As work continues at Appaloosa Interactive on the PlayStation 2 version of Ecco The Dolphin: Defender of The Future, we have an updated look at the game. With the PS2 game, Appaloosa is confident that it has taken care of most of the problems that plagued the Dreamcast version. The Vitalit reward system has been improved, and an objective indicator has been included. For example, once players find Vitalit stones and read the hints for the quests, those hints can be viewed at will in the inventory. This objective indicator was included because consumers complained that the Dreamcast version was vague in its mission objectives.
It was a common occurrence in the Dreamcast version, in which players would just swim around looking for clues about what to do next. It lacked player guidance, and that is one of the primary areas that Appaloosa is planning to address with the PS2 version. The recent PS2 version we've played also shows an onscreen compass, which displays creatures in Ecco's vicinity. Additionally, some of the puzzles also have become a bit easier. For the collectors among us, the team has included art-, music-, and movie galleries, where players can have a look at imagery and music from the game.
Even more than a year after the release of the Dreamcast version, the game still looks terrific with antialiased edges, smooth textures, impressive underwater effects, and an enormously rich and detailed sea life. Another impressive aspect is the soundtrack by Tim Follin, which is highly atmospheric.
The PS2 version of Ecco The Dolphin will be released at the end of January in Europe by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Sega. A US release hasn't been confirmed yet.