(sharon) #1

gun or lock onto them with your
dragon’s destructive laser attack. Orta
also has the Berserk Attack which was
first introduced in Panzer Dragoon II
Zwei. Build up enough power by
shooting enemies and you’ll be able
to release a ridiculously outrageous
barrage of lasers, which rains down on
enemies, killing many mobs outright
and seriously damaging bosses.
A new addition is the glide
mechanic, which is tied to your
dragon’s movement. Once a certain
level of the glide gauge becomes full,
it’s possible to manoeuvre around the
game’s bosses, with the aim to reach
weak points that can be exploited. It
can also be used to ram enemies and
even avoid enemy fire, but being tied
to a gauge means that care must be
taken to ensure you get the optimal
use out of it. Additionally, Orta also
improves on mechanics found in the
earlier games, too, with the most
obvious being the ability to change
into three distinct different dragon
types. Admittedly, Zwei let you evolve
into different dragons over time and
Saga also had dragon forms you could
transform into – five, in fact – but
Orta ramps things up considerably
by letting you switch between your
new forms on-the-fly with a stab of
a single button. The Base Wing is
your common variety dragon form
and has average attack strength,
decent manoeuvrability and the ability
to lock onto many targets at once,
while the Heavy Wing is a gigantic
beast that has an immensely powerful
laser attack, but is limited by the
amount of enemies it can lock onto

This Xbox One launch title
might have been overseen
by Panzer Dragoon’s
creator, Yukio Futatsugi,
but it was still crap.

This spectacular 2006
shooter made the jump to
Xbox Live Arcade but sadly
it was delisted in 2014.

Panzer Dragoon Orta was
one of the best-looking
rail shooters to grace the
original Xbox, but many
similar games would follow
in its wake.



This successor to Rez was
another rail shooter like
Panzer Dragoon, which
features spectacular
visuals and sound.

and is also unable to use the glide
mechanic. That brings us to the Glide
Wing, which, as its name suggests,
is incredibly agile with fantastic
manoeuvrability. Predictably, it’s far
weaker in a tooth-and-nail fight as it
lacks the ability to fire homing lasers,
instead relying on a bigger firing
reticule that does let you easily take
down incoming enemy fire.
All three forms can be individually
levelled up by collecting Gene Bases,
although only the Heavy and Glide
forms physically transform as they
become more powerful. Each form
also affects the power of the dragon’s

Berserk Attack. The Base Wing’s attack
is a standard assault, the Heavy Wing
can actually be manually aimed, while
the Glide Wing can absorb the energy
of defeated enemies, increasing your
own life bar in the process. Orta also
features the multiple routes that first
appeared in Zwei, meaning that there’s
always a reason to return to the
game once the main story is finished.
It’s not just multiple routes that
enhance Orta’s replay value, though.
Like Zwei, Orta also includes a bonus
section called Pandora’s Box, which
is brimming with extra unlockable
content. In addition to a solid port of
the original Panzer Dragoon, you can
also view various illustrations and
videos, learn about the world Orta
inhabits and take part in additional
sub-scenarios that enhance Smilebit’s
world. The best of these focus on a
brand-new character called Iva, a
young imperial who lost his father in a
battle against Orta’s dragon.

You Orta know
So what makes Panzer Dragoon
Orta so good if it’s so similar to the
earlier games in the series? Simple:
the original games were highly
entertaining rail shooters that are
still fun to play today, and Orta is no
different. Admittedly, Panzer Dragoon
is showing its age a little (which you’ll
discover when you unlock it upon
completing Orta) but Zwei remains a
mesmerising game, full of challenge
and swagger, and Orta echoes that.
Orta’s enemy waves are carefully

“The original games were highly entertaining

rail shooters that are still fun to play today,

and Panzer Dragoon Orta is no different”


ABOVE Orta’s
second boss is a
toughie, and
you’ll need to
use the glide
mechanic to get
the drop on it.


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