Panzer Dragoon Saga and Final Fantasy had a child and its name is Skies of Arcadia. (Actually, technically, Phantasy Star should replace Final Fantasy here since the Skies of Arcadia studio was made up of ex-Phantasy Star and ex-Panzer Dragoon staff. Without having played any Phantasy Star though, I feel more comfortable comparing this with Final Fantasy.) Nevertheless, this child of two franchises peddles more child-friendly content than either of its parents. The exploits of a few teenage Robin Hood-like pirates facing a cartoonishly evil empire covers most of the plot. As you might expect, there are definitely aspects of Skies of Arcadia Legends that are a bit formulaic and a little bland, especially in the story and characters. Continue reading
What really surprised me about Panzer Dragoon Saga is how it tells its story. The basic plot outline itself is nothing too unusual: a group of rebellious nomads worship the Ancients, seeing them as gods, while the evil Empire portrays the Ancients as devils while exploiting the Ancient’s technology. Our plucky young hero is motivated by the death of a loved one to seek revenge against the evil Empire. It’s a familiar set up, and I’m concerned I’ll never find out how it ends.
I’m having issues. Not life issues – as of now there’s a stable home life, bills paid (mostly), studies OK, clean bill of health – but issues with Panzer Dragoon Saga. And not with the game itself, which is extremely good, but with those damn discs. Having completed the first two discs (of a total four), the third and fourth discs aren’t being read by my Saturn. I’ve cleaned the discs, but the best I can manage is the title screen of disc 3, and even that seems to have been a one-off. Net result: I’m returning the game. Woe is me. Continue reading
We’re back with a new episode. Adrian returns to the age old debate: story or gameplay? He argues that shooters, shmups and rail shooters like Soukyugurentai aka Terra Diver, the Panzer Dragoon series, Rez, Axelay, etc etc have a certain magic all their own that transcends narrative. Can we say games are “art” and NOT give a narrative-driven game as an example? In the second half, predictably, Maya disagrees, then agrees, and finally disagrees with everything. Including herself – many times over. Other topics discussed include: cutlery, drugs, megalomania, neurology. So let’s get real: are games art? Is there a particular game that makes you feel like you’ve abused substances (whether you actually have or not)? Is a jagged edge spoon a fork? We would love to hear your thoughts on this contentious topic, please do drop us a comment!
Episode 9: Disciple of Kierkegaard
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Panzer Dragoon II Zwei on the Saturn is a once-in-a-system’s-lifetime experience. My only beef is with the name: why, Sega? What’s wrong with you? I don’t mind the German, but don’t then chicken out and add an extra number! *sigh* Ah well – Sega have made many far worse decisions.