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Gabe / on Mon, Aug 18 2003 at 8:39 am


As long as we are talking about import games I should mention the other one I just got. Dragon drive is the latest offering from Bandai and like most of their other games it goes along with a card game as well as an animated series. The game comes with two disks, the first one being an actual cartoon. At first I thought I was just watching a really fucking long intro. After about a half an hour I realized I was watching a goddamned movie. From what I gathered your main character plays a virtual reality card game called Dragon Drive. Players sit inside VR machines and do battle with their cards in a virtual world. Okay whatever.

The game itself is a shooter with a couple different kinds of levels. You’ll either be flying around in a free roaming 3D environment or something more along the lines of space harrier where you fly forward and shoot anything that pops up. The later style of level includes a lock on system similar to REZ giving you the ability to target multiple enemies and then attack them all at once. Throughout the levels you’ll find bonus cards that will give your dragon various power ups. You can hold as many as four of these at a time and select the one you want to activate with the directional pad.

The game is cell shaded and looks decent. It certainly won’t be winning any awards for it’s visuals but they get the job done. The actual dragon designs are pretty sweet and the enemies and bosses you’ll go up against are equally cool. The environments are for the most part pretty bland. The problem is that most people are comparing this game to Panzer Dragoon Orta. Those are some tough shoes to fill. In the end Dragon Drive doesn’t look as good, or play as well as PDO.

You will be hard pressed to find any English anywhere in this title. It’s nothing but Japanese as far as the eye can see. It’s still easy enough to navigate the menus and once you’re in the game it’s a pretty straight forward shooter. I do feel like I might be missing some of the intricacies of the card battle system though. It appears as though cards can gain XP but I don’t really understand that part. There is also a card collection side of the game but without reading japanese I’m pretty lost. On a side note the game works perfectly with the Freeloader.

Overall I’d say unless you are a fan of the anime or the card game there is really not much reason to import this one. On the other hand fans of the series will probably get a kick out of it. For everyone else though you could probably buy a Saturn and a copy of Panzer Dragoon and have a much better time.

As always thanks to VGD for the hookup

-Gabe out

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