GSQ4: Rail Love

Panzer Dragoon: Rail Love
I haven’t really played a lot of Panzer Dragoon games in my life — mostly Saga, and only a little bit of that — and based on this impassioned retrospective by Wesley Fenlon on the series’ final (or at least most recent… but, yeah, probably final) entry, Orta, I feel like I’ve sadly missed out. I feel a powerful urge to call a mulligan on life after this one.

17 thoughts on “GSQ4: Rail Love

  1. Really a fantastic game, with a compelling visual style. I should pull this out of storage and finish it someday. Of course, I could say the same about Saga …

  2. One of my favorite things in Panzer Dragoon Orta is that all the extra content will unlock after 20 hours with the game. Yeah, you can unlock it faster via other means if you’re some kinda rail shooter god, but I really love that they thought about those of us that aren’t.

  3. Orta is truly an awesome game. I remember thinking SEGA had a resurgence going on with the incredible JSRF and the pretty rad Gun Valkyrie.

    And then they killed Smilebit. I have not purchased a SEGA game since.

  4. @Hero

    Well according to wikipedia, those 3 games were actually supposed to come out on the dreamcast but after it’s death Sega worked on them to be released on the xbox. Maybe Sega should just develop games for the dreamcast and then port them to other systems so that they would have some awesome dreamcast code within them.

  5. “[S]uccess is more about learning to avoid damage than dealing it out. Far from being a bullet hell shooter, Orta follows the more traditional style of deliberate enemy patterns — patterns to be learned, memorized, and conquered.”

    I’m certainly not arguing that Orta IS bullet hell, but, erm… bullet hell shooters are all about learning to avoid damage and memorizing deliberate enemy patterns. It’s like saying, “Far from being the sky, the ocean is blue.”

  6. This is the game that got me into the Panzer series and got me to finally buy that saturn. It’s such a wonderful game. I thought that the story was really simple when I was first playing it but the universe was excellent. Then I went back to it after Orta and realised just how powerful the story really was and was almost brought to tears. Pity only the few that have played both games will get to experience it.

  7. A great article that sings the merits of an excellent, criminally unappreciated game with aplomb. I think you may have inspired me to make a return visit to Orta.

  8. Its nice to get away from the usual Nintendo/JRPG lovefest Gamespite oh so often is, to focus on what is truly a gem of a game. I adored this title back in the day. Sega, get off your asses and give me a sequel!

  9. This was one of the most beautiful games for the XBOX, and still looks quite good. Definitely an underappreciated classic, and it always makes me sad when I see it on some random store shelf for $5. I almost want to buy it again.

  10. @alexb and Jeremy: Thanks guys! I worked hard on this, but it’s one of those games that’s so good it’s inspiring.

    @J.L. I take your point–I’ve never been good enough at bullet hells (or devoted the extreme amount of time to them) to be able to accurately weave through hundreds of bullets at once. Point is, you can still go down in flames pretty quickly in Orta, but there’s not nearly as much incoming fire as a bullet hell would throw at you.

  11. When I had a 360, I scoured the shelves of every GameStop, looking for this game. Never found it, and now that I don’t have a 360, won’t be able to play it. :( Sega really should release a Panzer Dragoon Collection, or a NiGHT’S Ultimate Sega Saturn Collection…with Panzer Dragoon Orta as a bonus. :)

  12. Not if you are in europe. Like most games on the the list of compatible games, it’s total lies. The Pal version crashes at the cutscene after stage 3. It’s annoying because Orta is the only reason I haven’t put my Xbox into retirement.

    I’m not sure I’d want another entry in the series. Unlike Shenmue Orta wrapped up the Saga/Orta plotline in the best possible way and I’d hate if they gave it toa developer that misses the point spectacularly like Climax did with Rocket Knight.

  13. “Jet Set Radio Future, followed by GunValkyrie, Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller, ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth, Shenmue II, and, of course, Panzer Dragoon Orta.”

    Reading that makes me sad because these Sega games on the Xbox… they were the last great original Sega games. Luckily this past year they have Platinum Games making good games for them to release… otherwise Sega would be some shell of a company that releases nothing but shoddy Sonic games. Sad. Long live the Dreamcast and great original Sega games!

Comments are closed.