Panzer Dragoon Orta

I was at Wal-Mart the other day and they had a demo disc of Panzer Dragoon for the the XBox. I played it a bit and it looks pretty good. The targeting system is a bit oversimplified perhaps, especially with the ability to lock on to multiple targets and then just release a swarm of power-bursts at them all. But I still found the game oddly addictive. The scenery was brilliant and varied, and I felt like I was being swarmed by enemies, which made the fights nice and frenetic. It was very much like an old 2d scroller translated to 3d.

Anyone else tried it?

It gets pretty hectic at times, but it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

BTW, Panzer Dragoon has already been done in 3D:

All the Panzer Dragoon games are 3D. There are three of them. Panzer Dragoon, Panzer Dragoon Zwei, and the one hardly anyone played or owns, Panzer Dragoon Saga, that Dave linked to. All appeared on Sega Saturn.

This is essentially a sequel to the first two games which had a similar play style. PDS was an RPG and featured only the setting from the other games. The gameplay was completely different.


I should know better than to ask a question like this. But, what the hell, I’m old school enough that when I read the word “Panzer,” the first thing that comes to mind is a German tank. So after looking at those screens, can someone tell what this game has to do with Panzers? If anything?

The German word Panzer just means armour, whether ancient or medieval or mounted on a tracked vehicle. So Panzer Dragoon, assuming that the designers were aware of the German meaning of the word and didn’t just choose it because it sounds cool, means armoured dragoon.

Seeing as a “dragoon” is an armoured and mounted knight, does panzer dragoon mean “armour-armoured mounted knight”?

Those wacky Japanese.

I doubt they gave it anywhere near this much thought. :)

Someone at Sega probably just thought it had a nice ring to it. Which it does.


Alright, don’t tell anyone I’m admitting to this, but I really don’t see the HUGE appeal to Panzer/Rez/Harrier/Whatever. All these Sega games amount to holding down a button, locking onto some enemies and letting the button go. The mechanics don’t come across as any more complicated than the simplest light-gun game at your local arcade where the only strategy necessary is to shoot first at things which will harm you first. Throw in your limited secondary Destroy-Everything attack and you’ve got any of these games (I didn’t spend time with Space Harrier outside of Shenmue, so I could be a bit off including it in this generalization).

Don’t get me wrong, Rez was funkadelitastisonically wonderful enough to warrant purchase, and Panzer Dragoon Orta looks pretty enough I’ll probably pick it up, and I certainly enjoy both of these games (at least from the Orta demo), but it seems that whenever they come up in discussion I’m missing some deeper element of gameplay that everyone else appreciates. Is it just me? Is the beauty in the simplicity, are there subtle nuances I glossed over that make these games more than the sum of their parts, or are these just fun but overrated games? I’m not trying to start some crusade against Orta and the like, I’m just wondering what part everyone else gets that I don’t.

This particular series, with the exception of Panzer Dragoon Saga which is an RPG (a top notch one), is basically an excuse to make a shooter. That’s really all they are. The mechanics of them are decent in that you’re forced to rotate yourself on the dragon’s back to make shots and you can avoid fire by “flying” the dragon. But they’re essentially just excellent rail shooters.

Rez has a different vibe altogether because of the music angle as you note. Panzer’s angle is a really cool and very original backdrop for flying around on the back of a dragon and shooting stuff.

I can almost guarantee you the hate crowd will be out in full force on this title thinking it’s something it’s not and coming away really disappointed. I expect the words “shallow” and “pretty” to be the mainstays of every review. Me? It’s one of the few games I’ll have to find an Xbox so I can play it.


Actually, “dragoons” were later than knights, and were usually (always?) unarmored. They were cavalry that fought dismounted (generally), and date to the 18th century and muzzle-loading firearms era.


And an armored dragoon, aside from being an oxymoron, would be a Gepanzert (Amored) Dragoon. A Panzer Dragoon would be a dragoon who was WITH armor, like a guy riding escort with a tank squadron.

(OK, grognard geek mode off.)

Or, of course, “Someone at Sega probably just thought it had a nice ring to it.”

See Dave, I guess I still just don’t get it. Rez and Panzer Dragoon are the same, it’s just that in one a plot unfolds and in another the soundtrack unfolds. I know I’m selling Rez short there, but it’s visual and musical style are still just that, style on top of very basic gameplay. Your post is exactly the kind of reaction I’m trying to understand, can you be more specific about what it is that makes you need to play this game? Again I’ll stress that I want to get this game too, I just don’t understand why everyone else wants it a whole lot more than I do.[/i]

In the colorful rainbow of Japanese game names, or hell Japanese names of ANYTHING, Panzer Dragoon is pretty darn far from the center of all wackiness. :)

Holy shit! Jesus christ, did you guys see that? You saw that, right?

I’m printing this out…

(Just kidding, Dave! I couldn’t pass it up) :D

those were both me above… I cleared out some cookies today and forgot it would get rid of my “log me in automatically” thing.

Sorry, but that’s incorrect. It’s not possible to infer correct or possible use of German words from modern German army terms only.

Gepanzert is indeed the correct adjective (minus declination; should be Gepanzerter) but German like English has compound words. You can prepend Panzer to another word to indicate any kind of relationship between the subject and armour. This includes riding with tanks (as in Panzergrenadier) but might also mean “being armoured” or “being used against armour” (as in Panzerabwehr).

More actual German examples: Panzerschiff (armoured ship – not ship escorted by armour!), Panzerschrank (safe – literally armoured wardrobe or cupboard), Panzerfisch (extinct fish with bony plates instead of scales).

It gets pretty hectic at times, but it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

BTW, Panzer Dragoon has already been done in 3D:

Actually, I realize this, as well as Dave’s comment that they were all 3D. What I was saying is that it FEELS like an old 2D shooter, but it is still 3D. I wasn’t trying to compare it to the earlier PD games, since I figured that not many people got a chance to play them.

At any rate, I agree with Schmidt that the lock on and let go system is not that great. I tend not to use it, but if you don’t then you tend to die a lot :). Still, the game is gorgeous. Is there any purpose to changing forms? I’m sure there is, I just don’t know what yet.

From the demo, I could figure that one form fired as usual, one form seemed to fire faster but without lock-on, and the other form I couldn’t figure out really.

Can’t go back much farther than this, can we? :)

I saw this today at a used game store and decided to pick it up for $7. The reviews from 02-03 are all pretty gushing. Can anyone who has played this recently say how it holds up?

p.s. wumpus seems to have started early…