What's the best possible way to experience each of PD games?


#1

Okay, so I sold my PD games years ago. Now I’m starting to flirt with the idea of getting them all back along with a new Saturn and whichever other piece of hardware I’d need to play each of the 4 games in the best possible way.

That means I want the game to look as best as possible, with the highest resolution possible, in the best possible TV screen and running on the best hardware.

So PD1, Zwei, Saga, Orta. What is the best version of each game?

Is it PS2 Sega Ages for PD1? What’s the maximum resolution possible? Does having a 1080p make a difference? Can it run on a PS3, and will it run better than on a PS2? Or is the best version of the game, bar the better dragon model and anti-aliasing NOT the Sega Ages version? If so, which is? The Xbox version of PD1?

Same for Zwei. Does it run better on a Saturn or on a emulator with a great PC? What is the ceiling exactly?

Saga. Any difference between framerate or resoltuion between the various versions (PAL, JP, NTSC)? Is 50hz and 60hz televisions still a thing to consider in this day and age? Do they affect it in anyway?

Orta. Is the version on Xbox live better than what we had in the original Xbox? Is the Xbox One X better tahn the Xbox One in terms of graphical fidelity?

I’m not usually into this technical stuff, but for sentimental reasons I want to die having replayed each of these with the best tech we have thus far. Also! Sound! I know nothing about sound…if I were to buy a soundsystem to get the best possible sound experience for each game, what sould I look for?

Thanks for the input. This thread can serve as reference for the future, for other people who want to know what is the best PD experience possible for each game. Imagine money is not an issue (equipment needed to facilitate the experience). Bonus question…as anyone played any of the games in a VR set? How does it feel?


#2

The Sega Ages version of Panzer Dragoon enhanced the graphics and the frame rate is more stable. I don’t believe it works on PS3 (correct me if I’m wrong), although didn’t some of the older PS3s run PS2 games? That might be worth investigating. In any case, I got it working on a PAL PS2 modded to run NTSC-J games (the game was never released outside of Japan).

For Saga, you should get the NTSC-U version. The PAL version has a large black border located at the bottom of the screen (rather than even borders at the top and bottom), which is distracting.

For Orta, get an Xbox One or Xbox One X. I haven’t played it on either, but there’s footage around of it running on Xbox One X. The Xbox One version fixes the episode 3 bug which was present when playing on an Xbox 360.


#3

I think the best I’ve seen Panzer Dragoon Saga look is running on Yabause emulator. The textures look really nice smoothed out. The only problem is: I couldn’t get the input to work for the L and R buttons. I guess you could still play the game without doing rolls with the dragon…But, if you could solve that problem I’d definitely go with Yabause for Saga. Zwei looks nice as well, but I haven’t gotten the original PD to work on this emulator.

As a side option you could go with buying all of the games on the Saturn again and hook up your system to an avi to HDMI converter like this one, (works really good and the picture looks very clear and nice in HDMI):


#4

Ooo, I love a good Saturn A/V discussion. :anjou_happy:

To answer this question, you’ll first need to decide whether you prefer to play on a Saturn or on a PC using an emulator. An emulator like Mednafen can certainly give you higher resolutions than the Saturn is capable of, but depending on your setup, you may end up with an unstable gameplay experience. Unfortunately, emulating with just about anything other than SSF is a real can of worms - even the beefiest rigs can flake out on certain games. High specs don’t necessarily guarantee high performance. It’s a matter of tweaking settings until you find something that works and is of the graphical quality you’re expecting.

It’s also worth considering whether or not you feel upscaling to HD using a modern PC graphics card adds to, or detracts from, the game’s visual presentation. Do you want to see the Panzer world as clearly and smoothly as possible, or would you rather stick closer to what the developers would’ve seen on their monitors while creating the game?

Regarding the different versions of PD1, this comparison video does a great job of showcasing the advantages and disadvantages of each way of playing (minus Orta’s PD1 on Xbox One).

I prefer to play the original trilogy on my Saturn. I’m not sure where you’re from, Gehn, but in my region Saturns were sold with composite cables. Yuck. I swapped it for a SCART lead to let the Saturn output RGB, which gets passed through a generic HDMI upscaler before connecting to my TV. This is a budget setup - if money is no object, you may want to look into the XRGB-mini upscaler. A setup including it is considered the gold standard by the Saturn community. But in the end, what looks the best is subjective.

Seconding @Solo_Wing on NTSC-U versions and Xbox One Orta.

A kind-of-related aside: It’s now possible to run backup Panzer images on a Saturn using an easy, plug-and-play soft mod option. Something to keep in mind, if one would rather not use retail copies…


#5

Yep, the plug and play Pseudo Saturn is a pretty cheap and convenient way to play Saturn backups on original hardware. All you need to do is flash an old action replay cartridge for the Saturn. My ideal way of playing Saturn games is backups on original hardware (though it might not be the most forward-thinking method, it’s accurate and works in the moment).

S-video is another option if scart isn’t around. S-video isn’t a huge step down from RGB, and is available far more in regions that never bothered with wide availability of Scart. I’ve been sticking with this over getting an HDMI upscaler from Scart because the image processing time and resolution distortion kind of bother me. I would really like to see how the picture would look on a high end CRT with RGB.

I actually ended up buying an Xbox One for Orta. I believe the standard XBone runs it at 4x the resolution, and the Xbox One X runs at 16x the resolution of the original. The clarity makes it much easier to see how much the graphics have aged in the last 16 years, but at the same time it’s stunning to see it so crisp and clear. It might be the ideal way to play the game for now.