Ecco the Dolphin

"It was just there: dolphin, dolphin, dolphin"

He convinced Sega about Ecco, now Ed Annunziata wants to convince you about The Big Blue.

"It's like déjà vu only 20 years later," begins Ed Annunziata, the Bronx-bred man responsible for Ecco the Dolphin. He's talking to me about the reaction to The Big Blue, his ambitious underwater opus that sunk on Kickstarter. Last time he got a reaction like that was from Sega in a board room all those years ago.

Ecco the Dolphin creator launches Kickstarter for spiritual successor The Big Blue

The creator of Mega Drive classic Ecco The Dolphin has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a spiritual successor called The Big Blue.

Ed Annunziata hopes to raise $665,000 (about £438,000) to fund his new aquatic adventure for PC, Mac, iOS and Android platforms. A release date of 22nd April 2014 is pencilled in.

After a couple of hours, The Big Blue's Kickstarter page has raised a little over $1300.

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Ecco The Dolphin

Ecco The Dolphin

Flippin' game.

Is there an echo in here? There is if you're a fan of SEGA's 16-bit output, with no fewer than three opportunities this year alone to get your hands on its lauded late '80s/early '90s output. Ecco The Dolphin first appeared this year on the Wii's Virtual Console service, downloadable for 800 points in unoptimised form, (complete with ugly 50hz borders if you're unlucky enough to be European). Then a few weeks later gamers had the chance to pick it up on PS2 or PSP via the fantastic value Mega Drive Collection which, lest we forget, cobbled together more than 30 titles for less than half the price that it used to cost to buy one of the flippin' things. Better still, you could even run all the games in prog scan and eliminate the borders. Perfect.

And yet, after all that, having already spammed the Virtual Console channel with all sorts of forgettable filler, Sega's now seemingly intent on re-issuing each and every title via Xbox Live Arcade as well. Colour us bemused. Admittedly the 400 point fee required to download Ecco The Dolphin works out significantly cheaper than it does via the Wii (£3.40 versus the almost criminal £5.60), but it's yet another one of those pointless additions to the service that you'd have trouble justifying purchasing at a quarter of the price. Sadly, despite still representing some of the most sumptuous visuals that the 16-bit era had to offer, the gameplay on offer is some of the most teeth-grindingly irritating we've come across in ages.

Environmental disaster

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