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Ecco The Dolphin: Defender of the Future

Platform : Sega Dreamcast
Rated: Everyone
3.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

Price: $54.99 & FREE Shipping.Details
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Product Description

Ecco, the bottlenose star of a nearly forgotten side-scrolling adventure on the retired Sega Genesis, has made it to the Dreamcast in Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future, and this time he's a 3-D dolphin in a hyperrealistic underwater world. Players will control Ecco as he is sent back into the past and tries to reinstate the paradise of his future. How? Evil forces have conspired to destroy the planet, and if Ecco can recover the stolen and scattered dolphin power, he'll be able to restore the harmony between dolphins and humans.

But there'll be time for that. First, you're going to have to learn to swim, eat, and think like a dolphin. Use different songs to communicate with other sea creatures and be prepared to defend yourself against predatory sharks. Later, go on to solve puzzles and work with others to accomplish your goals. The game features beautifully detailed seascapes, with creatures and plants that look and move realistically.

Amazon.com

Ecco the dolphin has always played the part of Sega's more sedate mascot, providing a relaxing contrast to the hyperactive Sonic the Hedgehog games. Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future continues this tradition on the Dreamcast, putting the title character in charge of saving the world yet again. An alien force (creatively called The Foe) has abducted all the humans and most of the dolphins from earth, leaving only a tiny force of dolphins to restore things to normal. As Ecco, players must travel through an enormous underwater world, interacting with other sea creatures and solving puzzles in a quest to stop The Foe once and for all.

The Dreamcast's power is exploited to beautiful new extremes in this game. The underwater environments are filled with shimmering rocks, colorful plants, and outcroppings of coral. Families of turtles slip through the water in a stately line, while schools of fish dance in circles and translucent jellyfish sit suspended in the depths. The most amazing creatures by far are the dolphins--including Ecco--as they are rendered in perfect detail and benefit from incredibly fluid animation. This is one beautiful game, and the serene soundtrack adds to the overall atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the gameplay is about as shallow as the ocean is deep. There are many missions to complete, from dolphin races to killing teams of sharks, but there are so few controls that nearly all assignments are completed in the same way. Tasks become much harder as the game progresses, and the lack of direction given to players players needlessly adds to the difficulty. We wasted countless hours of trial and error trying to figure out what we were supposed to do--time that would have been saved had the mission objectives been clearer. Still, Ecco the Dolphin is an engaging way to waste time, thanks to its open environments and hypnotic beauty. --T. Byrl Baker

Pros:

  • Absolutely beautiful environments
  • Fluid animation

Cons:

  • No way to save games in the middle of a level
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • The game slows when there are many objects onscreen at once

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