“It is an ominous light” someone once said…
Your planet has been devastated by centuries of war. Astonishing weapons, both mechanical and biological, have made a dangerous wasteland out of many parts of the globe. Now two mighty clans have excavated and reactivated many ancient weapons of war as they battle for dominance.
But the mighty see little of the true destruction caused by their war. It is the innocent people trapped in the middle who suffer the most. When a powerful airship callously blasts your tiny village to cinders, your emotions burn white hot in rage. Revenge is the only answer.
In secret, you have raised a mutant youngster of the two-legged pack animal used by your village. After centuries of biological horror, mutants are traditionally killed at birth. Your animal, a throwback to the living weapons of old, has a glowing patch on its neck and has sprouted a pair of vestigial wings which have been growing stronger. In empathy with the rage you feel, he exhibits a new ability. Showing his heritage as a biological weapon, the glowing patch on his neck fuels the first bright energy beams of the destructive potential he will someday posses.
Perhaps with this extraordinary animal, and your own laser gun, you can be a tool for vengeance…
Panzer Dragoon Zwei, like Panzer Dragoon before it, is one of those rare games that is technologically impressive, visually beautiful, and genuinely fun to play. We have called it a ‘3D Shooter’ but that doesn’t really convey the revolutionary aspects of this game. This shooter allows you to smoothly change your point of view to fire in any direction in a 360 degree sphere around your character. You also have a fair range of movement within which you can maneuver your character.
You ride upon your mutated animal which resembles a small dragon. In the beginning of the game, his wings are too small to get him truly airborne. You must fight while running along the ground. You can control the direction he runs to a certain extent, but not the speed. As the game progresses, your dragon will grow and his wings will become more fully developed, until he begins to flap the and bear you aloft. His energy blasts also grow more powerful.
You have two weapons with which to destroy your enemies. You can use your laser gun to rapidly fire at foes, or you can hold down the fire button and ‘lock-on’ to several targets. Release the button, and your dragon will fire arcing bursts of energy. One new addition to Panzer Dragon Zwei is the addition of a ‘berserk mode’. This is basically a ‘smart bomb’ which causes your dragon to automatically lock and fire at everything on the screen until he runs out of energy.
Many people complained about the ‘linear’ nature of the first Panzer Dragoon. While I feel these people were simply looking for something to complain about in an otherwise excellent game, Sega went to the effort to change this and offer more options in the sequel. Panzer Dragoon Zwei, while essentially still a ‘linear’ game, now has multiple path options on almost every level. Some paths are more difficult than others, but they also award more points than the easier ones. Score more points, and your dragon grows more quickly. Sometimes the path choices are difficult to find, but if you go to the options screen and turn on ‘full’ instrument mode, you will be alerted when they appear.
Beat the game and you get to open ‘Pandora’s Box’ (under the options menu). This allows you to modify the game by selecting all sorts of different weapons, starting on any level, etc.
Congratulations to Sega in maintaining the high quality of the Panzer Dragoon title. We haven’t heard anything about a ‘Panzer Dragoon Drei’ yet, but we have hope. This time with more levels, please? This series should really be the flagship game of the Saturn.