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Destruction Derby
developed by
Psygnosis
published by
Psygnosis / Sony Interactive Entertainment
for
PlayStation


October 29, 1995

What an absolute blast! This game is so completely obnoxious you just can not resist. Destruction Derby is, of course, the other jewel in Psygnosis' current PlayStation crown and it is as if Wipeout and DD exist side by side, like two Picture from Destruction Derby completely different and highly competitive siblings. One is a cool, refined , angular, stylized slice through clean future-scapes, the other a loud, gaudy, bash fest, through pent up vehicular obsessed imaginations. They are both vying for the top spot on your must own list and they are both worthy of the enormous amount of attention being sent in their direction. Everybody wants to hang with Psygnosis' little genius games. And, rest assured Sony wouldn't want it any other way. Sony also knows that everybody's wanted to wreck a car at least once in their life. Now, thanks to Reflections' development team, they can.

The 3D ambrosia of the experience is completely addictive. Don't think for one moment that you'll be able to just have one go at this puppy. Well, firstly because you won't last very long - it's very easy to total your mobile (unlike other indestructa-racers you've played before) and secondly, Picture from Destruction Derby because once you've tasted, you'll want the whole Destruction Derby smorgasbord. Thankfully, Psygnosis has filled this platter with many ways to destroy. And of course, with the added bonus of high speeds added to aid the presentation!! They're really so good to us.

Control of the three vehicles in the game is slightly trickier than you're accustomed to. There is no shifting mechanism to speak of, so don't worry about having to hear your engine noises through the mayhem and car-nage (all you do is press and hold on the gas to go forward or the brake to go backwards). Know this, fellow motorist; the damage that is inflicted upon your car wreaks havoc on you perceptions of being able to drive in a straight line. Two or three flat out smackers and your axle's broken. Try aiming at an opponent when the most your car can muster is repetitive doughnuts in the dirt. You're pretty much a dizzy sitting duck when that kind of crunch starts to set in.

Therein lies the beauty of the game. It is not so much a game of infliction but one of calculated strikes. if you go all out and try to make big noise on Picture from Destruction Derby the track, more than likely you'll be limping to the scrap yard in seconds. But, if you can time your crack ups so that you sustain as little body damage as possible, you might actually survive to see other cars with billowing clouds of black smoke (signifying their death). It is not as simple as I make it sound. In fact, coming off of games like Ridge Racer and Daytona USA will not help you in the least. We're talking about a whole new way to play here ladies and gentlemen. Yes!!!! We have an original idea in a driving game.

The physics of the demolition driving environment have been very well interpreted and ported down to the black PSX disc. You'll feel those hits. Smoke will emanate from where it would have, had you entertained doing something as silly as driving like this in the real world. Other drivers will Picture from Destruction Derby appear to be as vindictive and vain as those you've just challenged on your drive home, only now, they'll be after you with a vengeance. It won't take long for you to lose yourself in the adrenaline.

There is more to the whole affair than just all out demolition. Picture from Destruction DerbyThere are two distinctly different racing arenas, for starters. there is the ubiquitous Wreckin' Racing, which has you driving around the courses trying to destroy as many adversaries as you'd care to introduce to your bumper and then there is Stock Car racing, which is straight ahead, flat out racing around the courses. Granted, stock car racing in Destruction Derby is no match for the white knuckle inertia of either Wipeout or Ridge Racer, but it is decidedly more bumpy.

The most fun to be had in Destruction Derby is in The Bowl. The Bowl is where all of the smash derbies are held. Last one still moving and packin' the most points, wins. Now if you are defeated quickly, you get to stare at a screen that tabulates who has won the race. Nothing more humiliating then having to wait for the other cars to finish their fun before you can move on to more mayhem but because this unwelcome feature has been added Picture from Destruction Derby to the gameplay, it provides you with a very healthy impetus to stay alive and do some whupping. You only have to wait for races to finish in the Championship modes. Trying out a practise race, although not as rewarding, will allow you to exit at any time.

Destruction Derby is a winner in every capacity. It has some of the smoothest, most immediately appealing graphics in all of gamedom. 20 different, fully textured, 3D, solid as rock vehicles are on the road and generally on screen most of the time, which not only represents a technical breakthrough for a home video game but adds an element of mayhem that can not be found anywhere else. If you include on this list of pluses, the capability to link up and demolish your friend on his/her own PSX/TV set-up (plus all of the new racing variables this introduces), you've got yourself one hell of a must buy. You'll be sorry if you skip this one.

I'm giving Destruction Derby......................................................9 out of 10

Victor Lucas

Thought Drop

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