SEGA Saturday Morning Ads: Panzer Dragoon Zwei’s US Commercial

 

You want to know how good Panzer Dragoon Zwei is? It apparently caused a nuclear holocaust. Think about that.

From what I’ve seen of them, SEGA Saturn commercials are…weird. Worse yet, they often aren’t really all that appealing. This one in many ways is kind of perfect example of that. Here they have this weird, quirky Japanese rail shooter where you destroy hoards of enemies atop a laser-shooting dragon, and what do they do? Compare dicks with the Playstation.

Of course, bit-measuring and graphics chest thumping was all the rage back in ‘90s video game advertising, but the sad thing about its use here is that it does nothing to make me want the game or the system. The commercial really is just kind of…lazy. It definitely has nothing on Japan’s iconic Segato Sanshiro campaign, or the Xbox’s Panzer Dragoon Orta commercial, which we’ll be getting to next month.

I’ll admit, Zwei is probably a hard game to fit into SEGA of America’s typical commercial formula. It has no attitude to it, and it’s very Japanese. That said, I doubt commercials like this did the Saturn many favors.

To wash the taste of this one out of your mouth, I’ve gone ahead and included the Segato Sanshiro commercial for Panzer Dragoon Saga below. It’s pretty much an abridged version of the Zwei ad, but its still got that awesome theme song!

The Future of Panzer Dragoon

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It’s hard to believe Panzer Dragoon Orta is more than 12 years old. Looking back, Orta has aged incredibly well. Its visuals are still gorgeous and its gameplay still feels just as smooth and polished as it did in 2003. In an age where all sorts of obscure games are seeing digital re-releases and all sorts of franchises and genres are finding new life in the realm of digital, I think it’s a missed opportunity that Panzer Dragoon hasn’t received any sort of new release while digital gaming has been booming.

So today I thought I’d write up an article exploring the many ways Panzer Dragoon could (and should) fit into SEGA’s renewed focus on digital and mobile gaming.

The often forgotten Panzer Dragoon spin-offs, and why they are forgotten

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You might assume that Panzer Dragoon only had 4 games in the series: the original Panzer Dragoon, Zwei, Saga, and Orta. That’s understandable, as these were the only major releases in the franchise. However, Panzer Dragoon does have a few skeletons in the closet. However, what I’m going to show you today, well, you may wish I had never revealed these secret games to you.

SEGA Tunes: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed remixes Panzer Dragoon’s ‘Flight’

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The announcement of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is one of the more memorable moments here at SEGAbits, as it was the first major game reveal press event SEGA invited us to. Weeks before the game was officially announced to the public, we received an invite to a secret event that – while it didn’t name the game – was all but confirmed to be a Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing sequel thanks to the design and description of the event. Taking place at an indoor go-kart track in California, our writers attended and were floored when the game was revealed. The first thing that caught our eye: Panzer Dragoon was back with an impressive track named Dragon Canyon!

Classic SEGA Magazine Corner: Xbox Nation’s “Chasing the Dragon”, an inside look at Panzer Dragoon Orta

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When SEGA announced that they were discontinuing the Dreamcast in 2001, like many SEGA fans I was in a daze. What competitor console would I buy to continue to enjoy SEGA games? How could I keep up on SEGA news with the cancellation of the fantastic Official SEGA Dreamcast Magazine? With the knowledge that certain internal development teams would be shifting focus to specific consoles, fans had to decide if they were to become a Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo owner (or all three if you were one of those spoiled kids). As a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog and Jet Set Radio, the decision was clear. I was to become an Xbox owner. SEGA told fans that Sonic would be multi-platform, despite Sonic Team’s Nintendo leanings, and that Smilebit would be releasing games to the Xbox. These were deciding factors for sure, but what really tipped me over the edge into pledging allegiance to the Xbox was Xbox Nation, the independent Xbox magazine.

Review: 3D Out Run (Nintendo 3DS)

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Out Run (アウトラン) is a very important game in the history of SEGA, released back in 1986 on arcades and later ported to various consoles. Out Run was a massive success for SEGA, selling over 20,000 cabinets worldwide in its year of release. Almost 30 years later, we get a brand new port on 3DS with 3D Out Run. Is this port worth your time? Well, let’s talk about that…

Sonic Talk #31: “We’re gonna need a bigger podcast”

We got a fairly large podcast going on this week with lots to discuss. Starting off with our special guest, Elizabeth Silvas who tells us a very touching tale of her near death experience and how Sonic saved her during a troubling time in her life. Next, we discuss the brand new mobile game from Sonic Team “Sonic Runners”. It looks like only I got my hands on this game, but I give my full impressions. Also, I go into the new slightly playable build of Sonic X-Treme and we find out what other Sega and Capcom properties will be involved in the new, “World’s Unite” crossover event. Last, but not least, we delve into some Sonic Boom discussion and talk about the last few episodes.

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Celebrating 20 years of the amazing world of Panzer Dragoon

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Although few gamers nowadays have heard of it, the original Panzer Dragoon trilogy has an almost legendary status among Sega fans, particularly among those that owned a Sega Saturn. What was it, though, that made the Panzer Dragoon games so special? There were many things that the Panzer Dragoon games did right at the time. The game’s 3D graphics were amongst the best seen on the system at the time, and the first two games raised the bar for the on-rail shooter genre. Similarly, Panzer Dragoon Saga’s story, voice acting and battle system were ahead of their time.

Unboxing a brand new SEGA Menacer from 1992

You don’t find boxed hardware from the early 90s all that often, and when you do they usually sell for an arm and a leg. Thankfully, last week I found a boxed SEGA Menacer light gun from 1992 still sealed with baggies and all for a cool $40. I really wanted to free it from its packaging as soon as I got home, but I abstained until I had the time to do a proper unboxing. Check out what a boxed Menacer looks like and join me as we play a few of the bundled games!

Some background on the Menacer: Revealed to the public at 1992’s CES in Chicago, the Menacer was SEGA’s answer to the Nintendo’s Super Scope. The Menacer project was spearheaded by SEGA producer Mac Senour, who worked on the light gun and the bundled six-game pack. Notable to Toejam & Earl fans, one of the six games was a mini-game from Greg Johnson and Mark Voorsanger. Other SEGA licenses were proposed, but ultimately abandoned in favor of shooting mini-games. You can learn more about the Toejam & Earl mini-game in our recent interview with Greg Johnson.

While SEGA did not release additional first-party Menacer titles, there is a small library of games compatible with the light gun. Most notably, T2: The Arcade Game, both Mad Dog McCree games, and Corpse Killer. Call me a SEGA fanboy, but I much prefer the look and feel of the Menacer to Nintendo’s Super Scope.

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Swingin’ Report Show #77: Interview with Greg Johnson, co-creator of Toejam and Earl

Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove is a Kickstarter campaign from Greg Johnson, video game designer and co-founder of ToeJam & Earl Productions. On this week’s Swingin’ Report Show podcast, Greg joins us to talk about how he plans to bring the funky aliens back in a new game, and how he and Mark Voorsanger pitched and developed the original three games of the series for SEGA.

Learn how Toejam and Earl made the transition from Greg’s subconscious to video games, what it was like working with SEGA throughout the 90s, his thoughts on the sequels Panic on Funkotron and Mission to Earth, and how Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove is set to reimagine and build upon the famous first game. If you’re a game developer, or simply want to know more about how games are made, this episode is a must listen!

Show your support for Greg and his team, check out the Toejam and Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter today!

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