How Sega Lost 'The Greatest Game Of All-Time'
Back in the '90s, the Playstation hit the Sega Saturn so hard that it almost feels like a bad insider told Sony to gear up for a war against the actual planet Saturn. Sony flattened the Saturn, but it didn't land the killing blow before Sega's console got the chance to make some sweet titles. The best one of the bunch is Panzer Dragoon Saga, a more complex take on the Panzer Dragoon classic that's a deep-ass RPG instead of an on-rails shooter. One could say that I am wrong, sure, but there's one problem: chances are nonbelievers just haven't played it.
History is full of titles that promised they would become the new king of a specific genre. Killzone was going to be the "Halo killer," Two Worlds was going to kill The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Neither even came close. The devs of Panzer Dragoon Saga marked the hardest possible title to bring down back in '98, Final Fantasy VII. Saga was as highly praised as FFVII, but most players didn't get to experience it because only a few thousand copies were ever available in the West, as the game only came out when the Saturn had already been pronounced dead. Saga didn't miss; it's just that very few people got to see the hit.
This game has everything you'd expect from a modern top-of-the-line RPG, down to the awesome full-motion videos and 3d graphics that the Saturn supposedly couldn't pull off as well as the PlayStation. On top of that, It gave players something no Japanese RPG ever does. Most of the game takes place in the sky, where you get to ride not your lame feet but your cool-ass dragon. The only shortcoming here is perhaps ruining land-based RPGs for you.
It might not look astonishing anymore, but even its menus look cooler than anything on the biggest game from '98.
Now, if you think that seeing your masterpiece become a sales fiasco might have sucked, imagine how the devs must have felt when they saw the heroes of Final Fantasy VIII, the first mainline FF title to come out a year after the launch/crash of Saga, going around the world in the most awesome dragon-shaped spaceship of all time.
Over two decades of being touted as a lost treasure have slowly turned Panzer Dragoon Saga into one of the most desired HD remasters; too bad no one seems to know where the goddamn source code is, making that highly unlikely. There's only one good way to play it nowadays, and that's via
emulation saving up 701 dollars. You'll use the one dollar to buy a used Sega Saturn and the remaining 700 to buy a used copy of the game on eBay.
Top Image: Team Andromeda, Sega