Panzer Dragoon Orta
Description official descriptions
The fourth installment of the Panzer Dragoon series has you playing Orta, a young girl who has been imprisoned by the Empire. Under a wave of attack, the prison camp is broken through by a mysterious dragon, and Orta takes it upon herself to ride the dragon, and destroy the Empire once and for all. Along the way, she will also discover her own destiny, and the mystery surrounding her new friend.
Simply put, you have limited control of the dragon for most of the game, as your trigger finger will be shooting non-stop at the enemies that fly around the area. Orta will be your main source of fire-power when you simply press the fire button, but by pressing and holding, the aim cursor will change, allowing you to fire a burst of power from the dragon at whatever the cursor aims at.
The dragon itself can change into three forms at a press of a button. Each form has a different style of attack and power ability.
A port of the original Panzer Dragoon is included.
Credits (Xbox version)
209 People (191 developers, 18 thanks) · View all
|COO Sega Europe|
|Director of Product Development|
|Sega Europe Localisation|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 87% (based on 33 ratings)
Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 37 ratings with 4 reviews)
This game was challenging and frantic, but unlike most games described that way, I had a blast with it. It's the first and only game I can say I ever completed, in the sense that there's literally nothing left for me to do in it. I must say I like the feeling.
The music and graphics are awe-inspiring. The controls are easy to learn, but difficult to master. The learning curve is sadistic, but starts out easier than most games, so you can pick it up and have fun with it, but will have to sink more time into it than you will in most RPG's to really master it. This isn't quite as bothersome as it is in RPG's, since the game environments are, as said before, awesome and the graphics just as good. You can go through a level five times and still be astounded. Very few games have that.
Oh, and the unlockables are cool.
The learning curve was sadistic. Even on easy it took me several tries to finish even the second level. On hard I couldn't even finish the first level on my first try.
The story is underdeveloped. I would really like to know more about the backstory of this game, but it doesn't say all that much. Sure, there's an extensive dictionary unlockable (piece by piece) in the extra stuff section, but that's not nearly as good as discovering things within the game itself.
Watch out for the second level. It has one very difficult sequence. This is an odd placement for one of the hardest points in the game, being so close to the start.
My last complaint is how much punishment some "normal" enemies can take. The really toughly armored ones are not usually very dangerous, but this seems like an artificial way to prevent someone from getting a better score.
The Bottom Line
Simply awesome action game. Easy to pick up, and doesn't have any of the murderously impossible segments that so plague other games of the genre. The difficulty, I'd have to say, is almost illusory - you don't notice it within the game itself. In other games, you get stymied. In this one, you finish the level, THEN you realize how insane the difficulty had been.
Xbox · by Nathan Pannbacker (34) · 2005
In the past 5 years, video gaming has gone in a more complex and lengthy direction. While this is a good thing, there is also a desire for fast, reflex-testing gameplay. Panzer Dragoon Orta fills that role like few other games can.
I don't want to call it "shallow", but PDO is definitely a visceral experience. It is a railed shooter, fast and furious. There aren't many pure shooters like this anymore, but this one would stand out even in a crowded genre. The Panzer Dragoon games are some of the genre's most heralded, and Panzer Dragoon Orta makes the series proud.
Your character, Orta, rides a dragon, while enemies attack from all angles. Using the L and R buttons, and the control stick, you shift your view 360 degrees and fire at waves of enemies. The game features some interesting targeting combos and other wrinkles to keep it from being purely "point and shoot", although that is much of the heart of the game. Bosses are huge, and being able to recognize patterns quickly will keep you alive.
I don't want to wait until the end of the review to mention this: Panzer Dragoon Orta features the original Panzer Dragoon game as an unlockable bonus. For me (and anyone else that doesn't have the Sega Saturn classic), this is a big selling point. It is unlocked after 5 hours of gameplay, or it can be unlocked immediately with a code.
The visuals and audio are stunning. It is games like this where the Xbox's muscle really puts the GameCube and PS2 to shame. In addition to some of the most gorgeous visuals to date, the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is wonderful. This game is definitely a treat, especially for the big TV and surround sound crowd.
Tying together the game's 10 episodes is a storyline that is more storied than most players might realize. While it is essentially ignorable, fans of the series - and post-apocalyptic worlds - will eat it up.
Panzer Dragoon Orta is a short game. It can be completed in around 3-4 hours. There are multiple paths through most stages, lending some replay value. Also, the inclusion of the original Panzer Dragoon adds some more great gameplay as well.
Whether this is good or bad depends on your point of view - Panzer Dragoon Orta is HARD. It can challenge an experienced game player even on "easy" difficulty. The starting screen says that "normal" is right for most game players, but I think some PDO developers have a major sadistic streak. "Normal" mode will break the will and spirit of a casual gamer, and may even break some experienced gamers. For the real pros, there is "hard" difficulty, which I can almost not conceive.
For some people, it may be hard to justify the purchase of such a short game. It's a great experience and the replay value (both through the game proper and the PD bonus) is more than most games of this sort. Even still, this isn't a game that one will play for 15+ hours. It is definitely worth a rental for everyone, though.
The Bottom Line
Panzer Dragoon Orta is an amazing railed shooter game. Like any good throwback, it takes the best of old gameplay, adds some new wrinkles, and maxes out the aesthetic factor. Fans of the Panzer Dragoon series are required to buy it, and newcomers can enjoy 2 of the series' 3 games (not including the RPG, Panzer Dragoon Saga) in one package.
Xbox · by *Legion* (136) · 2003
Visually stunning, and with simple controls, Panzer Dragoon Orta sets a new score for XBOX console.
The game is spoken in a fine alien language, but the subtitles, which are in english. And that's the matter, english only please if you want to play XBOX P.D. Orta. And that seems to have become a custom for all XBOX titles. Wrong.
The Bottom Line
This game is excellent under all points of view. It also features, as a bonus, the original Sega Panzer Dragoon. Even, I must say, you won't regret it, once you play the XBOX version.
Xbox · by Super_Anima (4) · 2003
1001 Video Games
Panzer Dragoon Orta appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
The game was developed by Smilebit and most of the SEGA team that worked on the previous Panzer Dragoon titles had already left the company. Kentaro Yoshida returned to SEGA partly to ensure the continuity of the series, and to work along with the director who had already worked on Panzer Dragoon Saga.
The original Panzer Dragoon (based on the PC updated version) is included as unlockable extra.
According to the magazine gamesTM (issue #34), all Japanese copies include a hidden English-language option that's automatically selected when playing on a Western Xbox with a mod chip.
- 2003 – Upholding the Legacy Award (Xbox)
Related Sites +
Panzer Dragoon Orta
Official Bilingual Website (Japanese & English)
- MobyGames ID: 8522
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Kartanym.
Game added February 27th, 2003. Last modified March 11th, 2023.