When I first heard of Ecco the Dolphin back in 90's, I was a bit skeptical at first. A action and sport gamer at heart, I took a chance on this game and thought it was lame. Boy was I wrong!!! It was one of the best and the most original game that I ever played period simply because it was far different from the usual suspects.
Fast forward to the millennium and you've got Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future. Originally released on the now-ancient Dreamcast (sadly), it still holds up even in this day and age of Xbox 360 and PS3. The game is simply BEAUTIFUL!!! You have to play this game to believe it. The animation is so realistic you'll swear you're looking at a National Geographic sea life video. The game's graphical prowess is not only cosmetic, but are also part of the game design. For instance, when you swim in dark areas, you'll see fish that glow in the dark and give off some very impressive lighting effects. And in one stage, you'll swim through a passage of "floating water". This alone makes the game so charming and distinctive from most games on the market. The controls are easy to pick up and master. When you control Ecco, you're jaw will drop and stare at the screen in amazement. He moves so much like a real dolphin you'll cry and hold onto the monitor as if it was a living thing. The game sucks you in and never lets go with a gripping and engaging sci-fi storyline complete with an excellent narrative and an epic soundtrack that fits very well with the game.
Soundwise, the game is MARVELOUS!!! You won't believe how realistic the sounds that various creatures make in this game!! It really makes the experience so enjoyable and compelling. The gameplay is great as well. Unlike most games where violence is the solution to beating the enemies, this game actually forces you to outsmart them (although you'll sometimes HAVE to fight) And you will need to because the game is very challenging which may put off casual gamers. There are various puzzles throughout the game that requires some brainpower and some can be quite difficult to figure out. But if you stick around, you'll find a unique and rewarding gaming experience that cannot and I mean CANNOT be found anywhere else.
Overall, Defender of the Future is one of the last great games for the Dreamcast. Please pick this game up wherever you can 'cause you won't see anything else like it. Once again, as someone who mostly plays action and sports games, I gave this game a chance because its unconventional and offers something new to the table. Hopefully, game companies will take notice of that and by doing so, gamers can rest assured that a innovative and original games can be just as much fun as mainstream games too.
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