Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Panzer Dragoon Orta (2003)

Genre: Rail Shooter | Players: 1 | Developer: Smilebit

The 4th game of the series, Panzer Dragoon Orta continues the experience of fighting monsters and machines atop a flying dragon in a beautiful, surreal world.

Players defend themselves against enemies with lasers and missiles of the 3 different dragon forms an a 360 degree field of view. Quick transformation and speed adjusting is just as essential as shooting as both defense and offense. Each form has its own strengths and weaknesses and are upgraded separately. While mastery of all these options isn’t essential for story progression, it is for scoring as this is an arcade style shooter. Play is often frantic, but very satisfying. Along with some cool unlockables, this makes for some decent replay value.

The myriad of actions possible can seem daunting, but with a slight learning curve you’ll be using them all in conjunction. Swiveling viewpoint, changing forms and adjusting speed are all one button affairs that blend seamlessly with the action.

Stellar visuals especially for an older title. Everything is beautiful and colorful with a wide variety of landscapes throughout the levels. The creature designs are keeping inline with the series while still improved and visually exciting.

A girl named Orta is rescued from her life-long prison cell by a dragon before she can be killed by agents of the Empire. Now she fights against the Empire as she tries to learn more about herself.

Buyer’s Guide:
The game is rare, but still found easily enough online or occasionally in bargain bins. Can usually be found for between 15 and 40 bucks online or used.

4½ not another faceless imperial empire out of 5

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