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Old 03-05-2006, 03:40 PM   #11
Mistatee
Linguistic Massacre
 
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Rain Central, WA
Posts: 4,836
Next one is up...

Panzer Dragoon Saga (SAT)

This game, as you know, is often hailed as one of the best games ever, and especially the best game for Saturn. Lets see how it holds up.

The Story:

The game starts of very well, in about the same world as the first 2 Panzer Dragoons. But then it begins to move very slowly for awhile, probally the whole first disc (of 4). You meet seem characters along the way (though they never really join your party) that describe te way the worls works, and help you get out of some dungeons. This is also done quite well. The basics of the story is this:

You are edge, a hunter, who is trying to get revenge on a man for killing your party and stealing an artifact woman. You mysteriously (explained later) have control of a dragon with the power to allow for your revenge

It seems pretty simple, and actually is until the end of the 3rd Disk.

Where you learn that the man who you want revenge against is actually a good guy saving the world from technology placed there in the past. It is here that your bond to the dragon is explained

Basically the story is slow until the last 5-6 hours or so, which then it is pretty well done. In my book this is forgivable, though it will cost them points. As for the overall world of the game:

It flows without problems, but you are really limited to who you can interact with. There are actually only 3 towns in the game, but this will be covered in Gameplay.

Overall the Story gets 84 points times 50% becuase while not the main focus, it was important.

The Characters:

There weren't many. You had 2 villians, a love interest, an explorer, and mechanic, a corrupt politician, a tribe leader, and a bartender. Seems like alot, but this list is every person TOTAL with something to do with the game. Even though this game is a 1 person group game, this is in-excusable. The characters weren't even fleshed out to well. Only your love interest, 1 villian, and the explorer actually have a past, and these are basically the only real characters in the game. There is a pretty interesting twist with your story after the final boss fight. All the characters had really good japanese voice acting as well.

Overall the Characters gets 60 points times 15% becuase they were only there to move the story along, nothing more.

The Gameplay:

Obviously the main focus of the game. Its real-time, such as your three bar fill (and can move faster which I will describe later) You gain access to higher teirs of attacks. You can also move around you enemies (on a rail, so there are only 4 positions in combat) to dodge harmful attacks, and to find areas where they take more damage. Intop of that you can customize your gun with 1 upgrade, and are able to customize your dragon at anytime (even fights) selecting if it has more defesne, attack, spirit(magic power), or agility(faster bars and position changing).
When you level up (which happens alot. I made it to level 51 in the 18 hours the game takes) you gain stats based on what dragon you had out when you leveled. Changing stats also alters the way your dragon looks. Also how you treat your dragon out of battle can give him a new special. There is also a secret where you collect 12 "D-Units" to unlock the Dragons final form (which sadly removes all the before mentioned customization, but in return, you get a badass ride). Unfortunetly, a lot of these awesome ideas aren't fleshed out enough. Theres only 7 upgrades (including the secret one) for your handgun, which really is lame, even though some of them are helpful depending on the way you level your dragon. Also "how you treat your dragon" is simply everyday pick from 3 different options at your camp: Smile, Ignore, and Pet, thats it. Another problem I had with the game is the idea that the more you use a form the better spells you get with it. IE you use attack form alot, you get more attack magic... Well I never used attack form in the game, except at a few parts, and I still got all of it's magic...LAME. Also the limit on BP (basically MP) kinda killed my plan of going all spell-caster, but this was in the last hour so it wasn't too bad.

More problems would arise from the complete lack of towns. You end up going to one town over and over again, then moving on to the next, and repeat.

And my Final issue is: TOO EASY. I dunno if it is becuase I went spell caster, but it was way too easy. I died 3 times total, the first 2 were at the first boss. And when I didn't die, I didn't come close. This is partially becuase there are too many items. And without gun-upgrades to buy (i bought the beest one in 6 hours) i spent all my money on potion, ecetera.

But don't get me wrong, these flaws don't make the game "bad" just worse then it should have been. There is still the best exploration ever (3d-flying always rocks), really fun combat, really good customization, great voice-acting, and a decent soundtrack. Also the better you do in a fight (take no damage, did it fast) the more experience you get, and a chance for an item increases. Plus it gives you a rank and records that in your monster log (which is HUGE).

Overall the GamePlay gets 87 points times 35% becuase it was original and combat was easilly the main focus.

Overall Score: 84 x 50% + 60 x 15% + 87 x 35% = 81.5

Bonus:
Well Japanese credits and voice-acting is always a plus.
Good amount of secrets
Decent CG for the time
And hefty list of monsterlogs and a nice percentage break-down at end game which every game needs.
(Total of +5)


Final Score: 86.5 (Rank 5 of 12)
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Last edited by Mistatee; 01-12-2008 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Update
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