Howdy ladies and gents and welcome to Day #7 of my Month of Nostalgic Game Reviews where I’ll be giving you reviews of some of my most nostalgic video games from my childhood. And today we have one of the games that made me so sad and frustrated the hell out of me, people of the internet welcome to Ecco the Dolphin.
Oh good god, now we’re getting into dangerous territory here. While most of my nostalgic reviews so far have been mainly happy memories of good or interesting games, I never said all of the nostalgic games I played were good. This game, ugh. I’m just going to say it right now people, Ecco the Dolphin is one of the most boring games in existence! Holy man this was the first video game that I never truly had fun with, this was also the first game I never fully understood how to play and lastly this game was a game that I never really got far in (tragic but true).
So what is this game about? Well apparently you’re a dolphin called Ecco who has to travel through time and defeat extraterrestrials in Earth’s oceans and on an alien spacecraft. Okay what the actual hell? If I had known that was the premise for this game when I was younger I would have looked at this game very differently asking two main things: 1) Why is this happening? And 2) Okay this premise although weird sounds pretty cool where’s the aliens? Where’s the impending threat? Why is this game soooooooooooo boring!?! Anyway in terms of gameplay you took control of Ecco in a 2D action adventure game (just imagine the water sections of Donkey Kong Country with Enguarde the Swordfish and then you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect). And in terms of the stuff you could do you could swim around and increase your speed with the use of a button, you could also jump out of the water and spin in the air and you could attack enemies by ramming into them. There’s other things you could do like sing to communicate with other cetaceans and certain objects and there are all of these other elements that Ecco could do in later levels.
To be honest I wish I had known this stuff when I was much younger! This game was a frigging mystery to me and I barely knew what was going on. Call me stupid but when I was young most games I played were pretty clear on how to play them, I could play Mario, Sonic, Street Fighter, Donkey Kong and Streets of Rage with no problem, but when it came to Ecco the Dolphin the game was so slow in pace and dull. It really felt like a game that would put you to sleep. I remember most times I would turn on the game in my Mega Drive and try to get further than I did before and yet everything always turned out the same, just stuck in the same section on the first level. This game really did require you to be a bit more inquisitive and pay attention to the writing on-screen and that wasn’t what I wanted to be doing as a kid, I just wanted to get into the action! This game looked like it had some potential, being able to speed around under water and do flips in the air I liked, the graphics were good too and the music though boring as hell was good for the Mega Drive. But that still doesn’t excuse this game from being so lame.
So to conclude, Ecco the Dolphin is not a good game by any means. No offence to anyone who actually likes this game but I think it is horrible. It’s slow, tedious, and cryptic for kids and just sends one to sleep. I don’t know how this game got a sequel, let alone a series of games. I say stay away people, you’re not missing anything and your life would be better without Ecco the Dolphin.