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All-Reviews.com Videogame Review:
Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future

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All-Reviews.com Video Game Review: Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future Publisher: Sega
Category: Adventure
Platform: Dreamcast
ESRB Rating: Everyone    Release Date: August 2000

Overall Rating: 4 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
4 Stars out of 4

There were times when playing Ecco the Dolphin that I felt I had found the video game industry's Titanic. There were also times when I felt I had found the industry's Waterworld.

The Waterworld moments represent Ecco's very high difficulty level. However, you can eliminate the frustration factor (to a degree) if you go to GameFAQS.com and print out a complete walkthough. Lee Till's guide is outstanding.

With that settled, all that remains is Titanic-level quality. The graphics are simply astounding, with lighting and texturing effects that surpass anything else ever released by the entire console gaming industry.

The controls are well thought-out, even if they don't seem intuitive from the start. Luckily, the game does a good job of training you on its controls, as every good game should do.

The developers obviously spent a lot of time and energy researching dolphins, because the animation, behavior, controls, and sounds are incredibly convincing. Judging from this amazing attention to detail and commitment to quality, I can only assume the developers loved their subject matter. Boy, does it show.

Few games these days have real atmosphere. Ecco goes far beyond atmosphere; it creates a whole new world, one of the most captivating and serene landscapes ever encoded onto CD's.

The suspended water channels in the sky show off one of the most creative, ingenious game designs I have ever seen. Jumping from water bubble to water bubble, thousands of feet in the air, far exceeds any amusement park attraction; this little Sega game is ten times more thrilling.

The game is a long, tough haul with 27 levels, but the experience is worth it. Just don't expect spine-tingling cinematics. Only six "in-game style" movie scenes are included, with a short, unsatisfactory ending (altered by collecting all the gems???). This tiny disappointment is just that, tiny.

I highly recommend that you buy Ecco the Dolphin, but please, do yourself a favor and don't attempt to tackle it without a thorough walkthrough of some sort. Knowing what to do right away will increase your enjoyment of the game without really destroying the challenge.


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