Since this review was originally published, an update has reportedly addressed or improved one or more of the issues cited. While we unfortunately cannot revisit games on an individual basis, it should still be noted that the updated game may offer an improved experience over the one detailed below.
When Nintendo revealed during its 2019 E3 presentation that a remake of Panzer Dragoon was coming to the Switch, we were pleasantly surprised. When this week’s Nintendo Direct Mini then confirmed that it was available to buy, we were once again delighted by the unexpected news. Now we’ve played it we’re slightly less overjoyed – but still grateful it exists.
For those unfamiliar with the Sega Saturn original, Panzer Dragoon casts you as Keil, a hunter who finds himself caught up in an adventure when he witnesses two dragon-riding warriors fighting each other. When one is fatally wounded, he asks Keil to take his dragon and stop the other one from reaching the ominous black tower.
Cue six stages of on-rails shooting action atop your new dragon pal, on an adventure that takes roughly an hour to beat (not taking deaths and continues into account). This may seem a little on the short side, but... okay, it is.
The main gimmick in Panzer Dragoon that separates it from other on-rails flight combat games like Star Fox is the ability to press the shoulder buttons to rotate the camera 90 degrees. Enemies can approach you from the sides and the rear so you need to keep an eye on your radar and adjust your view accordingly.
Combat consists of two types of shot: a standard blast by tapping the shot button and a far more effective homing shot that lets you lock onto multiple targets by holding the button down before unleashing blue ribbons of hell onto them by letting it go. While most enemies are more effectively defeated by the homing shot, others (and most types of missile) can only be taken out with the standard gun, so learning which weapon to use is the key.
This Switch remake has two control systems to choose from: a ‘Classic’ configuration that matches the original’s relatively closely, and a new ‘Modern’ option. Classic will be the set-up most familiar to fans of the original, with players able to use either the left stick or the D-Pad to both move and aim at the same time (inverted aiming is off by default but you can turn it on).
Modern, meanwhile, adds a twin-stick system that lets you move with the left stick and aim your crosshair with the right one. This allows you to stay in one place while aiming – something not possible in the original version – which is useful because it makes it less likely that you’ll fly directly into enemy fire while trying to line up a shot.
Having both options is welcome, but each has their own issues. As already explained, the Classic controls make it impossible to move and aim in separate directions, whereas the Modern version assigns shots to the ZL and ZR buttons: no big deal when using a Pro Controller but extremely uncomfortable when playing in handheld mode because of the claw shapes you have to make with your hands to reach both sticks and a trigger at the same time.
Whichever you choose, aiming will require an adjustment period. As in the original, your aiming reticule consists of a line of boxes that goes into the distance; this is designed to make it easier to aim in three dimensions, but it’s a bit hit-and-miss in practice and the analogue controls are quite stiff, despite the option to adjust sensitivity. A patch is coming that will apparently add gyro controls – we’re up for that in theory, but need to wait and see how it plays out in practice.
It’s also significantly slower to rotate the camera here than it was in the original. In the past you could zip from the front view to the side views and the rear view in fairly zippy fashion, but this time it does take a bit longer. In moments where you’re taking on shots and enemies from all angles it can sometimes feel like it’s struggling to keep up with the pace.
On top of this, there’s an odd visual quirk in which your aiming reticule actually appears on top of your character. It’s a little hard to explain in words, but on the Saturn the reticule was always in front of the character, which made sense: you’re playing as them, and you’re controlling their aim. By placing the cursor on top of the character it can instead feel like you’re controlling someone else who’s sat behind them. It isn’t a massive deal in the grand scheme of things, but it does affect the immersion a little for those used to the original’s aiming system.
The visuals are something of a mixed bag, too. There’s no denying that the game is a significant improvement over the original; you only need to put the two side-by-side and you’ll see a night and day difference. That said, we aren’t exactly talking Link’s Awakening here; taken on its own merits, it’s still a fairly basic-looking game with low-poly models, an underwhelming frame rate and some rough scenery – especially in handheld mode.
One area that can’t be questioned, however, is the music. The Saturn version’s incredible orchestral soundtrack is here in all its glory and it still sounds as phenomenal as it did 25 years ago. There’s an optional remixed soundtrack coming in another patch for anyone who’s looking for something new to go with the update graphics. It wasn’t quite ready in time for us to check it out for the review, however, so the jury’s out on how it sounds.
Panzer Dragoon: Remake is an interesting take on a classic that may ultimately only appeal to some fans. It’s far too short for the price, meaning anyone who doesn’t have any interest in its legacy may not be able to see past the fact that they’re paying about $25 for a game that’s over in an hour or two.
It’s very much aimed at those with a love for the original game, then, or at least a curious interest as to why it’s considered such a classic. The various control and design updates are likely to divide the die-hards, but it’s still Panzer Dragoon at its core and with the same studio planning to also remake the vastly superior Panzer Dragoon II Zwei, consider us cautiously optimistic for that one.
Panzer Dragoon: Remake is a decent take on an all-time classic that goes some way to modernising it, but doesn't quite nail the landing. Awkward controls and a visual style that's a clear improvement but could still look much better result in a game that’s mainly for fans of the original who are curious to see how it would look with a new lick of paint.
When a game is short (relative to price) in content then developers should really look into investing into replayability, multiplayer or longer campaigns. It easily shows which developers care about the game they're creating.
When a game like Hollow Knight, which is by a tiny development team, can provide me much more content at a lower price at launch, there is a problem. Even StarFox, as a short game and relatively comparable to Panzer Dragoon, has multiple paths and ways to raise the player skill ceiling.
Here's hoping their next project will be a tad more ambitious. Shame, because I was really looking forward to this one.
Saw the video yesterday and looks ok. Never played the original . Will pay like 10 quid when there is a sale x x x x
I definitely won't be considering it until they add gyro controls. Even after that, it's probably one where I'd wait for a good sale.
Glad I held off on purchasing this last night it is a short game but it’s quite difficult to get perfect scores I think that’s where the replay value came from but I always maintain that panzer Dragoon zwei is a better game maybe they should have been done as a collection to give a bit more value
I bought it yesterday as soon as it just stealth dropped alongside that direct. I think it's great, the music is probably the greatest game soundtrack ever, and the level 4 boss is as big a pain as it was in the Saturn. There were rumours that they only had a small budget to work with but its clear they had a lot of love for the original game.
However, I'm not sold on the aiming. On the Saturn I found it worked well, but on this the tinny analogue sticks of the Switch make it a bit difficult. If it was on Xbox One with its superior sticks, it would probably feel a lot better.
An hour? Yeah, no. Tell Sega to come back when they have something substantial (e.g. WHERE IS YAKUZA) and then we can talk price.
@SuperNintendoMii what about a pro controller they don’t have small analog sticks 😀
Never played the original and always wanted too, but this review kinda talked me out of it. Might check it out on a sale.
Well to be honest I never got the original, and by the looks of things I won't be buying this either.
I think it needed a little longer in the oven and feels a bit rushed. Don’t like how the dragoon keeps moving up and down. It’s harder to figure out where u are with regards to your hit box. It’s not terrible it just needed a bit more time.
Totally agree. The original feels like a 1995 tech demo now, the sequels hold up as better games.
WTH...how can you screw this up. 😖
Loved the original, love this as well, though it's a game that really benefits from being on a big TV. The music is epic, and as a non technical person I really like the graphics as well. 7.5 out of 10 from me, as it's a spot on new version of a Saturn classic.
I was excited about this one. The nostalgia factor is very high. It will still be on my wish list. Sometimes a game that takes an hour to beat takes a lot longer than that. Especially if you’ve only been playing JRPG’s for a good minute. I’ll wait for Nintendo to send me an email saying there’s something on your wish list on sale check it out.
Just waiting for a drop in price.
Hopefully enough support will get us the RPG.
@Steel76 That's the crux of the problem; the first Panzer feels hopelessly dated when compared to the likes of Zwei and Orta. It's not really the fault of this port as such; Forever Entertainment couldn't be expected to radically overhaul the core game, after all. If they can apply the same polish to Zwei and perhaps fix the niggling control issues then that will be well worth looking out for. I almost wish they'd skipped this and done Zwei first, or released both in a double pack.
@eltomo I believe the source code is still missing on Saga, so there's little to no chance of us getting that.
Looks like the quality of recent Sonic games also infected the quality of other Sega IPs.
Never played the Panzer Dragoon series. Think I'll pick this up when it goes on sale since its supposed to be one of the best titles for Saturn with new graphics now.
As a side note isn't Panzer Dragoon II Zwei translated into Panzer Dragoon 2 2? Why? 🤣
I was ready to buy the Limited Run physical version to play this for the first time, then I see, "Still an extremely short adventure for the price"
Nope, not for $40 anyway.
@SuperNintendoMii you can play in it on Xbox contoller later. It is only temporary Switch exclusive. I hope it will works better on it.
Yeah, the price point is really off...
Imo, 15 would have been more appropriate for PD1, as it severely lacks in depth and content.
I still hope that it sells well enough to make PD Zwei viable.
While PD1 is great, Zwei is quite a lot better and more fleshed out.
If only there were some madmen out there able to reverse engineer (or rebuild) PD Saga...a man can dream...
The original was basically a 6/10 game so this is unsurprising. I don't know why people have nostalgia for it.
I can’t be the only one who just wants them to gives us Rez, can I? It was basically Panzer Dragoon on acid, with way better music.
Come on Sega, let’s do this!
"no big deal when using a Pro Controller but extremely uncomfortable when playing in handheld mode because of the claw shapes you have to make with your hands to reach both sticks and a trigger at the same time."
What kind of freakish hands are you working with!?!?
@Gs69 I don't have one lol I really need to get one the joycon sticks aren't really very good at precision aiming
@Varkster untitled Goose game was short. No one comains about that
I bought it and am enjoying the game though I do agree with the review. Still happy I picked it up
@Cevil your avatar perfectly compliments your comment! On topic... I wish they’d done Zwei. I hope the fans enjoy this though
Played the hell out of the original- this new one NAILS the feel of the old one, with obviously updated visuals. 6 out of 10? Rough. They stayed true to the “clunky” feel of the original’s controls, guys.
I paid full price to support their studio- I want them to do the others! I miss my Saturn games . For those of us lucky enough to have had 1, 2 and Saga, this is a godsend to be able to play it again.
This seems about right, I've had a quick blast and can't say I've particularly enjoyed it so far.
See? I told ya.
Man, this had potential, but Sega never learn...
I had a suspicion that the game wouldn't be that great because of "Forever Entertainment." Every single title they've put out suffers in some way shape or form. Usually in performance and overall quality. Another thing is that they tend to drop their prices to 99 cents or 1.99 within weeks of release. So wait and it will be cheap. I really wish that I did and didn't splurge buy this at full price. Not sure what I expected. It's fine... but that's all. Just fine. I would have preferred a straight up dated port of the original game with identical frame rate and graphics.
@rushiosan Not really Sega's fault. They didn't make this.
I'm waiting right now for being able to order the physical edition. Yeah, it will be pricey, but Panzer Dragoon is THAT special to my heart.
Didn't know that Zwei was in plan, too ; good to know
As for Saga... a man can dream, right ?
I don't understand the "claw-hand" thing in handheld mode.🤔
@Damo Wasn't the source code missing for Blade Runner? Never say never (oops...I just said it twice. I'll never say it aga-DAMMIT!)
I don't care if it isn't the longest game for the price, I'm still gonna pick it up because I still see tons of quality with this remake
Oh man, that is bad.
Ultimately the issue is that Sega has little to do with much of its vintage IP. Indie devs want to make these games because Sega isn’t. And maybe that’s for the better to keep the passion element. But then Nintendo has been setting the bar high for vintage remakes and indie devs just don’t have their luxuries
Will be getting the game after the patch to support what Sega doesn’t
only 2 hours for a $25 game is mind boggling. I'll get it on deep discount
Looked boring from the trailer. But holy crap, $25 for an hour game, Sega/Atlus are the greedest companies around.
I'll be getting it. It's been so long since I played the original on Saturn.
Everyone, you're getting it twisted. This is NOT a Sega product. It is a Forever Entertainment product. They got the license to to it from Sega. So if you're going to throw hate around, at least throw it at the right company. Just sayin'.
@Wavey84 I agree. Panzer Dragoon Orta on the original Xbox looks better imo. Either way, I own this now so I'm going to play it.
@SuperNintendoMii I agree they are pretty bad after I got mine I went back and played some games that I had struggled with and it makes a world of difference
It’s always been a short game, so that’s not a valid criticism imo. I don’t think it would’ve been wise for them to add entire levels or branching paths where none existed. Maybe they went too far on price. I love the franchise, but I think I’ll wait for the Xbox version where I have Orta. The Switch joy cons are less than ideal for shooters without gyro support, although I did hear the devs plan on adding it soon via patch.
It's no secret that Zwei is a vastly superior game but this is still a good game, I'd probably give it a 7 overall. You really need to use the Pro Controller as the joy cons just aren't very good for this type of game. The visuals are good considering the budget and with its art style its still an attractive game for me. Personally I've had no issues with the aiming but that nearest box on the aiming reticule either needs pushing out further or removing altogether. What can be a problem is that rotating the camera is a little sluggish but this is mitigated by being able to turn it 180 degrees by pressing both shoulder buttons. More positively it's still a lot of fun to play if basic compared to later entries and the music is fantastic, the first stage has one of the very best opening tracks in gaming.
If you like this type of game it's still one of the best and even if it is short you'd likely play it again many times anyway
Glad I waited. I was really cautious when I heard SEGA was not involved and when it got shadow-dropped before reviews. Always a bad sign!
@Varkster to be fair it's a remake and they have been true to the original in terms of content and level design. Its sequel Panzer Dragoon Zwei did have branching paths as well as both ground and air sections and was a much better game overall and if I'm honest better than any Star Fox game too. Hopefully with their experience from this and maybe a bigger budget they can truly do that game justice
@SuperNintendoMii I'm using the Pro Controller as the joy cons are awful for these types of games, using them I've had little issues aiming and I beat the Guardian last night, ready to finish off the game today
@Varkster This is a re-skinning though, not a recreation.
Sorry Nintendolife but this game is an 8/10 to me. It completely meet my expectation and was a ton of fun, I hope they give us Zwei, Saga, and Orta next.
@Steel76 Ever play REZ? It was made by the same people, and plays similarly to Panzer Dragoon, and it still holds up almost 20 years later. I wish Rez Infinite could be released on Switch.
Didn't think of that, Sega shadow dropped this cause they knew it was weak. No faith in the game at all. They tried to fool as many as they could before the reviews rolled in. Some shady bussiness practices from Sega/Atlus.
Why is Nintendo is the only company you can trust nowadays.
Still gonna pick it up at some point, in the hopes of one day getting Saga remastered or even remade. That's what I'm really looking forward to. Personally, I think it doesn't get better than Orta anyways, so all of these are just a bonus, erring heavily on the side of nostalgia.
Having said that, I'm disappointed to see that some issues that seemed odd from the outset, like how the dragoon bobs up down during flight or how the aiming rectangles overlapp with it (what the **** ... I figured this must be some bug, but apparently isn't, never seen anything like that in an on-rails-shooter), were not ironed out.
I'm not a fan of how they turned it into a cartoony game as well, from the basic geometry, to the color choices and lighting. The mood is very different from the original, but that was not necessarily a deal breaker, esp. not to someone who might not even ever have played the original.
Still, a classic game deserved better treatment. Hopefully the attempt for the second game will be vastly more ambitious. I mean, this is out days before Resident Evil 2 remake. No one expected close to that level of commitment, sure, but still, in comparison, this just seems like weaksauce - or just disappointing
@retro_player_22 Orta holds up much better in general. It's a very modern game in comparison and all in all more involved. You are probably aware, but Orta is available on Xbox One, on XBX it even runs in native 4K. Series X will apparently add HDR support by way of machine learning, which given all the effects in the game, will most likely look nothng short of spectacular. Not to trash this "remake", but Orta on XBX is the all-around superior game by miles, plus even more aesthetically pleasing and running way better (silky smooth 60fps).
@Bermanator Have you tried Rez Infinite on PSVR? It's absolutely mindblowing. It's already a crazy good time on a decent TV set, but on PSVR it's really an experience, and that's not hyperbole. Sure, a couple runs in, it does not wow you same as in the beginning, but that 1st run in VR ... nothing too shabby I gotta say
Thank you so much for posting this Nintendo Life. I was just about to preorder this physical but I think I’ll pass on it.
The controls are 1:1 to the feel of the original, which I've played the hell out of since the Saturn's UK launch.
As for the short length: it's a 90s on-rails shooter. The replayability in these games comes from chasing higher scores on different difficulties. The only exception I can think of that was packed with extra content was the House of the Dead Dreamcast port - and that was full-priced.
@mesome713 As several people have already pointed out, Sega has nothing to do with this port, outside of giving Forever Entertainment the licence to create it.
They've got some substantial games on Switch. Check out Valkyria Chronicles and Valkyria Chronicles 4. Puyo Puyo Tetris has a ton of content too if puzzle games are your thing.
@Damo Guess can't really blame Sega for the pricing, shadow dropping without review, and lack of quality control. The developer gave it their all. I give Forever Entertainment a pass, they are small developer stuido.
The first Panzer Dragoon was very impressive in 1995 and is one of the games that convinced me to get a Saturn. Zwei was considerably better and remains one of my favorite Saturn games. Rail shooters, especially from the '80s and '90s are not meant to be long games — though I don't fault the reviewer for mentioning the length as it's worth knowing. An hour for a play through the game is pretty typical for a lot of arcade-style games. Of course, the amount of game play before figuring out how to beat it will be much more than an hour, and it may be worth playing again to some people. As this is a remake or update, it is better to stick with the original design and not add much, especially to stretch things out, in my opinion. If people want something longer, that's fine. The big issue seems to be the game length relative to the price. This isn't 1995 anymore and expectations on pricing and value have changed.
It seems to be on par with what I thought it would be. I will pick it up, but probably on PC to support the series and get 60 fps. I imagine the developer did the best with the budget they probably had.
I was really ready to pick this up but then this review drops, wondering if I should now wait for a price cut....
@Varkster Or how about the remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap? Very short game and they added quite a bit to it.
I'm trying to remember the name of a similar-control scheme rails shooter on the Sega Genesis. You had an auto-shot straight in front of you that was practically useless and then a homing shot that you relied on most, I think it could grab 5 enemies at a time. You flew over... maybe 5 different planets and you could do them in any order. At the end of each level you flew through a cavern system before you got to the boss.
@FantasiaWHT The only things I can recall them adding were a few challenge rooms and the option to play as Wonder Girl. Not a criticism of the port, it was a very skillfully done remake of one of the best games of all time.
Well that’s a shame. I was gonna pick this up yesterday since I haven’t played the original version. I’m glad I waited it out until the review for this game came out. I’ll wait for a price drop on this one.
@FantasiaWHT I believe you are thinking of Galaxy Force II. There's a fantastic port of the arcade version available on the 3DS.
Also for those not enjoying playing this: turn the sensitivity down low on the targeting reticle. Makes it much more sane.
From what I've seen, it's VERY accurate to the Sega Saturn original.
If you don't care for that game, or don't believe it's worth $25, then this isn't for you. (or wait for an inevitable sale)
I've heard the source code for the Panzer Dragoon games was lost, perhaps that's why they're being remade with new graphics instead of just re-released like other Sega classics.
I just hope they get around to remaking PANZER DRAGOON SAGA.
This is one series that people speak highly of, but I tried Panzer Dragoon Orta on Xbox and didn't like it. If this remake doesn't even compare favorably to the previous games for people who did like it, then it's a definite skip for me.
Just 1 hour of content? Yeesh. Yeah, that's very bad. Slash the price in half and then maybe we'll talk.
@mercilessrobot You obviously didn't get what I meant. Sega handed over the IP to them, that's why it's their fault. Hiring a 3rd party studio (and specially a bad one) to take care of one of your valuable IPs requires caution and quality control, two things they didn't give a damn about.
You rarely see Nintendo doing the same. Even Next Level Games, which wasn't exactly a reference of a good studio in their early days, or maybe MercurySteam, did a pretty good job with Nintendo IPs over time... because QC was a priority.
As a Sega fan I just had to pick this up. I always look at their games as being kind of arcadey and I think this isn't an exception. Arcade games aren't meant to be super long epics that take forever to play, I always found a lot of appeal in shorter experiences.
Nintendo has shadow dropped games in Directs before. Nintendo literally shadow dropped Good Job, yesterday.
I know you think Nintendo is the bestest company in the world, but seriously stop looking for any excuse to hate any other company.
I actually never understood why gamers liked this game
@rushiosan Sega didn't have anyone make anything. Another company (Forever Entertainment) licensed the rights to make the game from SEGA Holding Co., the group that manages their legacy IP. Their logo never appears in the game. The only mention is a tiny ©Sega on the screen because it still is their IP.
Also for those wishing they made Zwei, Forever owns the rights to make that one too. It's on that website linked above.
@rushiosan Also I think we are basically agreeing but arguing semantics. I suggest a truce.
@mercilessrobot It seems like they intend to remake all 3 Saturn games. We also got the Xbox game but that has been available on Xbox One with X enhancement for a long time now.
@Toy_Link Nintendo didn't develop it, so I'm scared, but i trust it, I trust Nintendo over Sega in a heart beat. Nintendo has an amazing track record. I trust them.
Very nice game, but wait for a sale.
The price tag on this one is keeping me away. Especially knowing it's so short.
@mesome713 Sega didn't make this and from what I've seen on Twitter, the vast majority who've played this have really enjoyed it, myself included
@BlackenedHalo it's more the sequels that really made its name, particularly Zwei and Saga which are both fantastic games
@Damo it did seem an odd choice not to remake Zwei instead as the game is vastly superior in every way and arguably still one of, if not the best in its genre. Hopefully this way round any lessons learned can be applied to that game
Never played the original and probably won't bother with this given the general consensus. Might need to drop in price to below a tenner.
So this might just be a "wait for a sale" type of game. I definitely want to check it out, but yeah, $25 for such a short game seems a bit steep.
@JayJ Yup. Star Fox games are short, too
@Varkster I think people are missing one crucial point: If you like/love on-rails space/fantasy shooters then you have this and the Star-fox games on NSO. And that's about it!
So you can praise the cost-to-experience ratio of games like Hollow Knight all day but you can't ignore the the fact that we now have hundreds of 2D Metroidvanias - but nearly zero of these types of games.
So until Developers stop treading the same paths again and again as everyone else - 3D games like this earn extra respect and interest from me - BECAUSE they are not another ruddy 2D platformer.
Until we see more developers modernising classic 3D genres like 3D rail-shooters, instead of the easier route of quicker to make games - then projects like this are going to get my full support. 6/10 be damned.
BTW I (mostly) loved Hollow Knight and understand it was a significant entry in that genre, but the point still stands - and that is wanting more Star-Fox/Panzer/Kid Icarus Uprising type games.
Also people always go on about Hollow Knights pricing but it was unusual for a game of that quality to be released at that price – it's not a standard most developers can achieve. Hollow knight was the right game, at the right time, at the right price. I've no idea how they did it but most developer couldn't.
So, honestly, developers need to branch out to more interesting genre's like this one more now - or they don't get my money.
@Antraxx777 Yeah that's why I personally don't get the short length complaint. Star Fox 64 is probably one of the most celebrated Nintendo games of it's genre and it's about as short as this as well. I always considered that a part of the appeal to be honest.
@JayJ I'm sure I remember Star Fox 64 3D have people say it's too short 🤔
Either way, it's an on rails shooter, and a remake of a Sega Saturn game from 1995, when games weren't very long. What were people expecting?
I haven’t purchased yet, but will do as soon as I turn my Switch on.
I watched some footage on You Tube, as soon the intro started, that sound of the voice from a speaker from the tower, brought it all back.
Regarding the controls, can it played with the dpad? I would prefer to play it as originally intended (pre Analogue controllers)
To play this game with the original soundtrack alone (for me) is worth the price (and I still have my Saturn)
Still mad this turned out crappy. Maybe I'll try that new Capcom game instead. Looks cool 🤔
@Antraxx777 @SuperNintendoMii @JayJ I guess reviews are subjective and every reviewer is different, but I didn’t think NL dinged games for being pricey. I have no problem warning people, but I didn’t think it affected the score.
I called this the second I saw Forever Entertainment show up on that first trailer. Honestly, it's better than I expected. I bought Hollow for full price at launch and I will never forgive them.
Oof, can't say I didn't see it coming. They could have made an ok game into a great game....wonder why that didn't happen. There's a reason people remember StarFox 64 and not Panzer Dragoon
To my eye it looks like they messed up so much of what made the original look, flow and play so well, which is kinda unforgivable imo.
@Steel76 Nice to see someone else who wants it. I have been working on and off on remaking the soundtrack using samples extracted from the game.
@Ralek85 You think I was living under a rock? Of course I played Rez Infinite in VR, it was fantastic! Area X was pretty neat, too, but I wasn't too fond of the free range flight control. I think Rez Infinite would be right at home on the Switch, considering there is Labo VR.
@mercilessrobot No, no no, please don't let them remake another Panzer Dragoon. Dang.
@Thaliard They're literally #1 when it comes to the worst games on the eShop. Every week there's something from them in the discount bin, for like $0.10-$0.99.
One simply doesn't handle such a respected IP to a bad dev studio and let these guys publish it. That's what makes me mad.
At least we'll see it on sale very often.
Cannot believe the comments here. This game is a dang masterpiece and worth paying full price for the soundtrack alone. A shame, really. Waiting for gyro controls? Too short? It's a good port and plays fine. I couldn't have been more overjoyed to downloaded it immediately after seeing it in the Direct. Loved the game and played it to death in 1996 (got it and a Saturn as a high school graduation gift I'll never forget), and I'll do it again on the go and home nearly 25 (????!?!) years later. Panzer 2 is great, but it is a lot more difficult as well. I always preferred 1 and Saga. Your mileage may vary, but what a treasure to have easy access to the game again, and the graphical overhaul is stunning, if you ask me, which you didn't.
@Keldorek The game has several issues from what reviews are saying so far, there's a detailed video from GameXplain pointing out the main flaws. The dragon's wing now gets in the way of aiming when you're using the side view, the aiming is off and the graphics are surprisingly not that impressive for a 2020 game, in fact it's worse than the original if you consider all the unnecessary changes to the landscapes. No remastered soundtrack at launch because they probably had to rush the game.
On top of that, it has in-game performance hiccups and some long loading times.
@DockEllisD You can literally fill one of those CD bags with the whole Saturn selection of games that are worth playing. Personal experience.
What we need is Panzer Dragoon Saga, and not this lazy remake.
Shame at the negative reception this is getting. I guess I should wait for it to come to more capable platforms. Until then, I’ll play the original in Pandora’s Box in Orta! Orta is amazing on the One X! Best rail shooter ever.
@BlackenedHalo And I actually don’t understand why gamers like the chore simulator that is Animal Crossing. Different tastes, maybe?
It's a nice game, slightly disappointing to be honest. Have the Saturn version of Zwei which is superior. Still it's a nice game just not worth the 22 Quid unfortunately.
I really don't understand the complaint about the modern control scheme. It's described as an FPS dual stick control system in the review, what's the problem with that and how does it require clawing?
Is the review missing details about it?
@rushiosan You never played anything by Sabec. Forever Entertainment has many 6/10 games, also a couple good ones, but not many really bad ones. Just try anything from Sabec and get a better perspective! They produced ten 1/10 games in a row!
This idiot praising the game, plays it, talks trash about it, and then gives it a good rating.
I bought it yesterday and love it. Can't wait for the patch which will include a remastered soundtrack. I think people, particularly those who are musicians and appreciate art should give this game a shot. Yes, it is a short game. But it's also a work of art which is heavily focused on the music, design and journey. The little details, like how they made up a legit sounding language for this game series is what helps make it a unique experience. Think of it as buying a really good musical album. Each level for example is the length of the song, which is how they designed it when it originally came out on the sega saturn. CD music limited to around 70 to 80 minutes. The only music which can really loop is boss music. Also, if you like games like Star Fox you may also appreciate it.
@Gerald Yes you can play it with the d-pad. And you can adjust the speed of the cursor to get it to a level that feels like the original or faster / slower. It's worth it, its overall a good remake and the remastered music patch is coming soon too!
@kurisu1984 thank you for the feedback, downloading now.
Speaking of all things retro, was listening to Panzer Dragoon Soundtrack on my iPhone. The Saturn and Mega CD games were all on CD Format, you can rip the soundtracks very easily
@PickledKong64 I do, because it was a trash game that perpetuated bully culture and should have never been praised let alone made.
@brunojenso agree with you 100%. 3D games that cost a ton to develop are judged harsher while 2d metroidvanias clones are given the pass because they are developed by a single person. Those regularly gets 7s and 8s while a game like this get 6? I completely disagree, while reviews are subjective, I still think this game deserves more than a 6.
Now, ever wonder why many big game companies doesn't want to develop for the Switch? Because their multimillion games are crowded out by those 0.01 or 0.03 dollar games that game the system.
For me, Panzer Dragoon Remake us at least an 8. Sure, it's short, an hour plus game, the review itself said, the hour plus doesn't count the multiple tries to get through it. So it's more than an hour plus game, and personally, I used to play Panzer Dragoon on Saturn again and again even after beating it.
A 2d game might have a ton of stages, but often, they are just reconfigured ones. I personally hate those super hard games that are but a bunch of 2-bit (or 8-bit) graphic stages. So they get tons of supposedly replay value while a game like this get panned for being an hour long...go figure.
I am glad it did not disappoint. I took it as a graphical upgrade, not as a gameplay innovation remake. It's nice to see a classic return. I did not hesitate to purchase. I am still dreaming of Panzer Dragoon Saga coming to current gen some day.
@SKTTR What the hell, you got me curious.
@GoblinKing86 What? Is it teaching geese out there to bully people?
@Damo Totally disagree with damo's comment that it is as good as it could be based on the original.
Try the PS2 version to see how it improved upon the original without messing with the look or feel in a negative way.
That would have been a better port......here's hoping Panzer Dragoon Voyage Record will be worth the wait.
@Varkster Who is playing through this in an hour? Is there a new easy mode? It is going to take the average player weeks before they're good enough to play through in an hour.
Did this reviewer have an invincibility code or some easy mode, did they even really play through and finish it? Surely not top score. In an hour?? get real.
Considering this is ForeverEntertainment, expect this to be 90% off in a couple months
They have nostalgia for it because when it came out (not long after the Saturn launch) it was a technical showpiece and got a lot of attention.
However anyone who thinks the Saturn ‘only a limited amount of decent games on it’ is in for a really pleasant surprise when they do their research.
@Gerald the Mega CD always used redbook audio, but there are many saturn games which used the internal sound hardware instead of just reading the audio direct from the CD.
@DockEllisD check out the Saturn's Japanese library of games. There are at least 200 good to great games not released elsewhere.
If you take the games released across all regions, it's one of the best consoles ever released.
@DockEllisD I didn't mean it had an awesome library, quite the opposite. A lot of them didn't age well, unlike the majority of PS1 and N64 classics. It's basically a system made do play Arcade conversions and those experimental 3D games, like Nights (which is one of those few games that are worth trying) and Fighters Megamix.
Those CD bags usually couldn't fit more than 20 discs.
@rushiosan The Saturn has this magical property where people who aren’t familiar with it ignorantly underrate it while those that know the deep album cuts overrate it. I played the heck out of Sengoku Blade on mine and that’s kind of the rub right there. Most of my must have titles for Saturn were “near perfect” ports, and in 2020, that’s all neither here nor there. Off the top of my dome: Legend of Oasis, Guardian Heroes, Dragonforce, Dark Saviour, Astal, and Clockwork Knight 1&2 are kind of all the non-ports it had going for it.
IMHO, the polygon games for it were just awful (I wouldn’t replay old Playstation games either to be fair).
6 out of 10?! You guys are crazy.
This game is legendary and now it's even better.
@kurisu1984 That was what made me love the Panzer Dragoon games on the Saturn, they looked and sounded like nothing else around. I saw someone get ripped to pieces on Twitter for complaining about finishing it in an hour, he posted his screen and it turned out he played it on easy...and that he doesn't get the concept of rail shooters.
I played this long before I played Star Fox, when I first played Star Fox on the N64, I found I sailed through it with my Panzer Dragoon experience....
The original game was great by the artistic direction, it was nowwhere close to The masteful design of Starwing, but was fun and beautiful and interesting because of the art.
Also, it came in the start of the Saturn so it was one of my most played game.
I got this remake and I'm liking it even that looks like a semi remaster. What's worse is that gameplay wise, olded prety badly. Dragon movement is unprecise and aiming works bad. I have the Saturn original at home and played it not long ago, and it feels a bit more unprecise this remake than the original. Also, level design have some unfair actions that could have been fixed easily and makes no sense.
What's great of this remake is the beautiful reconstruction of the world. Really helps understanding the imaginative setting that made Panzer Dragoon special. And that's why I like this remaster.
Hopefully they fix the gameplay adding motion control, the game really needs it and on the Switch its mandatory. I could understand that on other platforms were missing because no one uses it and they stuck in the past with dual analog, but not on the Switch.
Pretty good take on it. I'll definitely buy it but I'll need a 20% or more discount first since I already own all the games on Saturn. This really should have been a 14.99 game.
Also isn't Forever Entertainment just the publisher? They didn't make the game... I don't think.
Definitely worth a look. It’s surprisingly good. I wrote it off as well then got a chipped one and delved into all the Japanese shooters and games that are ludicrously expensive. Way things are going you could probably retire on what a good Saturn collection will be worth in a few years!
Some of the Polygon games haven’t aged well at all (though Sega Rally, Athlete Kings and Panzer Dragoon Zwei are still good fun) but there’s some other really good stuff on there. Unfortunately it’s really expensive to buy games for at times but the likes of Elevator Action Returns, Radiant Silvergun, Bubble Symphony, Astal and Silhouette Mirage, Parodius, Layer Section, Sonic Wings etc are still really good.
This is the one game, it could get terrible reviews, I'm still buying it
Why is this reviewer using a "claw" like controls for twin stick shooter? Only be necessary if shoot button was b or a. But zl and zr and both thumbs on sticks.... I just dont understand why you are using "claw" control on that
@electrolite77 Sega Rally on Saturn is still amazing to this day. Much better than the sequel on Dreamcast. You're right a lot of those early games haven't aged well but some of them, like Sega Rally, have managed to age well
@Pharmboy6 I don't understand the claw point either.
@Ralek85 Orta could be 50x times better than this remake and I still would not care. They better not ruin it if they ever plan to remake or remaster that one for Switch and PC. As for this one I enjoy it for what it is instead of comparing it to the janky original and I'm not the only one. There's a reason this game got a positive 8.3 user Metacritic scores. We all enjoy it for what it is and not trying to be the next Digital Foundry.
This version of the game is awesome, and ultimately better than the original. This remake looks a lot better, while playing very well, albeit not exactly the same.
@retro_player_22 Not sure I get what you are saying. You wouldn't/ don't care because ... it's on Xbox or what are you getting at.
I dunno about the Metacritic score, haven't used Metacritic in years, but given what I saw myself, the issues are real and extend far beyond anything Digital Foundry specializes in.
It's fair to enjoy the game in it's own right. If the developer had intended that though, they'd better had made their own game instead of remaking someone else's creation. I guess, that is oldfashioned thinkin, but I feel that such an effort should always consider the effort made by the people that came before. If you are basically doing a 1:1 remaster, with little to no of your own input, you better make it the best it can reasonably be. Under no circumstances whatsoever can you "invent" problems that the original never had (like those overlapping rectangles or the dragoons weird*** take on head bobbing). That's a big No! to me, and the latter actually messing with the gameplay, is like ... it's kinda disrespectful to the clean arcade-action-orientied design of the original.
Alas, that is just old grumpy me.
Gyro aiming patch? 😍
I’m enjoying the game so far, but it definitely needs some refinement to the aiming. Gyro controls will probably help a lot, especially if they can speed up the aiming on the analogue stick.
@rushiosan I’m telling you I’m playing the game. I own the game. I own the original. The issues aren’t a big deal. It’s a good remaster and the soundtrack is perfect and needs nothing since it’s a classic masterwork. It’s fine. Very glad to have it.
@Nomad 100%. The complaints are ridiculous.
I totally forgot about Silhouette Mirage. I also forgot about the Keio platformer. I played a lot of Panzer Dragoon 1&2, Daytona, Sega Rally, Virtua Fighter series (including Fighting Vipers lol) Virtua Cop 1&2 and then Ridge Racer 1&2, Wipeout, Destruction Derby, Tobal 1&2, Toshinden 1&2, Jumping Flash, Tomb Raider and Twisted Metal on Playstation. etcetera etcetera. So, my previous comment is a bit misleading. I’m just not interested in racing, rail shooters, nor fighting games anymore. Some of the games I just mentioned were groundbreaking, but were miserable to play (Tomb Raider and Twisted Metal) and others were “me too” clones with graphics that were the Atari 2600 of modern 3D. It was something new in it’s infancy. In the US, Playing Panzer Dragoon half a year before Playstation launched, my mind was blown by the water in the first stage (if you can believe that). But here and now, giving it a “meh” review doesn’t seem so harsh.
About all of the ludicrously expensive Japanese shooters. You’ll feel better knowing I passed on most of them at an average of $40 a pop through NCS because I was making 1990’s minimum wage. 😂 And the one’s I had, I sold for not crazy prices. It was nuts seeing some of these games go for over $200 within just five years of their release. Turn the hurt up and look at the prices on all of the TurboDuo/Pc-Engine games I used to own. I remember passing on Sapphire because it was $80, Dracula X because it was $70 and Cotton....for $25. It is what it is. The only people I knew that played PC-Engine were on an email list called “turbolist” or something or another. The only people I knew of that played Saturn were me, myself and I presume the people at Sub Pop and Suburban Base got a free console or two. Now, just scanning Youtube, I can imagine millions of people clamoring for something like Metal Black or Magical Chase when it was basically a hundred people (including Japan) that originally gave a hoot.
Complaints about a shmups length do annoy me. I remember when Sin and Punishment 2 released, and people whinged about how 'short' it was. That game was sublime and was too long if anything. You're meant to be able to get through these games in one sitting.
I agree with your review my dude, I would have given the game the same score. It definitely fell short and probably would have been better off released as a port of the original with up-ressed graphics. Great work on the review
Always wanted to play Panzer but didn't have the Saturn. Think Sega have missed a trick here. They could have done a complete overhaul a la Breath of the Wild. The graphics should have been exemplary and clearly, for me, they are just trying to make a quick buck here. They obviously haven't done enough game testing it the fiddly controls would have been clearly evident. Could they not make the controls customisable? I would have difficulty justifying a tenner for an hour's game play...
It’s as good as it can be. I don’t regret my purchase at all. I wonder if there’s a way to unlock the original graphics (I.e. “Halo: Anniversary); that would be cool!
I'm having a good time with this, but i guess the numerical score here is reasonable and can be justified from various perspectives.
However, relating raw length to vale and price is simply wrong. Games like this are supposed to be replayed, having a length of 15-120 minutes is what enables replayability in the first place.
To be honest, I'm absolutely amazed this game was remade at all, but I'm so glad it did.
I loved the original on the Saturn and I love this version, although I have to admit nostalgia plays a big part for me. The short game length never bothered me back in 1995 and it doesn't bother me now, as it plays more like a traditional arcade game, which I love. The original was always a kind of glorified tech demo, as it was one of the first original Saturn games to show off what it could do.
I couldn't recommend it to newcomers though, it really is only for fans of the original. It's also a bit pricey at £22.49, I think £14.99 would more acceptable. It's a shame it doesn't include the original Saturn version, or at least the PC version, as an unlockable as well.
Apparently the developers are working on a patch to fix a couple of the issues mentioned in the review, so maybe worth picking up once these have been rolled out for those who haven't purchased it yet.
To the people complaining it only takes an hour to beat..
You've never played Star Fox or Star Fox 64 have you?
The game is amazing for the most part. Few runs in, unlocked Secret Mode yesterday by beating Hard Mode, so I can mess around in the game all I want. The only BIG thing that bothers me, and it's the same for everyone I've seen on the internet, is the lock-on, which is TOTALLY off compared to the original. And it's not a matter of "getting used to it", it's just not working as intended. Sometimes you need many pass over an enemy before your lock-on finally stick to it. It was never a problem on the Saturn and while I could still enjoy the experience on the remake, it always frustrate me that it's not working the way it was. If they could fix the lock-on mechanic, I would be 100% satisfied with the game, even at that price. But for now, I would say wait for a patch.
What did you expect?It's a remaster of the original game.So playtime will be identical.If you grew up with the Saturn version like me and have sweet spot for the game it shouldn't bother you.Probably LRG were taking in account old timers like me and ramped up the price because they knew we couldn't resist.
@Wataru Although I was around for that era, I didn't own a Dreamcast. And I have self restraint. I'm sure the digital version will eventually go on sale for like $5, I'll try it out then. My backlog is so bad, and even working from home has not really slowed down much, so I can wait. I've waited 30 years or so already, right?
How hard is Panzer Dragoon? 🤔
I've heard it can be hard, but I don't know how hard it is.
(Is it more like Dark Souls hard, Mario Sunshine hard, etc?)
Also, are LRG versions always more expensive? It's $40 for the physical version, and $25 for the digital. (That's a ridiculous jump).
So, should I wait for the physical version, or should I get the digital version, if I were to get it? 🤔
Anyone play this since the recent updates? It is on sale and I am intrigued. Would appreciate thoughts if you have.
My mom told me she would play Panzer on the Saturn for days on end, so when I saw the game on sale for just $2.50 I knew I had to buy it for her.
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