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View Full Version : Panzer Dragoon Orta Impressions


blueskied
01-02-2003, 05:05 AM
Ok, I just got PDO a few hours ago. I've played up to the 3rd boss. It's really a beautiful game. The graphics are smooth as silk (perfect 60fps, no dropouts ever!), no popup, dozens of enemies flying at you at once, etc. It gets pretty intense sometimes. The levels branch off at certain points, which is cool. I'm playing on Normal, and it's really hard. I've died a bunch of times already.

The bosses are fairly nicely done but so far I haven't really been wowed by any of them. Same with the levels, though the second level is gorgeous and is probably the best so far.

The coolest part is probably the dragoon morphing you do. By hitting the Y button you can instantly switch between 3 different forms--each has its own advantages/disadvantages. The standard form you'll use the most (it's the best all around), though you have a smaller form that shoots really fast (but its shots are the weakest) and can dash and break quickly, as well as a big huge form that is the most powerful though it's slow and can't dash or break. It's really cool as when you're fighting a boss you'll want to be in the big strong form when attacking, then when you have to dash and be on the defense you have to morph to a different form. There's a lot of strategy to it.

The music is really great and I quite enjoy it. My Japanese copy of the game is the limited edition first print with the soundtrack CD included. I have to give that a listen tonight!

The cinemas are top notch and there's a really strong story in the game.

Since I've only played it about an hour, I can't make any more concrete or detailed comments. I'm very glad I bought it though, and it's a game that will make you quite happy to own an xbox.:cool guy:

Ogni
01-02-2003, 09:17 AM
Man, I can't wait... I hope my import dealer will have my copy soon :big smile

blueskied
01-02-2003, 12:05 PM
I've played it a few more hours tonight, and I'm up to the 6th level. I have to say, this game is really, really difficult (on normal. I should have started on easy. I don't even want to try hard!). Maybe I just suck at it, but it took me like an hour just to beat the stupid 5th boss. That thing was near impossible! I've noticed that each level gets increasingly more difficult, which doesn't bode well for me seeing as I'm only at the beginning of the 6th level and there are 10 levels in the game.:crazy:

I have to say, the cinemas in this game are some of the most beautiful, if not THE most beautiful, I've ever seen in a game. They are truly cinema quality, and the art is just fabulous (it even surpasses Biohazard 0, which had fantastic cinemas). You will be amazed at the amount of detail in them. After you watch a movie clip it's saved and you can watch it whenever you like (sorta like DOA3). Really nice. When you get all of the clips, and you watch them in sequence, it will feel like a short film.

Despite the fact there are only 10 main levels (believe me, it'll take you a while to get through those!), there are loads of "scenarios" you open up by doing certain things. I've already opened 2 (I think there's about 10). You get to play as different characters in the game, and see what happens to them when they leave you in the main game. It's VERY cool. It makes the whole game see almost like an RPG. Of course you also have the entire original Saturn game to unlock, as a bonus. This game is just bursting with extras.

More RPG elements: each of your three dragoon forms has a level, like a character in an RPG. The more you fight in one of the forms, the sooner you level up and then become more powerful. I'm at level 3 in the main form, but still at 1 in the other two.

This is already probably the best 3D shooter I've ever played, and I've played a lot. It surpasses the greats like silpheed and star fox, and the original Panzer Dragoon shooters on the saturn. No small feat!!

If you have an xbox, buy this. Quickly. I feel like punching myself for considering NOT buying this. Thanks go to Alucard for telling me what a retarded moron I would be if I didn't get PDO!!
:cool guy:

Havoc2049
01-02-2003, 12:32 PM
Aaarrrggghhhh! Two more weeks!:crazy:

Thanks for the great mini-review blueskied.:cool guy:

blueskied
01-02-2003, 12:50 PM
Originally posted by AtariX
Aaarrrggghhhh! Two more weeks!:crazy:

Thanks for the great mini-review blueskied.:cool guy:

haha. Those two weeks will fly by, I'm sure.
There's one more thing I'd like to add about this game: The more I play it, the more I realise that these graphics are just incredible. Probably the most impressive I've seen on the Xbox (or anywhere else). This is truly a game that could not have been done on any other system, and one to show off to your non-xbox having friends to show them what they're missing. If Sega tried to make this on the PS2, it would look HIDEOUS in comparison. They could probably port it to the GC, though I don't think they could have it running at 60fps--it would have to be cut to 30. The enemy designs are beautiful, and the textures are so clean and crisp!8) The designers were quoted in a recent interview saying they chose the Xbox as it was the only console this game could be done on among the big 3 (PS2, GC, XB), and they stated it couldn't be done on any other system (in other words it's not going to be ported, in case you're holding your breath). I have to agree with them, after what I've played.

The fluidity of the game is one of the things that makes it such a joy to play. And at certain points the game accelerates to such blazing speeds you'll feel like you're on a roller coaster ride.

I have to reiterate: NO popup, NO slowdown, CONSTANT 60fps, INSANELY detailed levels, enemies, bosses, lighting effects, and blurring effects (when you "glide" or "dash"). It's a joy to behold and I praise the heavens that Sega made this. The amount of work that went into this game is mindboggling.

Ok, that's enough gushing for one day. It really is *that great*. I love my big huge xbox right now.:big smile


PS-There are actually at least FOUR dragoon types in the game (one is a land runner type you have to use in a snow/ice level--it's the coolest!). Maybe there's more, I'll find out soon.

Mistatee
01-02-2003, 02:02 PM
I am so happy its a strong title.
I am even more relieved that it takes a while to beat and it has alot of extras.
I already have my copy reserved at my local game retailer!
Finally X-Box may actually get the credit it deserves!

gabriel
01-02-2003, 02:22 PM
Thanks for the impressions, Blue. Glad to hear the game's great. What's the general buzz over PDO in Japan? Is there any at all? Have you seen many commercials for it, etc?

Mistatee
01-02-2003, 10:18 PM
They made 999 limited edition PDO X-Boxes.
Thats all i know! They look kinda cool also

blueskied
01-03-2003, 04:10 AM
Yeah there was a commercial for the game shown a few times in december, but I haven't seen it in awhile. It was pretty cool.

Orta got great reviews here, and I think a lot of people with xboxes were looking forward to it. It'll probably end up selling around 50,000-80,000 copies here in Japan (which is actually very good, considering it's an xbox game), though I wouldn't be surprised if it sells 400,000-500,000 copies in the USA.

Actually, they made 1049 of the limited edition Panzer Xbox systems. 999 in the initial batch, then people complained to segadirect and they agreed to make and raffle off the chance to buy 50 more (I entered the raffle, but of course lost). One of these will probably pop up on ebay this year for like $1000, something crazy like that. It is the coolest looking console I've ever seen though.

ARGH. This game is f'ing impossible. I can't beat the bloody 8th level. I tried for over two hours this afternoon. I get to the boss, but I have like no life left every time. One time I was probably about 5 shots away from beating him but then he whips out some stupid 3 tier red laser that sweeps around and you can't freakin' avoid it so I was killed with one hit. SO CHEAP!:too mad:

But, I'll keep trying. This game rules. :cool guy:

Ogni
01-03-2003, 06:11 AM
Great news (for me at least), I just talked to my import dealer, he got the PDO's today, so I should have mine by this time tomorrow :big smile :big smile
Blueskied one question, my dealer told me something about a included key-chain, is this a limited ed.?
Man one more day to go, I know where my weekend goes...:sing:

blueskied
01-03-2003, 09:24 AM
Well I just beat Orta, on the normal difficulty. Good god that was hard. Much to my horror, I wasn't treated to a CG ending (though there is at least one). ARGHHHH!!!! I got some crap text and a short scene via real-time "in game" graphics.:angry:

But, on the bright side, it did open up the original Panzer Dragoon sega saturn game in my Pandora's Box. I played through the first level, and was taken aback by the horrid textures, choppy 15/20fps frame rate, popup everywhere, etc. I forgot what games used to look like 8 years ago. We've come a long way!! But the music still rules, and in fact I think it's better than the music in Orta. I wish they included Zwei as well. That would have made this game just about perfect.

I've only opened 35% of Pandora's box so far. Only three CG films too!! That sucks. There are 10 slots for CG films, but I've only filled three. I wonder where the other 7 are?? Those are one of the best parts of the game, so I hope I can figure out how to unlock them/see them.

I've tried some of the bonus "side" missions/scenarios. I don't really like any of them yet, they're sort of weird without clear objectives.

Anyway, I only scored an "A" on two levels (on a couple I got a "D"!). So I have to try and do better. I think I'll start again on easy this time, and try to go down different paths in the levels.

Ogni, hope you enjoy the game! I'm sure you will. I didn't get a keychain with my game, though I remember reading somewhere about that.

Caitsith
01-03-2003, 11:44 AM
Local game store just got my copy in yesterday, so I picked it up along with an X-box to play it on (Big supporter of Nintendo as well as PS2) I must say? WOW. The whole damn thing just leaves me in a pile of drool. I still am edgy about X-Box in general but I give them credit where credit is due? No other console could possibly touch the amazing graphics of this game while running so smoothly.

Well I better go hide in a corner, before my poor cube beats the crap out of me for finding out that I am beginning to go on long walks along the beach with my new toy because of how great a game PDO is.

Seriously, I didn?t think it was going to be that great, but I have to say I stuck my foot in my mouth on this one? I just hope that there are other games in the near future that will keep me happy with my purchase. It was dumb enough to buy a brand new system for just one game. Even though at the moment I don?t feel cheated in the least.

blueskied
01-03-2003, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by Caitsith
Local game store just got my copy in yesterday, so I picked it up along with an X-box to play it on (Big supporter of Nintendo as well as PS2) I must say? WOW. The whole damn thing just leaves me in a pile of drool. I still am edgy about X-Box in general but I give them credit where credit is due? No other console could possibly touch the amazing graphics of this game while running so smoothly.

Well I better go hide in a corner, before my poor cube beats the crap out of me for finding out that I am beginning to go on long walks along the beach with my new toy because of how great a game PDO is.

Seriously, I didn?t think it was going to be that great, but I have to say I stuck my foot in my mouth on this one? I just hope that there are other games in the near future that will keep me happy with my purchase. It was dumb enough to buy a brand new system for just one game. Even though at the moment I don?t feel cheated in the least.

Hey that's great! I'm in the same boat as you. I just bought an xbox recently too (last weekend), in part to play PDO. I'm a longtime Gamecube user as well. But I have to say I absolutely love my xbox. I have DOA3 and Rallisport challenge as well, and I play Rallisport probably the most. The game has the best racing graphics I've ever seen, and the ability to use your own custom soundtracks in the game is SWEET. No other system lets you rip cds to your harddrive ('cos they don't HAVE harddrives) and listen to them in the game.

After playing these three xbox games for the past week, I have to tell you, I don't have much desire to play my Gamecube. I look at it, and it looks at me, but then I pick up my xbox controller and I ignore it.:haha:

The xbox has a ton of great games available, and more coming soon. Gun Valkyrie might be a game you'd want, as it's made by Smilebit as well, and is supposed to be an excellent action/shooter. I want to get that soon. Also the staples like Halo and DOA3 and stuff. Splinter cell is supposed to be good. In a couple weeks there'll be DOAX, if you're into that (I am!). In spring will be Ninja Gaiden, which is another game that's worth buying an xbox for. I'd recommend the aforementioned Rallisport Challenge if you like rally racing. It doesn't get any better!!

Just enjoy your new xbox (I know I am), and don't feel too sorry for the 'cube.:P

By the way, how far are you in Orta? Finished it yet? Which difficulty are you playing on?

Mistatee
01-03-2003, 03:59 PM
Must owns on X-Box are Halo, DOA3, JSRF, Splinter Cell, and if you have broadband, Mech Assault and Ghost Recon.

I recomend getting DOAX, and Ninja Gaiden when they come out

DBJAY
01-03-2003, 06:59 PM
Nice write up. Makes waiting for the game in the US even harder.:cool guy:

Dark-SMOKU
01-04-2003, 03:26 AM
Blueskied, Ralli Sport has been in the States since launch. My friends have it, but it's nothing to be excited about. Not revolutionary. GT 3 A-spec is nice!

Also, Blue, have you beaten Zelda yet? Was it cool?

And another thing, does PDO seem like a rail shooter? The U.S reviews pointed out some flaws that brang the score to about an 8-10 mostly. Maybe they were in a bad mood or something, cause you are saying it's a 10. (Glad you enjoyed it)

And finally, your gonna wish you gave your Cube more attention when it stops reading your discs! :D

-From the Master of Pain.

blueskied
01-04-2003, 03:57 AM
Originally posted by Dark-SMOKU
Blueskied, Ralli Sport has been in the States since launch. My friends have it, but it's nothing to be excited about. Not revolutionary. GT 3 A-spec is nice!

Also, Blue, have you beaten Zelda yet? Was it cool?

And another thing, does PDO seem like a rail shooter? The U.S reviews pointed out some flaws that brang the score to about an 8-10 mostly. Maybe they were in a bad mood or something, cause you are saying it's a 10. (Glad you enjoyed it)

And finally, your gonna wish you gave your Cube more attention when it stops reading your discs! :D

-From the Master of Pain.

Yeah rallisport has been out since the launch, but it's still an amazing rally game. Rally racing is my fave type of racing game, so maybe I'm a bit biased there. It has better graphics than any racer on the PS2 or GC (are there any racing games for the GC??). Probably the best racer on the xbox as well. I really love it. The more you play, the more fun it gets. I especially love the custom soundtrack option, it's SO nice to race to the songs of your choice. A dream come true for me!

Yeah I beat Zelda over a week ago. And yeah, it was cool.:cool guy:

Yeah Orta is sort of a rail shooter. I'd give it a 9 or 10 probably. The graphics are incredible, as stated before. It is insanely difficult though (but, it's not impossible), so that might put off some people. But I really loved the challenge. My only gripe would be it's too hard to avoid some hits some time, as you don't really have any evasive manuevers with your dragon (well, you do have a couple, but they're not very effective IMO), like the 360 spin in star fox. It would have been nice if they included something like that.

I actually played my Cube last night. I felt like a game of Jikkyou Powerful Pro baseball, and it was quite nice.:big smile

Mistatee
01-04-2003, 10:20 AM
You beaten the origanal PD included with PDO yet?
I wanna know if its any good. I only played Zwei and saga with my staurn

Kid0_oIcarus
01-06-2003, 01:24 PM
Sega should stick to making good on their multiplatform strategy dangnabbit. I wanted PDO for my GC... just like JSRF... and and... Shenmue II... well no.. just PDO. :D

blueskied
01-06-2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Mistatee
You beaten the origanal PD included with PDO yet?
I wanna know if its any good. I only played Zwei and saga with my staurn

No I haven't played through it in PDO. I beat the original version years ago, and yeah it's a great shooter. Pretty bad 3D graphics by today's standards, but the music rules.

By the way, in PDO, you can unlock the opening and ending movies from Panzer Dragoon, Zwei, AND Azel ("saga"), which pretty much shocked me. What a nice bonus!

Cobi*
01-07-2003, 03:07 AM
that is surprising that they'd include the opening and ending cg's from the earlier panzers. if they really wanted to impress me they should have included all three of the original panzer games on an extra dvd! :D

i still want orta!! might have to get an xbox just for this one ^^

Icarus4578
01-07-2003, 11:16 AM
I'm pretty certain that if you do good enough it will open up hidden stuff like more Dragoon forms (super-powerful) as well as other stuff (like in Panzer 2). I remember having to sit there for 5 hours to open up everything in that game (getting all highest rankings on every stage). Annoying but fun enough that I did it. Nothing quite like a good challenge.

Hardest shooter? Pulstar.

blueskied
01-07-2003, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Icarus4578
I'm pretty certain that if you do good enough it will open up hidden stuff like more Dragoon forms (super-powerful) as well as other stuff (like in Panzer 2).

I don't know if there's a "super powerful" dragoon form in this game. Of course I've only opened 40% of the Pandora's box, so I could be wrong. There is one mysterious item in the Pandora's box that I can't seem to unlock, it's a black globe with Question marks all over it. I want to know what the heck that is, darn it!:too mad:

Hardest shooter? Pulstar.

Yes.:cool guy:

Icarus4578
01-07-2003, 11:26 AM
Guaranteed, since there's a Pandora's Box there's hidden forms, including an ultra-powerful form. Ain't no way Sega's NOT putting something like that in this.

Perhaps the globe thing is a hidden area. I know that you'll have to get all highest rankings on every stage in order to open almost everything up. That's what had to be done in Panzer 2. Also, a stage select is probably in it as well.

When you played part 1 on X-Box, are all the graphics redone to look X-Box? Just curious.

blueskied
01-07-2003, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by Icarus4578
Guaranteed, since there's a Pandora's Box there's hidden forms, including an ultra-powerful form. Ain't no way Sega's NOT putting something like that in this.

Perhaps the globe thing is a hidden area. I know that you'll have to get all highest rankings on every stage in order to open almost everything up. That's what had to be done in Panzer 2. Also, a stage select is probably in it as well.

When you played part 1 on X-Box, are all the graphics redone to look X-Box? Just curious.


In the Pandora's box, there are a TON of things. There's a "films" section, where you unlock CG movies from the game, as well as Panzer Dragoon, Zwei, and Azel ("Saga"). There's an illustration section, with about 7 pages (each one has about 15 illustrations I think) full of art from the games over the years, which you can unlock. There's an "events" section, where you unlock a bunch of side quests (close to 15 in total, I believe). There's a full encyclopedia of the panzer dragoon universe, where you can look up the definitions and descriptions of all the characters and worlds of the Panzer universe (incredibly cool and comprehensive!!). Then there is the original Panzer, which you unlock once you beat the game on Normal. It's a 100% straight port, no upgrades whatsoever so it's the same cruddy 3D graphics it was 8-9 years ago.

Then there's that black globe thingy with the question marks. I've no clue what that is yet, though I doubt it's another stage as you already have a ton of extra worlds in the bonus side quests you open up.

I really don't think there's a super powerful form in the game to unlock. It wouldn't fit in with the flow of the main game, and you already have 3 forms which level up and change at each level. It's more likely an option opens up where you can start the game with all three dragoon forms maxed out, which would be SO COOL.

Icarus4578
01-07-2003, 12:14 PM
You may be right about the stage part, since there's all the sub-quest things you stated before. But I still believe there is an option to either have the full dragoons from the start (like you said) or even better, a special dragoon where you don't need to change anymore because it has max abilities in every way. Whatever Sega decides to do, they better make a new Phantasy Star for one of these new systems (and it better not be online). You know what would be too cool for flying/shooters? If Capcom decided to bring back Forgotten Worlds! Well at least that new Dead Phoenix game for GC looks like a sequel to the old NES title Legendary Wings. And of course, they had to make it look like Panzer but instead of a dragoon you're a guy with phoenix wings on fire or something. Bet it plays similar to Panzer or any other on-rails shooter. Looks like Capcom wants a piece of the action. We'll see.

Mistatee
01-07-2003, 03:28 PM
They are remaking Phantasy Star for Ps2.
I have also heard rumors for PDS, Streets of Rage, but no system has been anounced

Ogni
01-07-2003, 04:29 PM
Today my copy finally arived :lol: :big smile :spinface: and I LOVE IT, I can only tell you, everything blueskied wrote is true, it really is an amazing game!
Currently I am playing Episode 7, the sureal stage, it's really mind blowing. I was lucky enough to get a limited edition of the game, containing a key chain and a music cd, with 4 tracks of music of past PD games!
But I really need to get back playing!

Icarus4578
01-07-2003, 04:56 PM
Mistatee, I know about the remake and i'll be the first in the store to buy it. They better remake parts 2 and 4 as well, especially 2, my personal favorite. Last year they showed very early shots of a 3D Streets of Rage and as far as I know, it's for X-Box. I hope Yuzo Koshiro is doing the soundtrack. They're also working on a sequel/spinoff to OutRunners and Altered Beast. Not sure which system(s) will get those. Sega's on a roll tough and they surely have alot more on the way this year.

Mistatee
01-07-2003, 06:04 PM
Golden Axe should be re-done

Icarus4578
01-07-2003, 06:07 PM
I agree. And not only redone, all the others hould come included and they should make a new Golden Axe with 3D backgrounds and 2D characters. (or 3D, depending on your preference).

Mistatee
01-07-2003, 09:45 PM
They would also need to revamp the batteling. Maybe some new skills, or magic. Make it more like an RPG and select skills as you level. Or just make it extremely frantic. One thing is for sure. Smilebit should make it, or Overworks.

Icarus4578
01-07-2003, 11:13 PM
Yeah, make it have more RPG elements (like summons once you have enough magic power and potions saved up) and level up but keep the arcade 'feel' to it.

Havoc2049
01-17-2003, 11:10 AM
I second everything that Blueskied said. PDO is a top notch AAA game. I've just been so busy with work lately, I'm only on Episode 3. Work sucks, PDO rules!:D

Icarus4578
01-17-2003, 05:34 PM
Well AtariX, you sure do take a long while to get through PDO. I finished it on hard my first day (albeit continuing ALOT) and played it almost all day. Now that i've been through it a few times though i'm kinda bored of it. Still, I gave it a 7 in my review(tied with Metriod Prime), and in many mays it bettered Starfox for best FPS ever. It's just a question of tastes.

Mr Mort
01-18-2003, 03:34 AM
I got the game the day it hit stores in the US (1/15) and the game has definately met my expectations and perhaps exceeded them. I've been a longtime fan of the series, and I have all the Saturn games, and this game holds true to the first 3.

I've beaten it on easy, and I'm currently working on beating it in normal mode. I have to say that the original Panzer Dragoon in the Xbox version is identical to its original Saturn version in every way, pop-up and all, although the resolution may have been increased. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that Sega actually created a Saturn emulator for the Xbox, and just dumped the original Saturn game onto the disc... Of course, I could be mistaken, but it's just a thought.

As for Orta itself, I like the addition of the speeding up and slowing down, dragon morphing & leveling up, and I particularly like the aspect of swinging around to a boss' weak side, a gameplay element they took straight out of SAGA (which is one of my fave games of all time, and a truly innovative and different RPG).

Now if only Smilebit would create another Panzer Dragoon RPG, we'd all be in heaven...

Havoc2049
01-18-2003, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by Icarus4578
Well AtariX, you sure do take a long while to get through PDO. I finished it on hard my first day (albeit continuing ALOT) and played it almost all day. Now that i've been through it a few times though i'm kinda bored of it. Still, I gave it a 7 in my review(tied with Metriod Prime), and in many mays it bettered Starfox for best FPS ever. It's just a question of tastes.

I picked up PDO on the day it was released, but I can only dedicate about 30 minutes to 2 hours a day to play video games.
On my days off though, then I can get some serious game time in. I'm on episode 5 now.:D

Icarus4578
01-18-2003, 07:50 PM
Well at least it increases it's longevity and lasting interest because you have had less time to devote to it and so it actually is more like playing an arcade for a short while each day.

This may just be my opinion, but does anybody remember the game for Sega Master System called '3D Missle Defense' or something? It came with 3D glasses and you had to use the light gun to play. Well, in stage 4 in PDO when you're flying by that huge warship thing there's 2 places where there's a ton of missle lauchers and they all fire at you at once (and you have to shoot every missle down or get whacked). Those 2 parts reminded me of that old game alot. The worst thing I had to do was constantly continue at both 4th bosses on hard because I had almost no energy by the time I got to them (and on hard they don't giove you back enery if you continue or save; you HAVE to win no matter what) and after I got that stupid statue down pat without getting hit i'd always get destroyed by those Dragmares or whatever they're called. So just think; I had to play that one part for an HOUR before I finally figured out how to beat them both without getting hit:2happy: That's my talent.