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Old 11-25-2004, 02:30 AM   #114
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,144
Panzer Dragoon II Zwei
Sega Saturn

It is amazing that Sega
didn't butcher the box art!

The first Panzer Dragoon was a pretty kick-ass game in most respects, so of course Sega is going to follow it up with a sequel. But will they make it better? Of course! Panzer Dragoon II Zwei adds branching paths, dragon growth, and more! It remains an action rail shooter just like the first game, but it adds some depth and polish to the overall package that the first one did not. This game takes place BEFORE the first game. Some say that the dragon pup you ride throughout the game is indeed the same dragon that flies through the first game. That's possible, but it's hard to say based on the way the dragon evolves into different forms.

Graphics: 7/10
Once again this is the Saturn trying to do 3D we're dealing with here. But Sega used a newer graphics library for this game than they did with the previous effort, and it shows. We now have a steady 30 frames per second, more polygons onscreen and slightly higher-res textures. Sega even added a 16:9 widescreen option to this game. Back when this was released, widescreen TVs were unheard of. Sega was truly ahead of their time. There is still lots of polygon warping, blockiness and the game seems really dark overall. But once again the design of the creatures and the ships that inhabit the Panzer Dragoon world is outstanding, and this game only expands on that design. The FMV is a little bit bigger and slightly crisper than the first game, as was obviously done by the same people. There is even a bit of transparency during Episode 4's boss encounter. And the animation throughout the game is amazing, as usual. Overall not a bad looking game for the Saturn.

You start out with just a dragon pup running from
the exact same boulder that chased Indiana Jones!

Sound: 7/10
All of the cool sounds you are familiar with from the series are back here, and they sound great. The music definitely took a different turn from the original game, and many people just cannot deal with it. Gone is the orchestral flair and instead we get kind of a middle-eastern/Japanese flavored mix. The music grows on you and after awhile I really started to like it. The music in Episodes 3 and 6 is just awesome. The other tunes are pretty good as well.

Sega added a widescreen mode for this game.
I had no idea what the option did when I first bought this.
Notice that you get higher scores if you play in widescreen!

Gameplay: 8/10
Zwei plays similar to the first game, only now you can choose your path and your dragon evolves depending on how well you do in battle. There are many different forms your dragon can take. This game also adds the berserker attack to the series, which is a blast of power that builds up over time. When the berserker meter is green, you can unleash hell. It really helps being as that this game is a bit tougher than the last one, and it also has 7 episodes. You can unlock a Pandora's Box (called "Pandra's Box" in the game) which lets you turn on some crazy options like controlling the dragon from the original game, selecting your stage, the size of your life meter, etc. You have to keep playing to earn more options in the Pandora's Box, and it really adds to the overall replayability of the game. The game also keeps track of how many times you've played it, how many hours you've played, how many times you've beaten the game. Really nice, I like games that do that. The bosses are really cool, but the final boss looks exactly like a Thanksgiving turkey!

This boss swims around underwater. Is that... transparency?
Well slap my ass and call me Squeaky, it sure is!

Flying through the Empire battleship in episode 6 is
one of the high points of the game. The Empire don't need
no stinkin' wings on their ships! Oars are where it's at!

Wrap up:
A great follow-up that expands on the original in a good way. Some may not appreciate the music, but this is a game that absolutely should not be missed!
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