Panzer Dragoon: Remake Review
When released in the mid 1990’s, Panzer Dragoon captivated gamers with its revolutionary visuals and controls. As one of the first 3D games available for console gamers, Panzer Dragoon allowed the player to change your views and experience the depth of the 3D world it is set in. Now, 25 years later, Panzer Dragoon: Remake has been released for modern consoles. The question in the minds of many (myself included) is how well could this type of game really function in a modern setting? 3D worlds are old news at this point, and the guided system that really just allows you to aim at opponents while on auto-pilot does not necessarily seem like the kind of game that would do well, except for the niche nostalgia. Let’s dive in!
Firstly, Panzer Dragoon: Remake nails the graphical overhaul. It seamlessly blends modern graphical capabilities with the original games style – no easy task. While not exactly bleeding-edge, the graphics perfectly achieve the balance between original vision and modern technology. The gameplay itself, well, that hasn’t really changed.
This will likely be the polarizing trait for opinions of the game. As someone who has played the original long after its release and therefore does not have the same attachment to it, this is a bit of a disappointment to me. As I mentioned, an ‘on-rails’ experience simply does not generate excitement in 2020. I feel as though there were a few different directions the gameplay could have been taken that would have struck a better balance, much as the graphical overhaul did.
While this will certainly be a major sticking point with many people (and equally well-received by others), the fact of the matter is a deliberate creative decision was made not to tamper with the game’s functionality. There is, however, an additional ‘Modern’ control configuration which splits the mapping between movement and looking around between the two analog sticks.
For those who never had a chance to play the original, or maybe do not even know what it is all about, you may still be quite confused about how Panzer Dragoon: Remake truly plays. The term ‘on-rails’ shooter is an appropriate description, as the game’s playstyle is that of a constantly-forward moving environment where you (astride your dragon), fly around, looking in various directions while aiming at opponents.
You control two weapons, a straight-shooting laser and homing missiles, which can lock on to multiple opponents at the same time. While this may seem like a plain combat system by today’s standards, it is still extremely entertaining and sufficiently challenging. When keeping in mind that this game was originally released 25 years ago and that it was an intentional decision by the developer to retain the unique identity of the original game, I gain plenty of respect for this title.
Overall, there are many people who will enjoy this game. Certainly, fans of the original are in for one heck of a throwback and a wonderful one at that. Additionally, those who missed out on the original but are interested in experiencing what is undeniably a piece of gaming history, this is an affordable and enjoyable way to do exactly that. Even if you have no interest or ties to the original, Panzer Dragoon: Remake will offer excellent entertainment for a great value, just do not expect to be receiving a modern AAA title at the time of purchase!
For more information on Panzer Dragoon: Remake, visit: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/panzer-dragoon-remake-switch/