For those of you who had a Sega Saturn I am sure you have heard about the Panzer series. But for those of you who haven’t you’re going to find out all you have missed with Sega’s latest release of Panzer Dragoon Orta, a beautiful shooter for Microsoft’s Xbox.
Most shooters out there only have a paper-thin storyline as justification for all your on-screen destruction. It’s glad to know that that’s simply not the case here, as the story in Panzer Dragoon Orta is quite engaging. To sum it all up this is a world where dangerous animals have been created from biological weapons. You play as Orta, a young girl who had been a prisoner for all her life, when her prison comes under attack by a group of dragons. As the dragons surround her, another dragon comes by and saves Orta, and so you go off with journey’s your new faithful companion.
So if you haven’t heard Panzer Dragoon Orta it is a rail shooter, but it’s not your typical rail shooter, because it takes the genre and expands the normal and develops a game that isn’t like any other.
So when you start up the game you do have the option to take a tutorial or you can just jump right into the game, and I can honestly say this is one of those games that I would highly recommend doing the tutorial. The game is a bit difficult to pick up at the beginning so I felt the tutorial was quite helpful and really got me prepared for the main mode.
So you have taken the tutorial and are ready to play the main mode. Well to start with there are three difficulty levels being Easy, Normal, and Hard. Although I am not sure the "easy" mode is really very "easy". I felt that even the easy mode was difficult and so the Hard mode was just near impossible, I would definitely recommend not doing the hard difficulty setting to start with.
The game has started so what can you expect; well you can expect nonstop high-flying action with some strategy. Throughout this game you will be shooting, and shooting, and shooting some more, and my first thoughts were this is going to get very repetitive and boring. Well I was so wrong, as there are so many variations on how to attack your enemies and just how great it feels to do so. This is also one of those games that picks up the pace later on in the game to keep you interested throughout the whole game. The enemies start to become more and more difficult and vary their attacks.
The biggest downfall to Panzer Dragoon Orta is the length, because this is really not a long game. On the easier setting this is only going to take you a few hours, and a little longer on the higher difficulty levels. Although you’re not truly done with the game until you have unlocked all the extras that which can definitely keep you occupied for quite a while.
Like I said earlier this is not an easy game, so I would recommend taking the tutorial. The reason for the tutorial is to teach you the controls, which can be quite difficult to learn on your own. Although the controls are difficult to start with, but once you get them down, you will be instantly hooked to this one.
The sound of Panzer Dragoon Orta is nothing special, just about average. The voice acting is not in English so I really couldn’t tell you if it is good or not, and the sound effects are pretty impressive. I did enjoy listening to my enemies getting shot at which is all brought to you in pure 5.1 Surround Sound. Overall the sound does what it needed to do to get the job done.
Panzer Dragoon Orta is one of those games that right from the get go you can tell that this is just going to be a beautiful game. Everything about the games graphics is just superb.
For starters, the levels design and overall appearance is just remarkable. Throughout the game I was just amazed with how good everything appeared. Each level was sharp and had a lot of secret paths that you can take to help you complete the levels.
Not only did the environments standout, so do the characters. Each different type of enemy has their own unique look that is quite impressive. Along with that the game doesn’t have any graphical slowdown, which is quite a remarkable feat, considering such high quality graphics.
In my opinion Panzer Dragoon Orta, right now is the best looking game on the Xbox console.
This is one of those games that I would have a hard time not having fun. Even in times of struggle where I got stuck I still was having fun, aiming and shooting, and defeating loads of opponents. Although the game is not long this is still the kind of game where you can actually enjoy playing over again because of all the different paths you can take along with all the extras you can unlock.
If you’re a fan of the series from the days of the Saturn, or you are just in the mood for a good rail shooter, Panzer Dragoon Orta should definitely be on the top of all Xbox owners list.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.