Destruction Derby Arenas

Destruction Derby Arenas Review PS2

Destruction Derby first appeared on the PSOne as a sock car type game where you were challenged to actually finish the race rather than win the race. The emphasis was on the destruction of you competitors while trying to keep your own car in good enough condition to finish the race. When Destruction Derby two appeared the game play had changed slightly, it became more of a race rather than a fight for survival.

This is where Destruction Derby Arenas picks up, the game play is very similar to that of DD2 but this time around you are awarded points for smashing up opponents cars along the way. Then depending on your race position you are awarded another set of points for your race performance. So what ever you do make sure you keep smashing up opponents cars and you will keep scoring. You will get better scores for flipping cars and spinning cars, the more the opponent’s car spins the greater the score will be. The greatest score are achieved when you completely destroy one of your opponent’s vehicles. So keeping an eye out for the weak is a very good tactic to score highly in all stages.

You will have the choice of two types of game to play, the race orientated game or the destruction orientated game. The race style games are set on race tracks while the destruction games consist of one bowl and loads of cars fighting for survival. When you play the Championship mode you will usually get a few race style games and one destruction game to play. When you play the championship mode you will be given the chance to unlock characters and their cars one each stage. You will basically be challenged by one of your opponents on each stage and if you accumulate more points than your challenger you will then be able to use his/her car.

One big change this time around is the inclusion of power ups which come in various forms. The most useful power up is the repair feature which will repair all damage on your vehicle. This changes the gameplay quite dramatically, if you keep you eye out for these power ups you will not have a problem winning the destruction based games. In addition to this power up there are plenty more such as turbo and a limited shield.

Destruction Derby Arena
Destruction Derby Arena
Destruction Derby Arena

The controls and the handling of the vehicles can only be described as very floaty. This is not perfect by any means but it is not a bad thing as once you have got used to the feeling of floating and sliding around it really does suit the game. The one bad point is that you can be driving your car flat out aiming for one of your opponents and completely miss him. This is a result of the loose handling which can be inaccurate at times. The one thing that really bothered me about the driving experience in Destruction Derby Arena was reversing in the destruction competitions. When the front of you car is all smashed up it makes sense to reverse into cars so the back of your car can take the brunt of the damage and hopefully extending your cars life. This is not really possible in DDA because when you reverse the camera does not rotate so you can see behind yourself, this is a real handicap as you can’t use your undamaged rear end to shunt competing drivers.

Destruction Derby Arenas now has an online multiplayer mode where 20 people can wreak havoc. The online multiplayer mode also has a couple of other modes on offer such as a capture the flag mode that is thrown into the mix of the destruction bowl and the races. The more experienced players that have unlocked better cars in the single player game will have an advantage over the new comers as you are able to enter races online with cars that you have unlocked in the single player game. If you do actually get to play online in a game that does have a full house of 20 players is a great experience, but the replay value is really not as good as it could have been.

Destruction Derby Arenas isn’t the best looking game in the world. You will notice from the screenshots that some of the circuits are very colourful and lots of neon colours have been used. Personally I would have preferred a more realistic look for DDA like the first two games in the series, rather than the use of small amount of cell shading and the overly bright colours. The use of only small amounts of cell shading does give the game an almost scruffy and unfinished look. A year ago this would probably have looked new and fresh but now it looks dated and incomplete.

Destruction Derby Arenas is about as deep as a puddle in the middle of the road. On the other hand it does give a good hit of enjoyable action packed racing. If you have played the second game in the series you will find that there are very few changes to be seen. The online game is good for a short while but it really doesn’t satisfy like Twisted Metal Black Online does. If you haven’t ever played any of the DDA series before you would probably be wise to rent first and buy later if you like what you see.

7.0 out of 10