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Released: 1995

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Sega Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Team Andromeda

Submitted by: Scott Reed

I don't really like to sit and ponder for too long why things are good. I find it can take something away from those fun things. Sometimes it's pretty easy to work it out though. Like Panzer Dragoon, in which you get a dragon and blow stuff up.

With the exception of it's expensive third instalment Panzer Dragoon Saga (perhaps the most famous and least played of the games) all the Dragoon games are are scenic rail shooters. Not too far removed from Sega's other big shooter hit Space Harrier. You fly into the screen and shoot down neat monsters.

With a choice of two weapons and the only other major feature being the ability to turn the camera around and shoot behind you there's nothing to too tough to grasp. And that's great. You simply don't need to complicate shooting things with dragons. Especially on a system like the Saturn where accessibility is essential (with it not being by Sony or Nintendo an' all).

Controls are what elevates Panzer Dragoon. Your dragon moves smoothly and effortlessly. More smoothly and effortlessly than I think a big flying lizard would move perhaps but still moving like a flying lizard and not a space ship in a manga dragon cospay outfit. The targeting system is easy as pie, perhaps not as easy as Space Harrier's pie but still just as yummy. (wow, a pie metaphor).

And a nice mixture of dodging as well as shooting is required. For those weirdos who need something deeper than shooting things with dragons. I have no time for these people, they were obviously raised in, I dunno, strict Catholic schools or the Nintendo Main Offices.

And if you set all this against a very nice set of backdrops it leaves you with a very satisfying pie, er game. Being the first in the series some would expect Panzer Dragoon to be the most primitive of the series or at least the simplest. It is. Congratulates some you were right. But, this bears repeating so I will, you don’t need to complicate shooting things with dragons.