Would modern gamers "get" a re-released Panzer Dragoon Saga?


#1

Panzer Dragoon Orta was recently re-released on Xbox One via backward compatibility and as a downloadable “Xbox Original”. That’s great! A new whole new set of gamers will be able to appreciate the most technically advanced Panzer Dragoon game for the first time, and previous fans will be able to relive the game in high definition. Furthermore, the original Panzer Dragoon is included as an unlockable title.

Half of the mainline Panzer Dragoon series is now available on a modern piece of hardware.

Re-releasing the other two Panzer Dragoon games is going to be considerably harder, and if we’re being honest, unlikely to happen. Technically, there are a lot of blockers compared to re-releasing a Megadrive, Dreamcast, or Xbox game. But assuming it did happen, are these games that a modern gamer would necessarily understand or appreciate? A lot has changed since the 90s, an era that was highly experimental when it came to figuring out how to make a 3D game. The graphical capability of consoles improve immensely between the Saturn and original Xbox (compared to today, where an Xbox 360 or PS3 game can still be very easy on the eyes, especially if the resolution is bumped up). But even putting aside graphics, the systems of those early games became a lot more fluid in Orta. Zwei was relatively straight forward shooter, and even though it remains my favourite Panzer shooter, there wasn’t a lot to it when it came to systems. Saga has a lot going for it, and even though I’d argue it was ahead of it’s time, feels very much like a 90s game - long, non-interactive FMV sequences for story telling, random encounters, turn based combat. These are generally no-nos to a modern audience that expects more control and freedom than was present in earlier titles.

So my thought is, although seeing Zwei and Saga re-released is something that I’d very much like to see happen, perhaps it is too late for most gamers to really appreciate these games. If these games came out and no one really cared besides the old fans, how much better off would we be? It might be better to push for a remake, reboot, or some other kind of successor instead. We always have Saturn emulators to play these titles on; Saturn emulation isn’t too bad these days, although it could always improve. Gamers can be introduced to the series via Orta, and – if they care enough – they can hunt down other ways of playing the older games.

It will be interesting to see how well the older Shenmue games hold up when re-released. But even these games ran on considerably more powerful hardware than the Saturn.


#2

All of the great games from our past are workings of the 90’s; where they should probably stay. Most games these days have become too dumbed down, lacking any kind of grand narrative, pandering to the mainstream, and too needlessly open. Ni Nu Kuni 2 is a fine example of this.

Not to mention: any attempt at a unique, artistically presented world and story is seen as too artsy for most kids today, or too difficult for their empty minds to grasp.

It seems companies like Nintendo have kept their charm and fidelity through time. Evolving their formula while still keeping the magic going. Zelda Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey are proof of that.

I would like a re-release of Saga though…It would probably take a miracle.


#3

As much as I’d love to see proper re-releases of these games, I find it unlikely that they’d become popular among modern gamers who never experienced them. Orta didn’t make much of a bang when it was added to the Xbox One backwards compatibility list, and it’s the closest thing we have to a modern game on the Panzer Dragoon series. There’s also Crimson Dragon which was not as successful due to its many flaws (*cough* microtransactions *cough* Kinect *cough*).

legaiaflame summarized it best when it comes to modern game tastes. Everything is too dumbed down, games hold your hands too much, plots aren’t much deeper than “save the world by destroying this big bad who destroys stuff because reasons”, not to mention “hey, look at these graphics!” which for some reason is still a thing.

A new entry, most likely a reboot, would be my best bet for the continuation of the Panzer Dragoon series. The formula has to be adapted to today’s standards (for better of for worse), but if there’s one thing that must remain untouched is the “feeling” – the sense of mystery and wonder and the way the narrative is delivered to the player, in small, meaningful fragments that they must piece together that simultaneously increment their knowledge and add even more mysterious elements to discover and wonder.

Re-releases could work if by some miracle Sega decided to release a mini Sega Saturn system like they did with the Mega Drive/Genesis. Even then, it would mostly pander to nostalgic fans.

One can dream.


#4

Surely the point about modern game stories being dumbed down is a bit of a generalisation though? Some modern games, such as The Last of Us, have both linear and thought provoking stories.

I wouldn’t exactly look to Nintendo when it comes to deep story telling or world building, but for pure gameplay, sure. Panzer is not that kind of series though.

Generally games have a problem with getting all of the elements to work well, and work well together. Games like Panzer Dragoon Saga which excel at story, music, world building, gameplay, art direction and turning all those things into a cohesive experience.


#5

You’re right. Not every game today is too shallow. I’m sure there is room for a worthy successor to Panzer Dragoon, be it an actual sequel, reboot or spiritual successor. However, the old 90s games’ standards won’t work today, and that’s where I fear it would lose its spirit.


#6

Alright, I just finished God of War and… I didn’t expect this. In fact, I was a bit scared that critics were overdoing it but…
The experience was seamless, you just cannot stop, everything is so convincing and coherent. The pace keeps you always equally engaged.
Which to me is another proof that today, we can also have great games.

I think I have not played a game that kept me equally engaged all along since Panzer Dragoon Saga, from a narrative perspective.
I have loved BotW but for different reasons, it was a moody game with a beautiful polish but narrative was not its strength.

It’s also worth mentioning that the ways the world is designed in God of War feels good to play as well. It is not exactly an open world in the way we have been used to see them. Another formula that could maybe serve a PDS remake. By the way, this was my first God of War game.

I think the potential for a Panzer Dragoon Saga remake is there. You could imagine the clash between Edge & Atolm/Azel in more epic ways than ever before.

So back to the initial question, I have always thought remakes for Panzer Dragoon and especially Saga were the way to go. Straight ports/emulations would highlight their age. Which is cool for the few hardcore fans like us but it’s never going to attract a new audience.
The only reason I softened my opinion lately was the fact that PD games could make it on the Switch via SEGA AGES. Why would I change my mind then? Simply because I would be ok to play the games - as they were - on a small screen on the go. You would probably not notice their age as much as if it was stretched on a HD TV.
And someone on Twitter mentioned that they could still offer PD games via SEGA AGES on other consoles by adding black bars… well I have always found this feature frustrating. I certainly don’t want to play a game on my TV screen with black bars.

I will take ShenMue’s example. I have never played the series but heard so much about it that I want to play it. The problem is that I cannot try the series with ShenMue3 because of the story.
But when I look at the ShenMue1&2 remaster trailer well… mmmmmm I am scared. I am not sure I can force myself to play these games now in 2018. Maybe I will. But what’s for sure is that it’s not selling me dreams.
And these games were of the Dreamcast era.
So imagine what newcomers would think of Panzer Dragoon games straight ports of the Saturn?
I fear it would hurt the series more than anything and lead to wrong conclusions again.

Funilly, I had started a poll. It’s not over yet but the results so far are interesting.
We can discuss when this poll is over.

Ideally, we could have both remakes and the original games via SEGA AGES (for preservation). But if we can only have one of the two options, I will take remakes without a doubt.

The potential for a new game, reboot, is also big. I think we need to keep talking of Panzer Dragoon on social networks. I can feel a change.

I have contacted some of the people I think are the right ones to ‘consider’ this series. We shall see what their reaction is, should there be one.

Citation https://twitter.com/PanzDragWorld/status/988765210692513792


#7

Well, I said “most” games. But there are solid examples though. And we seem to be talking about rpg’s, concerning how Saga would be accepted by a younger generation.

My prime example is Ni Nu Kuni 2. It appeared to be a big budget game but with a story dumbed down and written for toddlers. And I shouldn’t forget FF15 of course! All of that games character development was outside the game; within the anime… What a waste!

But it is pretty rare to get an excellent narrative while still having a solid and engaging, world. At least one that can build up lore and mystery.


#8

Yeah, it is hard to find a modern game where multiple aspects of the game being non-generic. The example I used - The Last of Us - had a solid story, but the world was fairly generic: a zombie-filled post apocalyptic world. A game with a world like Panzer Dragoon Saga, but with modern mechanics would still face the challenge of selling that kind of post apocalyptic world to investors and the public over something more mainstream.

Now, I haven’t finished it yet, but could Hoizon: Zero Dawn be considered an example of a game with both modern mechanics and a unique story and world? When I first saw footage of the game I thought of Panzer. Playing it for the first time at the moment, I see quite a number of similarities between the two.


#9

I don’t know if “dumbing down” is a good way to compare Panzer Dragoon to modern games. The thing that really drew me to the series was the extremely focused simplicity of the gameplay. If anything, most games nowadays are unnecessarily bloated and overcomplicated with way too many mechanics or subplots that are absolutely meaningless or filled with tons of optional micromechanics that all add up to doing simple things with extremely little payoff. The nicest thing about the Panzer Dragoon series is the serious lack of bloat, which might be misunderstood as lack of meaningful content to more modern audiences.


#10

I think the last game I played with a really unique world was: Gravity Rush remastered and Gravity Rush 2. That game, well the second one at least, had a highly stylised and interesting world.

The story was vague (fill in the blanks) while still interesting and captivating. Not to mention the gameplay felt like something fresh and unique!

It wasn’t overly complicated but its artsy world and dreamlike story probably turned most people away from these gems.


#11

The recent article with the old TA members clarified to me that PDS was always intended as kind of niche in a way. And me reconsider my position on niche media. I used to be of the idea that something being niche was a failure in marketing…and while part of me still believes that…I did get the feel that if TA wasn’t so hell bent on stealing from the beaten path with PD I probably would never have fallen in love with it. So there’s value in creating something nichr that appeals to people who value different stuff in their art.

I think games have become something as, or more, beloved than movies and will experience the same level of cult and love in the near future. I mean, how many gamers ho apeahit with rereleases and crowfund remakes of games from the 80s these days ?

I’m sure with good marketing PDS will be as appreciated now as it was in 98 or more, actually. Don’t forget this is still a new industry. Many people are only now mature enough to distance themselves from pretty console or Sega/Nintendo wars to appreciate the medium in general. Older, more.matute gamers are going back and rebisioning their ideas of past games. I see the future looking bright for classics revival in general. But if you expect a 12 year old of today to appreciate a 1998 game when he’s used to a much higher standard of visual realism and other gaming concepts…

Good things is the 12 year olds no longer command the industry.


#12

Even though a Panzer Dragoon Saga might not become as popular & mainstream as a FF7/FF7 remake, I think it could do similarly good as a niche game like Nier Automata.


#13

I have opened a topic on resetera about revisiting/changing/rebooting an existing IP/series.

I mention the examples of God of War, Zelda BotW.

“You’re changing too many things, this isn’t Gof of War anymore”
“We have to be bold”

If you ant to participate…