Destruction Derby 2. Reflections Interactive (1996) PlayStation

What better way to celebrate my 201st post spectacular by doing the sequel to my 14th?

I rated Destruction Derby quite highly, but what about the sequel?

Gameplay

Alright so DD2 is a racing game with the same twist as the first. Racing is the supposed to be the secondary aspect of the race and your primary focus is crashing into opponents. You start in Division 4, and move your way up to the top by winning points, hopefully winning your league to move up to the next league.the next season, and some newer tracks.

Points are rewarded for winning a race, but more points are rewarded for you attacking other cars; destroying a car nets you 50 points, spin a car 90degrees will gain you 10 points, do this to 1st place and the points are DOUBLED so you can theoretically rack up points if you are not terrible.

Win a race, get 10 points… It means that racing is redundant, and very few AI cars attempt to race. Meaning the only way to win is to fuck shit up.

Once they pass you you’ll never see them again.

The tracks

Alright, so this a pretty important aspect of a Racing Game, and problem is, I am not a fan. Destruction Derby had small, tight tracks, and several incorporated crossover points to maximise the crash potential. DD2‘s tracks are overly long, so you’ll spend more time looking for other racers to crash into, or reversing around the track…

Just reverse…

The tracks are ideal for the standard racing mode, but I reckon you’ll be buying Destruction Derby for the Destruction.

The problem comes from a switch from Banger Racing to more Nascar style racing. This was done specifically to appeal to the American audience, but it means DD2 misses its own point.

The Bowls remain, and now you can unlock more by progressing single player mode, and they are still the best part. If you didn’t play the first game what these are are “20 drivers crashing into each other“. They are fast and fun, the only issue is they are often over too quickly.

Oh yeah, you now flip over REALLY easily.

A shite analogy for my sexlife

Like my sexlife it is all over too quickly. The damage to your car is too quick, so crash 3 times and you’re pretty much out. To counter this, there is a new pit-stop mechanic, which allows you to fix damage, but usually means not seeing another car again. As this isn’t avaiable in the Bowls, the Bowl is often over after 30 seconds. Which for me, ruins the best feature of the game.

It means you can either over poon, maybe get some points and die in a race. Or, poon a little and pitstop so that you can finish the race but get no more points.

All this means that pit stopping has no advantage to it unless you are playing the regular racing mode, and again, this is Destruction Derby…

Get used to this screen

Conclusion

I really don’t have much to say. DD2 isn’t as fun as DD1 as there seems to be too much focus on racing. This might sound like an odd criticism for a racing game, but if you want a racer with shitty physics and bland track(s) play Ridge Racer. If you want a fun crashathon, play Destruction Derby.

Having cars made out of cheese, moon buggy physics, and bland racers mean DD2 simply isn’t a patch on the original.

Pros: 20 cars per race

Cons: Just a bit rubbish, music is atrocious generic Thrash Metal, lazy sequel

56%

Back in the Day:

Praised for a better collision detection system and improved physics, DD2 was also criticised for having overly aggressive AI, and the fact it is impossible to catch up to the ones “racing” DD2 went on to score 80s or 8/10 type scores.

 

Ridge Racer. Namco (1995) PlayStation

ridge-racer-box

Peering into the time machine that is Retro Gaming will often produce weird feelings. There is no denying that the PlayStation was a success, however, when you look objectively at the launch titles for the European release you’ll honestly wonder why ANYBODY bought the PS1 at release. In Europe we got:

3D Lemmings, Battle Arena Toshinden, Jumping Flash!, Kileak: The Blood, Novastorm, Rapid Reload, Wipeout and Ridge Racer.

As launch titles, it isn’t exactly an exciting list (certainly not in retrospect) and I can understand why my parents waited a year and got me a Die Hard Trilogy/Destruction Derby bundle for xmas 96.

Anyway, onto Ridge Racer. Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing. Sillicon & Synapse (1993) Super Nintendo

Rock N' Roll Racing Cover

Since I got into Retro Gaming I have played a lot of games that I missed the first time around. This is one of them.

And you know what?

I am glad! I wouldn’t have liked it in 1993. I didn’t like “Heavy Metal”, I also couldn’t play racing games to save my life.  So I am glad I am looking at it for what it is, not what it was.

Cyberhawk and the Screaming for Vengeance cover art are basically the same thing

Cyberhawk and the Screaming for Vengeance cover art are basically the same thing

Continue reading

Diddy Kong Racing, Rareware. (1997). Nintendo 64

DKRboxart

 

Everybody had this really ill-advised idea back in the late 90’s that they could create the fabled ‘Mario Kart Beater’, and – knowing everybody loves a trier – some are still having a crack at it today (Sega actually had a pretty damn good stab at it!). One of the earlier attempts was Rare’s ‘Diddy Kong Racing’, a new franchise based on a character that Rare shoehorned into Donkey Kong Country, beloved by approximately nobody. Great idea, right? Turns out, yes. Continue reading