At its core, Penta Dragon is a shooter, but some elements of games like Zelda are thrown in to spice things up a bit. Self scrolling is ditched in favor of eight directional movement, so you can back track through the levels in case you missed something. (This isnt the case in the secret levels, where you turn into a spaceship (??) and can only go up or down.)
The powerup system is different from most shooters as well: Theres the usual shot variations (Forward, Spread, and a Back Shot), and mega bombs that kill everything on screen, but you can also amass inventory items such as health potions, shields, and a couple of things I have no clue as to what they do.
The game isnt very long per se, but you can get lost very easily in a couple of the levels. The element of exploration is fun, but when youve wandered around for 20 minutes with no clue where to go it can get aggravating, especially since you get attacked by mini-bosses at seemingly random intervals.
Graphically, the game looks a lot like the SaGa games (Which I like), but the animation seems a little choppy which detracts from the action a bit. The music and sound effects are okay, but nothing to write home about.
Overall, this is a pretty fun game, so if you like shooters and/or Zelda, you should get some enjoyment from it.