Ecco the Dolphin Review

While growing up, like many children, I had to swear unbridled allegiance to one console. During the 16-bit era, I reluctantly chose the Super NES. That’s right, I reluctantly chose the console with the colorful mascots and superior hardware because, well, I wanted to have everything.

I remember seeing ads for Ecco the Dolphin on the Sega Genesis in magazines and in-between episodes of my Saturday morning cartoons. At the time, I never really thought that it looked that good. You play as a dolphin, and you have to save the other dolphins. This is hardly the type of material that would typically interest your average Hulkamaniac. Looking back now and having (finally?) played the game, I can’t help but wonder, "Who the hell is this game for?"

The story begins with Ecco enjoying life with his pod in their home bay when all of a sudden a waterspout sucks up all marine life. Naturally, you take control of Ecco and go on a quest to figure out what the hell has happened and restore peace to the…bay. What proceeds next is an adventure to the Arctic; a conversation with a telepathic…thing; a journey back into time to the lost city of Atlantis; and, I shit you not, a battle with an alien species known as the Vortex. Let me remind you once again, the protagonist is a dolphin.

I guess the story itself isn’t that bad, just as long as the gameplay fits the demographics. So…who is actually a part of this demographic? Anyone? Someone email me because I have no idea. If they wanted young girls to play this game, they screwed up because it’s far too hard. In comparison, beating Contra on the NES without the Konami code is probably easier and far less frustrating.

No matter how much I tried, Ecco never seemed to be doing what I wanted him to do. Simple things such as maneuvering a certain type of shell to break a wall or navigating around puffer fish seemed to rely more on luck than actual skill.

I’ll give just about any game a try, no matter how ridiculous it is or how difficult it may be, but I cannot find any enjoyment here. Nothing appeals to me. The graphics and audio are what you would expect from a Genesis game, and as such, do not hold up after all these years, even on XBLA. The only reason why someone would buy this is to take a trip down memory lane, and for even the most nostalgic of gamers, that trip will end far sooner than they anticipated.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Kyle Stallock View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.