Ecco the Dolphin Reviews

  • NeonCthulhuCultNeonCthulhuCult182,534
    06 May 2013 06 May 2013
    19 1 8
    Ecco The Dolphin One of a kind, Never been anything like it since

    Circa 1992
    This may be the worlds first "oddball genre" game. Predating the Katamaris and the like by a good decade or more. The subject matter is truly unique and never been reattempted, least not in a serious sense such as this. You are a dolphin, Ecco pronounced "Echo" A hurricane has separated your family from you. Ecco spends the rest of the game meeting and helping dolphins along the way trying to find his kin. What unfolds is maybe a story that quite literally "Jumps the Shark" ( Pun Intended )

    Graphics
    I rented this back in 1992 and for the time these were state of the art graphics pushing the Genesis to the max. Enter todays standards and you may have had to be there to give this gem a try.

    Difficulty
    Very tough. Tougher than Ninja Gaiden Or Dark Souls put together. I have yet to see someone beat this game without a cheat code.

    Gameplay
    Your Grandads odd platformer. I know what you might be thinking. A dolphin game? Give this a try sincerely and It is very rewarding. Just don't let your shooter friends know about it. It's part puzzle and part action with brutal hit detection. The enemies will make you weep for your Mama or hurl your controller at the TV. The famous octopus in this game is sickening frustrating.

    Achievements
    Tough, but very doable. The final boss to this game I never beat when i was 15 16, so maybe I'm being generous with this. If you have strong will and a general love for the game very doable.

    Music
    Simply some of the best on the genesis. Catchy and eeeery.


    In closing I'd like to say that younger demographics may have a difficult time trying to get into this game and it is true it is very "NICHE" you might have to have a love for retro genre or just a love for dolphins but hey It may even push away the oldest of gamers who didn't try it then.

    Thank you, and now may this Clown of a man wait in vain for a re release of the genesis classic Chakan The Forever Man
    4.0
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    NeonCthulhuCultWow! I did not know they recently tried a kickstarter campaign for a modern sequel.
    Posted by NeonCthulhuCult on 06 May 13 at 21:20
    dill iciouschakkan the forever man. i never thought i'd hear someone lament the lack of love for that title. i'm personally pining away for shining force 2.
    Posted by dill icious on 08 May 13 at 07:53
    NeonCthulhuCultShining Force 2 was sweet. I faked being sick, to avoid school so i could play part 1. What a awesome game. I think it's on Sonics Collection.
    Posted by NeonCthulhuCult on 08 May 13 at 17:35
  • cruelboymancruelboyman113,641
    20 Mar 2011 21 Mar 2011
    18 1 1
    Since Sega is constantly working on revamping Sonic every time they get a chance, they don't normally think about classics that would be nice to reboot onto the scene that featured other lovable characters from their hey-day. Instead, they just release the original titles that only veterans of the gaming world know about. Case in point, Ecco The Dolphin.

    EXPERIENCE
    To be honest, I never played this game as a kid. My curiosity for the game was nothing more than a friendly game about some dolphin swimming in the sea, so I was far too busy playing other games that seemed more interesting. About 4 months ago, my friend had one of those Sega Smash Pack games and was playing said dolphin game. I tried it out, and fell in love with the game ever since.

    GAMEPLAY
    This game is very hard. The controls take some time to get used to as Ecco is swimming underwater, which means all directional buttons are being used as opposed to any other 2D plat-former. Ecco can take a hit, just be sure to swim away as he can be destroyed by an unforgiving invincibility count that lasts less than a second. His hit box is also bigger than Ecco himself, so be sure to not stick by enemies that close. Other than that, Ecco is just like a real dolphin, which means he can jump in and out of water, swim really fast, and occasionally need air to breathe if he's underwater for too long. Again, this can be really unforgiving; once his blue bar goes away, he'll start to suffocate and die if he doesn't find quick relief. Ecco can also sing, or use his sonar for many wonderful things, such as talking to other sea life, and destroying enemies when you find his death sonar upgrade. He can also view a map of the area if you hold on to the sonar button. Ecco can also use a dash attack that can kill just about anything, as it's mostly what you'll be doing to kill all those damn jellyfish in the beginning stages of the game. Ecco will also need to destroy barriers with rocks and special shells that can be real pain to direct at first, but will just need patience to master just like everything else in the game.

    STORY
    What really turned me onto this game is the warped plot that can really creep people out. The game begins when you are hanging out with your dolphin buddies when one of them challenges you to who can jump the highest. When Ecco jumps at a high enough straight angle, he is given a stroke of luck as a waterspout sucks everything from the sea, including his pod. Wondering what happened, he scours through many areas of the ocean to find the ones he loves most. He will meet many different creatures. One named the Big Blue, a whale that tells him that every 500 years, a strange vortex sucks up life for unknown reasons. I don't want to give away too much, but this game is downright scary at the end. Pretty crazy considering the audience was young kids back in the day.

    SOUND
    Incredible. The music in this game makes you feel like you're really in the ocean. Not only that, but it can also tell you different moods that Ecco is feeling, like when the vortex comes and takes Ecco's friends away, the music changes to a different piece that goes from nice and friendly to "oh no" and "where did they go?" This is just one example of the dark moody melodies in this game, and there are many more if you're willing to listen and take in your surroundings. Ecco makes many wonderful dolphin noises, such as singing every time you use your sonar, and the other noise in which he gets hit. Other sea creatures make noise as well, but other than that, nothing too special in the sound effects department.

    ACHIEVEMENTS
    Hard, but not impossible. The ones for not dying are easily obtainable by abusing the save feature in the game, and the others just require common sense and going through the game checking every damn glyph in the game.

    OTHER
    The good thing about this being released on the Arcade as opposed to getting it through a collection is turning on the sound enhancer in the options menu, as it greatly improves the quality of the music. You can also stretch the screen and make the game into a wide screen format, and a smoothing option is also included. There are leader boards that basically challenge you against the world as to who can beat the game the fastest for a nice touch of skill.

    FINAL THOUGHTS
    I love this game, I believe it's a masterpiece that should never be forgotten, and should rank up there with some of the greats. There is no other game like this out there that I have played that gave such a twist in my perspective on sci-fi writings and stories like this one. It's not perfect though, and has some flaws with giving you no sense of direction at first or how big Ecco's hit box is. In the end, give it a try, and see if this is the kind of new game you were looking for.
    4.5