Panzer Dragoon was a North American launch title for the Sega Saturn. Despite hearing good things, I’d never played it until recently when I saw the remake on sale as a downloadable title on Switch. It’s a rail shooter, meaning that the game follows a particular route while you can move around the screen – think Star Fox, for example.
This game features two weapons – you can hold the attack button and pass the reticle over enemies to lock onto them. After locking onto one or more enemies, letting go will shoot each of them. You can also tap the attack button to shoot a bullet without any tracking or locking onto enemies. At first I was almost using the charge attack, but I realized that you can’t lock onto enemy attacks, but you can shoot them down with your simple attack. Besides attacking, you can move around the screen as you fly forward as well as turn the camera to the sides or backwards to shoot enemies coming from any direction.
The art is pretty simple, which you can see in the above launch trailer. What I really enjoyed about the game was that it was short – less than an hour to beat it my first time. I enjoy a game that I can beat but then spend more time improving my run or playing on a harder difficulty, and Panzer Dragoon allows for both.
Checking the Switch store right now, it’s base price is $24.99 but is on sale for $2.49. It was also on sale when I bought it, and that sale was allegedly ending. I bet it’s almost always on sale. I wouldn’t pay $24.99 for it, but it’s definitely worth the reduced price. The Panzer Dragoon series also includes another Saturn rail shooter, a Saturn RPG, two handheld titles, and an Xbox rail shooter. All three rail shooters and the RPG are critically acclaimed, so I might just need to continue the series with the next one!