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Thread: Ecco: Defender of the Future

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    Blast processor Melf's Avatar
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    Dc Ecco: Defender of the Future

    Ecco's final outing on a Sega console was a fitting coda to the series. It was beautiful, graceful, and darn hard! Even so, it was an outstanding way to end the series and give Sega's legendary dolphin the 3D outing he deserved. This is one that should definitely be in any Dreamcast owner's library. Read our full review for more details.

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    Nice review! I was slowly putting together a review, for a long time, but I never really played the game enough for a full experience of it. This game seems more difficult and confusing than the classic series. Probably due mainly to the 3D.

    But on the other hand, we can level-skip to anywhere we want.

    Graphics are amazing and I think it's the best nature simulation we've ever seen, to this day? Obviously it's not complex like modern games' environments, and it's a bit low poly, but the details and loving care that was put into it, is just amazing.

    The emphasis on sunlight is beautiful and unexpected. Surface of water glows with ripples, actual refracted sunlight dances over the sea floor, and dances over most of the creatures too.

    The detailed scenery manages to look almost photorealistic, and manages to hide the limitations among all the nature detail.

    ...

    I'm always surprised that people have really played through it though, there seems so much dead time of confusion in each stage lol.

    BTW, what are all the animals that Ecco morphs into?? I think there's a fish, real briefly...

    He becomes a Foe ship for that one cut scene lol.

    What else does he morph into, and what stages?
    Last edited by Ecco; 02-06-2019 at 08:17 PM.

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    Wildside Expert Masamune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecco View Post
    Graphics are amazing and I think it's the best nature simulation we've ever seen, to this day?
    I dunno, I think Endless Ocean: Blue World on the Wii might be the best nature simulation we've seen thus far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Masamune View Post
    I dunno, I think Endless Ocean: Blue World on the Wii might be the best nature simulation we've seen thus far.
    Hmm I've only seen Endless Ocean in videos but my impression is that Defender has more emphasis on being prettier, like the huge emphasis on sunlight effects; the sunlight seems brighter, and the texture-mapped surfaces seem more creative...
    Last edited by Ecco; 02-09-2019 at 04:04 PM.

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    Funny enough Iím revisiting this game and on the current TV set-up, it doesnít look nearly as wonderful as I remembered.

    Gameplay: I am still always wondering if Iím missing out on a great experience that I donít quite appreciate yet... as the actual gameplay still seems a mess...

    While I might not be appreciative properly of this game, it does seem clear that gameplay is NOT really very consistent with the 2D titles... because itís more confusing, and more obscure / more difficult.

    The 3D graphics always seem confusing but probably the devs could have made it clearer if different sections actually looked more different (instead of everything always looking very same-ish). Like, imagine if different stage areas were distinctly different colors of white sand, or green moss, or coral rainbow colors, etc.

    As it is, Defender basically only has 3 environment types, with very same-ish stages in each of the 3 sections...

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    Six Button Shooter Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert Cafeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecco View Post

    While I might not be appreciative properly of this game, it does seem clear that gameplay is NOT really very consistent with the 2D titles... because itís more confusing, and more obscure / more difficult.

    The 3D graphics always seem confusing but probably the devs could have made it clearer if different sections actually looked more different (instead of everything always looking very same-ish). Like, imagine if different stage areas were distinctly different colors of white sand, or green moss, or coral rainbow colors, etc.

    As it is, Defender basically only has 3 environment types, with very same-ish stages in each of the 3 sections...
    That's a good point. It is too easy to get turned around, especially in the dark caves. Different colors and textures would have given visual clues. The gameplay could have been made easier too. This game was frustrating and hard, but I stuck with it till the end and finished it BITD.

    I love the great white shark section though!

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    ^Yeah I am occasionally playing this lately and I keep thinking that the environments didnít really NEED to be so impossible confusing. Instead the 3D graphics could have made more linear stages, for example there could have been tube style stages to swim through, so no confusion at all, for such hypothetical stages.

    OTOH I still think that the highlights make this game a must play, and a must own.



    So itís wonderful at its best times, but I also donít think it can be considered a cohesive game, overall...

    Even just the intro showing the people in bubbles already shows that the story is not cohesive lol.

    Then there are persistent problems in gameplay: the difficulty of finding any clarity of the stagesí lay-out, the sameness of so many graphics, the sonar map is hard to see, the dialogue is often extremely cryptic or not meaningful...
    Last edited by Ecco; 07-11-2021 at 03:52 PM.

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    Mega Driven Raging in the Streets cleeg's Avatar
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    One thing I just noticed: There is a pic from the PS2 version at the bottom! It's from the gallery only available on that version.

    I couldn't supply the pics in the review. All points above are valid, I was maybe a little forgiving of this one, but I still love it.

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    ^To be clear, I love it too, and I donít disagree with the review / score. I was just mentioning some things as I revisited the game occasionally.




    Ironically the 3D cut-scenes from the earlier games... are accurate to Eccoís original story. While Defender loosely is based on the same story, but mixed-up and less accurate.

    In the FMVís, the environments look great including the tropics, the Arctic, and Atlantis.

    Last edited by Ecco; 07-29-2021 at 03:11 PM.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    I don't agree Ecco. Ecco on the DC was one of the best gaming experiences I had back then and for me it's the best in the series with level design that actually made sense and one could follow. My only issue with the game was those horrible Hanging Water levels that would drive one nuts and also the last boss battle was a bit pathetic, other than that the game was awesome and a real showcase for the system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    I don't agree Ecco. Ecco on the DC was one of the best gaming experiences I had back then and for me it's the best in the series with level design that actually made sense and one could follow. My only issue with the game was those horrible Hanging Water levels that would drive one nuts and also the last boss battle was a bit pathetic, other than that the game was awesome and a real showcase for the system.
    Ok, well it's possible I still have not properly appreciated this game, lol. (And I cleaned up my posts to avoid redundant statements that I made.)

    If you're right that the stages are navigable, then apparently I just haven't appreciated it, as I should.

    I always did agree that at the very least, the best parts of the game are wonderful, especially the tropics stages are the most beautiful nature graphics that I've ever seen (afaik).

    And I acknowledged the game is a must-have, and you're right that it's a showcase for the DC.

    Well maybe eventually I will gain the right appreciation for this title lol.

    I think the main barrier is the seemingly massive time-demand to slowly swim around and figure things out, it's just so much dead time, but on the other hand, we can enjoy that time-sink lol with the graphics and music.

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    If you don't like the game that's fair enough. I always got lost and stuck midway through the Mega-CD Ecco games, but being in 3D just made it easier to follow (for me) I loved the DC game it was just so beautiful to just swim around and explore with those wonderful visuals and stunning music
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    If you don't like the game that's fair enough. I always got lost and stuck midway through the Mega-CD Ecco games, but being in 3D just made it easier to follow (for me) I loved the DC game it was just so beautiful to just swim around and explore with those wonderful visuals and stunning music
    ^I do love the game, for its best aspects are wonderful; it's a must-own, and a DC showpiece.

    And it's also hard to be objective in judging any videogame but in the effort of being as realistic as possible, there seem some parts which would have been objectively better if it was changed.

    For example, the intro is marred by the ugly images of bubble-people lol and since it's never part of the gameplay afterward, it just seems like it should have been cut. (Classic games had a mystery of why people were absent from Earth... which is much better left to the imagination, like that.)

    The tropics environment looks absolutely amazing & wonderful, the clearly BEST graphics of the whole game. Now obviously the dev team should have been given more time to create MORE top-level stages, especially the Arctic should have some stages, and prehistoric stages too.

    Heck the entire plot should follow the original story more accurately, since it's already based on the classic games... so then it would be better to be accurate about it, instead of inaccurate, lol.


    So it's just such aspects that I wish the dev team had more time to make things better and more top-quality environments, etc.

    Also if the series creator was involved then I'd expect the game to turn out much better! I don't know if it was ever explained why exactly he was not part of this game, but either way, that would have probably changed everything!

    Also Ecco's morphing ability seems wasted in only... 2 or 3 brief appearances, so I think it would be better left out, rather than just badly implemented...

    Also interesting to hear that the above post mentions finding the 3D games much more navigable than 2D because it's the opposite for me... as the 2D stages and maps are the MOST clear to learn each stage, for me.

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