Sunday, February 7, 2016

My First (PlayStation 1 Edition): Destruction Derby 2!

In this series, I plan on examining the first game that I owned on a specific platform. The first console that I want to look at is the PlayStation 1.

Instead of getting our presents on Christmas morning like many children do, my siblings and I often got our visit from Santa late on Christmas Eve. We would "go to bed," meaning that we laid there uncontrollably giddy while "Santa Claus" got on the roof above our house and walked by our bedroom window ho-ho-hoing. After he left my parents would rush into our bedroom and announce that Santa himself had just left and he had dropped off our gifts!

Things were not different on the Christmas of 1996, which to this day remains one of my most vivid Christmas memories. When we walked through the hallway into the living room, my brother and I saw it the thing we had been begging for; a Sony PlayStation! The PS1 had been around for only a year or so in the US, but it was continuously growing in popularity and any self-respecting 10 year old at the time had to have one.

I remember we got three games on that Christmas; Madden 97, Mortal Kombat Trilogy and, the game I am discussing today, Destruction Derby 2!

Click through to read more.

The first thing you notice about this game is the badass pre-rendered intro cutscene featuring dudes on motorcycles passing 18 wheelers on two lane roads and preparation for a DESTRUCTION DERBY. Beyond that, you hear the main menu music, which sounds like the sound effects you'd expect to hear emitting from a hole in the Earth as demons emerge from the underworld. It is creepy and unsettling but I love it for some reason. Here is the music in question.

This game has a few different modes, including races, full-on arena demolition derbies, and a racing mode that factors in demolition derby elements and encourages you to wreck your opponents. This mode is my favorite in the game, as it factors in your performance at being a jerk to your colleagues into your overall score in addition to your position when you finish the race. Even if you are as awful at this game as I have been going back to it, it is hard to get too frustrated when you wreck or get knocked back to last place because they worked to make the element of getting your car jacked up fun.

One of the best things to do in a multiplayer racing game if you are in last and your friend is near the front of the pack is to turn around and try to hit them head on and ruin their position. Thanks to the fact that car damage is such a huge factor in this game, it makes doing this 100x more enjoyable.

Of course, the traditional demolition derbies in this game are also good fun even though I am not as good at this game as I was 19 years ago.

Even though I wrecked most of the time before I ever finished a race, I still had a blast playing this game just as I did back then. Driving in the game feels good and the damage done to your car makes your vehicle maneuver appropriately. I'll end this piece yelling at you the same phrases the in-game narrator shouts at me as I fail him repeatedly.


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