Panzer Dragoon

During the Sega Saturn’s lifetime, Sega decided to create new IPs rather than reusing ones that were popular during the Genesis days. Although not all these new IPs appealed to mass audiences (as is the case with many of Sega’s IPs), several have since garnered a cult following. One of the very first of these new franchises was Panzer Dragoon.

Panzer Dragoon is a rail shooter similar to Nintendo’s Star Fox but with a few key differences. The main standout feature of Panzer Dragoon is the ability to look and shoot around yourself with full 360 degrees of movement while automatically flying forwards through the various levels. Enemies approach from all directions which makes for more varied and challenging gameplay as well as allowing for more dynamic boss fights.

Sega has gone on to included small references to Panzer Dragoon in its later games (as Sega usually does with it’s more obscure franchises). One notable example is the airplane shooter segments in the original Sonic Adventure which used an engine based off the one used in Panzer Dragoon, featuring the familiar aiming reticle and character movement controls.

Panzer Dragoon is available on the Sega Saturn, Playstation 2,and Windows PC. I personally recommend getting the original Sega Saturn or the Playstation 2 Sega Ages version if you have a PS2 that can play Japanese games.

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