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Old 11-27-2004, 12:27 AM   #120
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,144
Panzer Dragoon Orta

One of the few Japanese
games available for the Xbox.

Finally we have what might be the last Panzer Dragon game ever released due to poor sales. That's really sad, because it's such a good game. The fact that you can't kill prostitutes is probably what made this game fail. But this Xbox game has an unbelievable amount of polish. It is one of the true gems available for the system.

I'm not sure if this is a worm
or a huge infected love muscle.

Graphics: 10/10
Wow. After playing through the other 3 Panzer Dragoon games and then turning on this, I am simply floored. It is one of the best looking Xbox games... heck one of the best looking games period! Not only does it have the amazing design that is a staple in the Panzer Dragoon world, it expands upon it greatly as well. Whereas other Panzer Dragoons were more ancient than futuristic, this one leans more heavily to the futuristic side. Lots of splashy colors, incredible depth, silky-smooth framerate, 480p and perfect 16:9 widescreen with NO stretched menus or HUDs. Make that 3 games that do 16:9 perfectly (Super Monkeyball 2 and F-Zero GX being the other 2 so far. Sega rocks). This game also has a minimal amount of aliasing (jaggies) even in 480p. Truly a sight to be hold in every aspect of the visuals.

The dragon from the original game attacks
the boss of the stage and his employees.

Sound: 9/10
All of your typical Panzer Dragoon sounds are here once again and they sound great. There are some new futuristic sounds as well. The music sounds very similar to Zwei, but the sound quality is more polished and the music played during the early boss encounters is awesome. Some of the music in the later stages is rather nondescript, much to my dismay. Then there is the overall sound quality: Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, this game sounds absolutely incredible! People who know sound worked on this game, that's for sure. The use of the discrete subwoofer is brilliant and really adds to the power and intensity of the game. These guys know way more than the people who did Halo 2's sounds. Halo 2 doesn't even have a discrete subwoofer. One of the better sounding Xbox games out there.

Fly through the giant colon to
get to the source of all evil!

Gameplay: 8/10
The gameplay is great but doesn't quite live up to the awesome graphics and sound. It takes its cues from each of the previous Panzer Dragoon games. It's a straightforward "on rails" shooter like the first game, it features branching paths and limited dragon growth like the second game, and bosses have weak spots that do more damage if you attack them there like the third game. You must fly around to the appropriate side of them by slowing down or speeding up. There is a lot of story and dialog going on at times as you play, as well as cut scenes between each episode. In this game we get 10 episodes instead of just 7 like in the previous outings. You are in control of a morphing dragon, who changes appearance and abilities at your command. I really did not like this feature, because each version of the dragon leveled up independently and I just didn't like being bothered by having to worry about which dragon form I should use at any given time, so I pretty much stuck with the default form. More choice isn't ALWAYS good. This time the story is more about you than the overall world of the Empire. And once again there is a Pandora's Box which lets you unlock a ton of stuff that really adds a lot to the replayability. These include entire new modes of gameplay such as being able to play a young boy who grows up to be part of the empire. You can even fly different dragons and ships throughout the main game, and even have Azel (from Panzer Dragoon Saga) as your rider. There are many different things to do in Pandora's Box, so you won't get bored too quickly, that's for sure. I have unlocked everything and the detail that went into this game is amazing. You can even play the original Sega Saturn Panzer Dragoon once you beat the game once! That is typical of Sega in many of their games... Panzer Dragoon Orta, House of the Dead III and Out Run 2 all have the original games in them (or part 2 in the case of HotD) when you beat them. Sega loves you. You should love them back!

If you kill all of the giant endangered butterflies,
they won't be on the endangered species list anymore.

Wrap up:
This is probably the last game in the series, and it is a fitting end. Lots of fun to be had and if you own an Xbox you should own this game, unless you only have an Xbox because of Halo 1 and 2.

Last edited by Joe Redifer; 11-27-2004 at 12:31 AM.
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