Ecco the Dolphin


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6

The classic Ecco on the Sega Genesis was a fresh change of pace from all of the fighting and shooting games of the 16-bit era. The re-imagined Dreamcast version keeps the strange premise, plot, and the dolphin of course. However, the game's brilliant looking environments and strange style can't help the simple gameplay and tedious tasks that the programmer's have put into the title.

Let's just get it out of the way: The game looks simply incredible. The underwater environments look as real as today's technology could make them. From the living plants to the large amount of fish, there's always something going on, giving the game a living, breathing feel. Ecco flows through the water with the some of the most graceful movement ever captured in a video game. The frame rate does stutter once in a while, but this hardly detracts from one of the best looking games on the console. Ecco's world also sounds amazing with noise coming from all directions and assorted other "water" sounds making the illusion complete.

Of course, no matter how well he moves, the game still isn't that much fun. The basic missions given to the player will keep you busy. They simply get repetitive far too quickly. The ludicrous plot line, which is moved along by a narrator in-between missions, doesn't help matters any. Alas, this is a video game so anything is and should be possible.

Controlling Ecco should prove to be fairly intuitive and easy to learn. An occasional glitch causes Ecco to get stuck in tight spots no matter how much you slam and fiddle with the buttons, resulting in frustrating drowning deaths that are simply unnecessary. A lot of people will find that making Ecco flip out of the water and perform some of his trademark tricks and oh-so-loveable dolphin squeaky noises is a good way to kill some time.

Other people may be easily drawn into Ecco's world with their senses tantalized by the overwhelming sense of being underwater. However, the vast majority will find that Ecco simply doesn't offer enough to the player and will tire quickly of the repetitive missions far too quickly. Pass on this one unless you're some kind of dolphin nut, and in that case alone this is a must have.


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Last updated: Saturday, May 07, 2005 09:28 AM