Ported over from the 3DO, Total Eclipse
doesn't fare much better here on the PS One. It's a very shallow, dull shooter without
much going for it. The biggest selling point (the graphics) has long since become
outdated. It's instantly forgettable, and you can't help but think the Super NES could
have handled this if it wasn't for the polygons.
Actually, come to think of it, the SNES did in Hyperzone. While not a carbon
copy, both games have you barreling down tunnels (Hyperzone all the time),
blasting away at generic enemies that happen to be dumb enough to fly into your line of
unlimited fire. The only thing Eclipse changes is the ability to fight above
That's not something so radically different that it's going to make you realize this
anything but a few levels of a tech demo. The frame rate is higher on the more powerful
hardware and the textures are little more solid, not warping and breaking up as much as
they did on the 3DO. The draw distance is about the same (still unacceptable), and the
sprite based enemies clash with the backdrops. Explosions are meager and hardly
Actually, that pretty much sums up the entire game. It's as bare bones and basic a shooter
you'll ever play, failing to contain an ounce of originality or memorable moments. Hit
detection is sloppy and never quite right making maneuvering inside corridors a chore.
This boils down a polygonal space version of Afterburner just without the sense
of speed or intense action that game provided.
The redbook, pounding rock soundtrack in the background may keep pace with the game, but
it's not Grammy-winning material by any stretch. Those explosions mentioned not only fail
to look good, they also get lackluster audio support. The monotonous sound of lasers
firing accompanies the entire game.
While it might have worked when it launched alongside the console, Total Eclipse
simply doesn't hold up at all. The same can be said for other Crystal Dynamic titles that
follow this same basic approach: Move quick, use the hardware, and blow things up. It's
almost as if they expect you to be moving so fast you won't have time to notice you're not
having fun. That didn't work this time.