After playing Panzer Dragoon Saga, I found myself a bit torn. Here was a game from the Sega Saturn widely heralded by RPG fanatics as one of the greatest games in the genre, and it didn’t completely blow my mind. It’s my own fault; no one is immune to the unstoppable force of the hype machine, and I came into the experience with preconceived notions after hearing for years that it sits pretty amongst the best games in the genre. I’ve recently replayed Final Fantasy 7 – the other ‘big deal’ JRPG of that console generation – and though it’s not a personal favorite, it’s easy to see how it maintains its place as one of the best JRPGs ever made. I have trouble saying that PDS withstood the test of time as well as other RPG greats.
And yet, there’s no doubting that Panzer Dragoon Saga is a very good game. It’s easily the best RPG I’ve played on the Saturn, and one of the best RPGs of its generation. As the third installment of a series that started out (and continued afterward) as rail shooters, PDS combines unique gameplay with its own brand of original storytelling and style. You’ve probably never played anything quite like it, and unfortunately you probably never will. Unless, of course, you’re playing this very game.
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