After my last couple of heavy posts I thought I'd detour into a personal favorite thing for a bit of light relief.
Back in the day I was a proud Sega Saturn owner. And the best of the best games there was Panzer Dragoon Saga. It was known as Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG in some countries.
Anyhow I lost days if not weeks of my life to this game, replaying areas, and exploring, exploring, exploring.
If you haven't heard of the Panzer Dragoon games before, they're a series of rail shooters where you ride a dragon which progresses through the game with you, leveling up and getting more special powers as you go. You can harness the dragon attacks and you fight through a series of levels and bosses to get to the end.
Until PDS came along. For some reason Team Andromeda decided to make this incredible open world game, where there are missions, and you do have to compete them in a certain order, but pretty soon the world is open to you to travel where you will as the multi-threaded story unfolds.
The best thing about it for me was that you could control the evolution of your dragon. You named him/her at the beginning, directed whether to learn spiritual attacks, defensive spells, which attacks to link together. I got amazingly attached to my dragon as he grew and learnt and evolved, and with each level and each change he got more and more beautiful.
Everything about the game represented the best in Japanese craftsmanship, from the beautiful locations, the imaginary world, the languages, the story, the characters. Oh it was all just so wonderful.
This is so present in my mind because hopefully this weekend will mark the start of rearranging furniture in our house (we're moving the kitchen into another room, and turning the old kitchen into a living room/lounge - we've been without a room with a sofa/couch in for probably five years!) So in a couple of weeks I should be plugging the Saturn back in again, and PDS will be one of the first games to be spun up.
There's a part of me in that happy state between a good memory of the past and anticipation of what's to come. The part of me that enjoyed riding, and bonding with, that dragon is all a-tingle again.
I don't know if there's anything modern that comes close in spirit, but I'd love to hear any comparisons. Bye for now.
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