The Retro Show: Ecco The Dolphin

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Ecco The Dolphin

Dolphins and poetry don't mix.

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I remember playing Ecco the Dolphin long ago. It was a decent game and rather fun.

It's frustrating to see a short-minded dude whine and complain the whole time over a game rather than simply playing it.

This was awful.

I believe they are emphasising the flaws for comic effect :P. I kind of got that this wasn't serious when they said they slept in the same room *shrug* but may be that's just me.

They're no Ricky Gervais show, are they?

That was terrible. I'm going to stop watching this show now.

Pros:

  • Still a promising premise.
  • "Writing" infinitesimally better than in previous episode.
  • Improved presentation of the game; it's clear who's doing what and what he's trying to do.

Cons:

  • Losing interest in the premise due to poor execution.
  • Anthony's annoyance with the game is clearly forced. Michael Jones you are not, sir.
  • Still too much wasted screen space.
  • While waiting for something amusing to happen, I stared at the background art. This would be an ideal location for obscure jokes and references, of which I spotted exactly none.
  • Four minutes is too short for a proper intro to a game, especially if you're going to interrupt with "comedy." SIX MINUTES MINIMUM! Don't make me tell you this again.

No bonus earned; you have two episodes remaining. You may proceed to the next episode.

I thought it was a good episode. Keep it up.

This was bad for a variety of reasons.

1. Not funny (not sure if it was supposed to be?)
2. You bitch about the tutorial level telling you how to play the game. Seriously?
3. You ignore the plot text, then bitch about not knowing what to do. You fucking serious?
4. You're complaining about having a map? What the fuck is wrong with you.
5. You CONSTANTLY keep recalling the map, and bitch about it. It wasn't funny the first time, and YOU keep pressing the button to do it. I don't know if controllers have gotten shittier or something, but back when I played this game, pressing and HOLDING a button for like 1.5 seconds was not an accident. So either you have serious problems with finger coordination, or you're unfunny and bash a useful game feature
6. This is a video, yet there wasn't much video content. A few short clips of the game, then a static image with moving mouths and occasionally fingers.

Honestly, I don't know what this is supposed to be. It's just bashing a good game with incorrect and incompetent reasoning. It's also not funny, but I'm no sure if its meant to be. Is this a review? First impressions? Comedy?

Whatever this "show" is, its bad.

I feel like I've watched this video a hundred times before, seems like everytime someone talks about Ecco it's always with an uninterested and inpatient attitude. Thankfully the guy on the right knew his shit.

Ecco the Dolphin is a good game, though the sequel is better. That one is one of my all-time favorite games.

Ecco the Dolphin is about 20x more awesome than this show, so...

That game looked incredibly boring and dull. I hate myself for saying that; I'm all up for trying new games and ideas and stuff. But that game just killed me. But then again, maybe it's not fair to judge a game based off 2-ish minutes of gameplay, especially if its these guys reviewing it.
Which brings me to my opinions about the show:

The deadpan-looking pixelated guys don't allow much space for comedy. You make jokes and you act angry and clueless and stuff, yet all I see is your pixelated figures. That kinda contradicts itself.

Is this show about being funny or reviewing obscure games very quickly? Choose one and stick with it because what you have so far isn't working. If you're trying to be funny, it's not working. Your reactions seem exaggerated as if trying to compensate for the fact that the same image of two pixelated guys represent you ("GRR, SO ANGRY AT THIS GAME!", "Hurr, I don't know what to do! Hurr!"). If you're trying to review games, then show us quickly how it works and what to do and what its all about and that's it. People would greatly appreciate that better than to try to inject forced jokes on the show.

More gameplay time! 4 minutes isn't enough. And then 2 of those minutes are spent looking at the same image of those guys. Heck, the image doesn't even change. Do I care about the image? No, I'm clearly there to check out the game. Either do the video a-la Youtube (Only commentary while we see gameplay) or make the video longer.

I really dislike the angry guy, calm guy game. Or more simple, good guy and bad guy. One guy is your average short tempered guy who just wants to play either triple A games or CoD and therefore has no patience for silly looking or more docile games. The other guy is the more savvy, maybe nerdy looking guy who desperately wants to introduce his friend to new games because he's secretly really bad at the games his angry friend likes. What is this, a sitcom? Just forget about all! You don't need it!

It's sad because this show has potential. Like I said, if it focused on either one or the other (Comedy or reviews), it would be an interesting show. I watched the first episode a while back and I decided to check this one out of curiosity. It remains the same as of day 1. So it's clear they're not gonna change what they're doing.

So...not interested in this series at all. Maybe I'll come back in about a month or so to see where its at. Then I'll realize its still the same. Then I'll finally give up.

I like the series. Its very simple in art and in premise, but still i find it very enjoyable to watch. So keep making more episodes.

ha ha i was reall young when i started playing this so i didnt get most of it this kinda makes me wanna pick it up again. though i figure that i would be expiriancing both of these points of veiw if i did take it up again.

p.S. YOUR SHOW IS COOL!! these are great little nostalgia trips keep it up

THIS WAS EFFIN GREAT!

seriously. Hilarious. I remember first trying to play this game feeling exactly like the guy who hated it...

Sorry guys, but I found that rather irritating to watch. The guy on the left was just constantly whinging and the guy on the right was not really helping support his side.

Is this meant to be a review, or just giving your two cents on a game and being obnoxious to be funny?

I think this is meant to be a satirical criticism of modern gamers.

Absolutionis:

It's frustrating to see a short-minded dude whine and complain the whole time over a game rather than simply playing it.

Wouldn't be so bad if it was actually funny.

Don Reba:
I think this is meant to be a satirical criticism of modern gamers.

So it's a deconstruction of unfunny LPers? That makes more sense.

I was starting to think it was dadaism.

Zachary Amaranth:

Absolutionis:

It's frustrating to see a short-minded dude whine and complain the whole time over a game rather than simply playing it.

Wouldn't be so bad if it was actually funny.

Don Reba:
I think this is meant to be a satirical criticism of modern gamers.

So it's a deconstruction of unfunny LPers? That makes more sense.

I was starting to think it was dadaism.

It was clearly Russian Constructivism.

I think people are looking too hard for a reason to justify this show's existence. You know, like when people start making up their own definitions about pieces of art.

I think the show is what it is: Bad. No ulterior motif, no satirical punchlines, no criticism on today's gaming society. It's just a show. And not a good one.

Man, I miss Lisa...

Beautiful End:

It was clearly Russian Constructivism.

I think people are looking too hard for a reason to justify this show's existence. You know, like when people start making up their own definitions about pieces of art.

I think the show is what it is: Bad. No ulterior motif, no satirical punchlines, no criticism on today's gaming society. It's just a show. And not a good one.

Man, I miss Lisa...

For the record, I was just taking the piss. People seem really quick to call "performance art" on this sort of thing, the same way people call "troll" or "socialist" when someone disagrees.

Justifications are weird.

Zachary Amaranth:

Beautiful End:

It was clearly Russian Constructivism.

I think people are looking too hard for a reason to justify this show's existence. You know, like when people start making up their own definitions about pieces of art.

I think the show is what it is: Bad. No ulterior motif, no satirical punchlines, no criticism on today's gaming society. It's just a show. And not a good one.

Man, I miss Lisa...

For the record, I was just taking the piss. People seem really quick to call "performance art" on this sort of thing, the same way people call "troll" or "socialist" when someone disagrees.

Justifications are weird.

My bad. I wasn't clear enough. I was referring to the person you quoted, what with the "satirical criticism" line.
You're right, though. Justifications ARE weird.

All the whiners here clearly never played with a game gear, nintendo, genesis or SNES back in the day...buck up and appreciate the madness some of us older (but not oldest) gamers used to go through.

I think this show is fantastic. Laughed out loud several times, which is rather rare for me.

There appears to be several people with a misapprehension of the premise and/or the type of humor here. Although I certainly won't claim that someone who disagrees with me about the humorousness of some comedy is automatically guilty of misunderstanding that comedy's context and/or goal...Well, I will just say that there are some here who don't like this show because they don't enjoy it, and others who seem to misunderstand its intent.

And a few who clearly never played Ecco the Dolphin, because man, that game fucking sucked.

EDIT: I am very confused about how anyone could interpret this serious as "serious" game criticism, rather than criticism presented for comedic effect. And please don't say, "because it's not funny." There are tons of things I don't find funny (Adam Sandler, Jackass, etc.), but I am still fully aware that they are being done for comedic effect due to their tone and context, and thus others may very well find them enjoyably humorous (though, again...Adam Sandler. I just don't get it).

Better paced that the previous episode - I could follow it this time. Still looking for that balance between jokes/criticism/banter though that would make this a "looked for item" on the Escapist site.

HILLLLLLARIOUS

I loved Ecco the dolphin as a kid, even though I've never beaten it XD. I think I've gotten as far as an ice level before I got stuck and confused. However, I loved open areas where you could pick up speed and leap out of the water. It just felt thrilling to me.

As for the video, I didn't feel it was bad. I got a chuckles out of calling the tutorial text poetry, though. I did get a bit irritated with the whining about the controls and what to do, but that's because I've played it before and my OCD gets to me when it seems like someone is getting it wrong, lol. The pixelated images of the hosts did feel a bit "off" to me. Maybe giving them more facial expressions might help.

Different things please different people. Personally I am looking forward to the next retro show. I played these games as a kid and looking back it's funny and I enjoy the narration personally. If you don't like it... don't watch it? This is how the first 5 episodes of the jimquisition started. A bunch of people saying they don't like it so take it away, now it's watched by thousands. Noone is holding a gun to your head and telling you to watch the video.

Soo....good 3 series run.

I'd rather you guys talk about how games were awesome. We have enough "nerd rage is funny" videos from those who can actually pull it off. Raging at a game that was actually good is like listening to some jerk complain that his new BMW isn't the right color.

In short:
rage + good game = not funny
rage + bad game = (can be) funny

Alumatine:
Different things please different people. Personally I am looking forward to the next retro show. I played these games as a kid and looking back it's funny and I enjoy the narration personally. If you don't like it... don't watch it? This is how the first 5 episodes of the jimquisition started. A bunch of people saying they don't like it so take it away, now it's watched by thousands. Noone is holding a gun to your head and telling you to watch the video.

I think that maybe the old-timers are a little peeved that the Escapist has never really had a retro-gaming section, and THIS is what we get when it finally does? Without wanting to get too bitchy myself, that's pretty much my reaction.

I liked Jimquisition from the start. Yes, there's been an increase in quality, but there was always a point to it that I could discern, even when the flaws were more pronounced. The problem is, I don't see the point of this show. It's not funny - I'm not even sure it's trying to be funny, rather ironic - and I don't think it's insightful. I mean, using "poetry" to describe the hints at the beginning of the game? Really?

A lot of us really love some of these old games. That's not to say that you can't make fun of them or criticise them - look at my "Dynamite Headdy" review in the comments of the last video - but you have to bring something new to it. And you have to understand the thing that you're analysing. I can't see any evidence in the video that these guys have played more than five minutes of the game.

I would LOVE a good retro-gaming series on "The Escapist". I wouldn't mind if these guys did it, but if they did, it can't be like this. You can't just play five minutes of a game, add some animated avatars, bitch incessantly about it in a way that shows zero understanding of the good / bad points of the game, post it on the Internet, and expect positive feedback about it, surely?

If I were to offer constructive criticism here (rather than more bitching of my own), it would be:

1) Use the first part of the game to illustrate some things about the game as a whole. Show your understanding of the game in what you say and how you say it.

2) Ditto the general state of gaming at the time. Make points about how games were like this, and why (technical limitations, trends, who games were advertised to, etc). Tell us about gaming history and how it influenced what games are like today. This needn't be in-depth - a few asides should be enough - but it gives us something to latch onto, a "hook" if you like.

3) PLEASE drop the bitching guy character. I know he's kind of the point of the retro show, but... he's coming off as that delusional guy who thinks he needs to prove his own intellectual "superiority" by pointing out the "flaws" in everything anybody else likes. Everybody hates that guy!

And Alumatine - although I didn't enjoy the video, I do agree with you. I'd LOVE to see these guys get better and do a really good retro-themed show, I just don't think this is it in its current state. I think a "five-minute playthrough" of a retro game could definitely work, but these guys need to add something to it of their own. Some humorous observation that maybe uses the "character" speaking for comedic effect while also adding an insight into the game itself. Yahtzee's been doing this with his own brand of humour and character for years now. I don't think it can be JUST some guy making unfunny bitchy comments that don't show any understanding of the games strengths, weaknesses, or historical context.

I really liked the show. made me go back and watch the other 2. Keep putting up the episodes! heh

haha ok and just a response to alot of the comments I'm seeing. I dont think this show is supposed to be a review show. Its under the idea that they are reviewing old games but thats not the real point. I like it cause it reminds me of trying to defend old games that I liked to people who havent played them before.

TJM8:
haha ok and just a response to alot of the comments I'm seeing. I dont think this show is supposed to be a review show. Its under the idea that they are reviewing old games but thats not the real point. I like it cause it reminds me of trying to defend old games that I liked to people who havent played them before.

That's kind of my problem with it... it's definitely not a review show, but it isn't really saying anything interesting about the game in any other way either.

Let's say it wasn't a retro game. Let's say, for example, that you went through the opening of the game "hitman", with the guy talking at you all the time. Would you call it "poetry", or find it amusing if somebody did? That's basically the same thing as they're saying Ecco has with the story and gameplay hints at the start. It's a few lines of text, for God's sake. I'm not saying the game doesn't have problems - it does - but of all the things you could focus on, why that?

Anyway I'm gonna shut up now, I've made my point. If I'm a bit emphatic here it's because I do feel as though the negative comments are justified; and I want to see this show improve, rather than become yet another unsuccessful show that eventually dies when people get tired of the novelty (which is what I think will probably happen here, given the way that it is set up now, unless something changes).

TJM8:
haha ok and just a response to alot of the comments I'm seeing. I dont think this show is supposed to be a review show. Its under the idea that they are reviewing old games but thats not the real point. I like it cause it reminds me of trying to defend old games that I liked to people who havent played them before.

I think the problem here is that it's the kind of retro-gamers who see this and think "oh boy a retro game review, must see!" but too bad, these kind of people have no sense of humour at all, "Oh no they smacked my favorite game from when I was 4? They are not funny WHAHAHAHAH."

This is exactly the same as when Jimquisition started here. Half of the people commenting on that did not understand the meaning of sarcasm and irony, and failed to realize Jim was a persona.

TheBelgianGuy:

TJM8:
haha ok and just a response to alot of the comments I'm seeing. I dont think this show is supposed to be a review show. Its under the idea that they are reviewing old games but thats not the real point. I like it cause it reminds me of trying to defend old games that I liked to people who havent played them before.

I think the problem here is that it's the kind of retro-gamers who see this and think "oh boy a retro game review, must see!" but too bad, these kind of people have no sense of humour at all, "Oh no they smacked my favorite game from when I was 4? They are not funny WHAHAHAHAH."

This is exactly the same as when Jimquisition started here. Half of the people commenting on that did not understand the meaning of sarcasm and irony, and failed to realize Jim was a persona.

If any of that is directed at me (and my criticisms seem to be the most detailed here, I would point out that: 1) I specifically said this was TRYING to be ironic but didn't succeed, 2) I also said I liked Jimquisition from the start and didn't think it suffered from the main negative point of this video, and 3) I consistently referred to the "bitchy guy character" AS a character, and pointed out the distinction between that and the person actually making the video.

Looking back over the other criticisms... yeah, while people have criticised the "review" for making fun of the game, the majority of them have done so because it's NOT a review and says NOTHING about the game!

In short - if you're going to disagree with points made in a debate, it helps if you actually understand what those points are.

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