Even with its amazing graphics and interesting storyline, this game just may drive you crazy.
Ecco the Dolphin's biggest draw is its graphics. In short: they are amazing. Every level, ranging from colorful coral reefs, to strange, alien machinery, to abandoned industrial complexes are carefully and meticulously created with style and realism that few other Dreamcast games could reproduce. The numerous lighting effects cast realistic shadows and shading effects on the environment and its already high levels of detail.
Sound in the game is similarly well done. All of the music in the game flows perfectly where it is placed, and helps to set the mood for what is happening. Most of the sound effects are convincing and muted with that underwater "effect" making them sound even more realistic. But the game isn't for everyone. Far from it. The Ecco series has always revolved around problem solving and puzzles, and now in a 3D format, a whole new layer of difficulty is added to the puzzles one must complete. Most of your defined objectives come in the form of ambiguous riddles from talking crystals, and you'll usually find yourself exploring the entire level to notice all the details, as any minor one may end up being the solution to the problem. But it won't leave you bored. The game is very long, and every level and puzzle is different than the ones before it. Make no mistake: It will take you a long time to complete this game, with or without a strategy guide. So its just a matter of if you get into these puzzle games or not. If you aren't the patient type who likes to sit down and spend some time trying to solve a problem, you'll find yourself hopelessly frustrated by this game. Even with its amazing graphics and interesting story line, this game just may drive you crazy.