My Life with SEGA takes to the skies with Panzer Dragoon Saga

Panzer Dragoon Saga. So much has already been said in regards to Yukio Futatsugi’s swan song for Sega’s then underrated Saturn console. It’s received unanimous praise from gamers and critics alike, and has become a highly sought after collector’s item since its release….

Expectations were exceedingly high throughout the course of Panzer Dragoon Saga’s 2 year development. Not only would it expand on the franchises mythology, but it would be the first – and, as of this writing, last – role-playing game in the series. Players would be free to explore this incredible universe by air and on foot. This series, much like the dragon itself, evolved.

Sadly, it fell on some dark days. Saturn was on its way out in North America, which resulted in Saga receiving a limited run of only 30,000 copies. Considering there were over 2 million units sold in the United States, Saga was spread pretty thin. Used copies have been known to fetch well over $500 dollars on Amazon and eBay. Just think, that’s the suggested retail price of an Xbox One.

Now, 15 years later, I’m finally going to review it. Like this video? Subscribe to the SEGAbits YouTube channel!

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9 responses to “My Life with SEGA takes to the skies with Panzer Dragoon Saga

  1. jimi Andreas says:

    Oh man I don’t know how i would have made it to the Dreamcast without this game.The 3-d levels were something that was rare on Saturn.Still the best RPG i’ve played.

  2. Mandobardanjusik says:

    Sigh, I have heard about this game, sadly even with a saturn I doubt I will ever manage to track a copy down, and the possibility of a port is extremely unlikely

    • mylifewithsega says:

      Hey, you never know. I got the entire trilogy CIB and in amazing shape for $300. Every now and then, you luck out.

  3. I got mind with Shining Force 3 for $85.00 but that was back in 2000. THis is my favorite game ever. Definitely the best RPG for sure. It’s a little short (like 17 to 25 hours) and a lot of disc space is taken up by cut scenes.

  4. Sigma says:

    Definitely a great game. But I’m glad Orta went back to the original gameplay style, such a fantastic game and the best one in the series.

  5. Sniffs says:

    Great review, but I can’t say I agree that PDA is a massive RPG. It definitely is as far as the narrative is concerned (I’d actually argue that a couple of scenes should’ve been cut), but the game’s take on RPG design always seemed somewhat minimal to me, which only made it more unique.

    There are only 3 villages in the whole game (and the Nomad Village is particularly small), not many weapons and accessories, and a minor amount of side-quests especially when compared to a Squaresoft game. But what it lacked in size and loot it more than made up for in detail. Every character is a character, nearly every area is unique, and nearly every line of dialogue meaningful. There are no walking signposts disguised as NPCs, no old man with a generic one liner about today’s youth (well… maybe one), no level grinding and not that many random enemy encounters (especially in the second half of the game).

    They avoided the genre’s flaws by focusing on less instead of more. Most RPGs want to be an epic 50 hour game, and tend to suffer because of it: the more content they have, the harder it’s gonna be to make that content meaningful. Team Andromeda invested in the detail instead of scale, which made their game seem completely unique when compared to its peers.

    I bought mine for 75 Pounds 5 years ago, complete and in very good shape. I was ecstatic when I got it, but then I opened the box and discovered that the 4th disk was knocked out of its disk holder and was damaged during shipping (it works 99.9% fine, though). I guess I got lucky and unlucky all at once.

    Tip to anyone interested in buying the PAL version: tell the seller to pad the inside of the boxes with bubble wrap! The PAL box is way nicer than the US one, by the way. It comes in 2 plastic cases in a cardboard sleeve, and each case has a special back cover. Considering how lousy SEGA Europe’s Saturn boxes were (most PAL Saturn game boxes were literally super-glued together, no joke), this was a very nice surprise. It’s like they knew it was special.

  6. Kevin-N says:

    I have now the change to buy it for 225 euro’s that’s about 300 dollar. Im still thinking of buying it, but it’s allot of money that you can buy allot of other games for.

    • Sniffs says:

      Well, if you just want to play it and have a half-way decent PC/laptop, you can emulate it using an emulator called SSF. That’s a huge amount of money and the only person profiting from it is the seller (SEGA’s obviously ain’t getting squat), so I think the best thing to do is try it, and if you love it and have that mental deficiency to have stuff you love on your shelf (like me) buy it if you want. No matter what people like me say about a game, you can always be disappointed with it, and 225 Euros is too high a price to pay to try something.

      I can’t give you any links, so please don’t ask (I don’t know how SEGAbits staff feel about emulation), but SSF runs PDS great. Unless a miracle happens, it’ll probably never get a re-release, so I advise emulating it.

      Saturn emulation is pretty cumbersome, so if you have any problems, search them out.

    • Sniffs says:

      Echh… I forgot to add that Panzer Dragoon Saga ISOs aren’t hard to find. Run a search.

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