Total Eclipse (3DO)

July 1, 2007 by · 2 Comments 

Total Eclipse - Title ScreenTotal Eclipse - World 1Total Eclipse - Volcano

Like with my first Saturn review, I spent some time debating what I wanted to cover first for the 3DO.  There are some great games for the system, but most of them are overshadowed by the overwhelming amount of crap that is available, too.  I wanted to pick something that I felt properly represented the spirit of the 3DO, and I think Total Eclipse does that.  It’s not because Total Eclipse is a particularly good game (or a particularly bad game).  I think it’s just a good representation of the games that are available for the 3DO — it’s prototypical for the system.

Total Eclipse is a fantastic technical feat for its time.  The terrain and enemies are all rendered in crisp, clear 3D with a slick, smooth frame-rate.  It features CD audio, pre-rendered cut-scenes, and does a great job of making loading times virtually transparent.  Unfortunately, it’s just not a very exciting game.  The first couple of worlds drag on without much of interest to report.  You’ll face straightforward terrain, easy enemies, and a soundtrack that alternates between dull, tired sounding guitar riffs and cheesy soap-opera-style saxophone.

Frankly, the whole time I was playing Total Eclipse, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was just playing a polished but generic version of Star Fox.  They’re very similar games — both are futuristic rail-shooters where you take on the role of a fighter pilot heading off to save the solar system.  But while Total Eclipse excels in many of the technical areas of game design, it just doesn’t match Star Fox in terms of fun.

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