A Girl and Her Dragon
There are certain things no girl should be without. Hairbrush, purse, makeup and of course a hundred pounds of laser spewing, death bringing dragon.
Panzer Dragoon Orta is a third-person rail shooter, staring a mysterious girl and her dragon. Both who go on a surprisingly fun and challenging quest, of self discovery. This is without a doubt one of the prettiest, funnest, and challenging rail shooter ever created. It just a shame that the landing comes so soon after take off.
Rail shooters on consoles have a tendency to be too easy, and often uninteresting. Panzer Dragoon Orta suffers none of these problems. There is so much constantly going on, from missiles being fired at you, to other dragons bearing in for the kill. It is a good thing this game is on rails, or one might be tempted to turn around and fly away. Not to undersell Orta and her trusty dragony steed. They are more than up to the challenge. What sets Panzers Dragoon above most shooters, is the great amount of options at your disposal in combat. You will constantly be changing in and out of specialty dragon forms, along with shooting your pistol and lasers in tandem, all the while dodging airships, bombs and monsters of all shapes and colors. The game is hard, but its never cheap. Based solely on gameplay this is one of the greatest shooters of all time.
The game does suffer some minor turbulence. For the most part the game feels challenging, but it also feels artificially easy. There are many times when you will just scrape by a level by the skin of your teeth, and the ending level boss will only have to look at you cross eyed for you to drop dead. The problem is the checkpoint system brings you back to the boss with half health. This hurts the overall feeling of accomplishment you would otherwise get from beating some rather lengthy and nasty bosses. A continue system would have been welcomed. Anything to keep the pressure on the player to get through the levels better and cleaner. This problem is gratefully solved on hard mode. The health you come into the boss fight with is all you get. This makes hard the preferred play mode, but no one should try it until they have normal under there sash. The games story is also disappointing. It’s surprising to see a rail shooter try to tell a worthwhile tale. Unfortunately the story feels more like a great outline than anything else. I know they didn’t want to slow down the game, but there was something special here, and should have taken the time to tell the tale well. The only glaring flaw is that the flight goes by way to fast. Three to five hours is way to short for any game.
It may be painfully short, but its quite the ride wile it lasts. The worlds and enemies are gorgeous, the gameplay is challenging and rewarding. Anyone who is a fan of games owes it to themselves to take to the skies with Orta and her dragon at least once, if not twice.