PlayStation Retro Recap

Retro Recap: Destruction Derby 2

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A game that I didn’t pay much attention to for a few years, that is until one fateful sick day when my Mom had forgotten to bring me all my good games. A new love was born, a love of smashing cars and causing, yep you guessed it, destruction! This week’s Retro Recap focuses on the classic smash ‘n’ racer known as Destruction Derby 2!

There’s not much to say in the way of a set story (why would there be one, it’s a racing game), but then again, not many games of this generation focused on this point. Destruction Derby’s main focus is it’s signature race mode, aptly named the Destruction Derby. Didn’t see that coming, right? Aside from this, DD2 contains 2 other race modes in Stock and Wrecking Race. The Stock mode sticks to the traditional go around a circuit style racer, yet contains a slight twist where each and every racer (including you) can, and probably, will be destroyed. If this happens, the race ends and you come in last place, relative to the number of racers left. This isn’t always the worst thing as once I was losing quite heavily, yet there were only 3 racers left. I totaled my vehicle and came in 3rd place. Good times were had all round.

For me, the real fun of this game was the Wrecking Race. It was an arena based mode where the objective was to be the last car standing. By ramming into others and smashing their cars, more and more competitors were eliminated until only one remained. On screen, you had a damage indicator which allowed you to see how much damage you had received. Crashing into others as well as this happening to you causes damage, so you have to be aware at all times of this indicator or risk getting wiped out. There were four different arenas to combat the AI and each one of them were incredibly fun. Red Pike Arena has a little jump in the middle so cars just go flying every way possible.

The Colosseum was a simple oval shape which relied heavily on your ability to smash other competitors without destroying your own car. With The Pit, you can make a fairly obvious assumption on what happens. This arena has it’s merits, but is kind of stupid at the same time as you drive forward and get stuck in a pit with around 20 other vehicles. You spend more time attempting to free yourself from this pit than you smashing the other cars.

The final arena is called Death Bowl, which is absolutely hilarious. Because the AI are AI, they aren’t clever at all. In this arena, there is a huge drop on one side of the map that around 90% of the cars fall into within the first 10 seconds. I use the same tactic each time I play this. I usually start by reversing and letting the NPC’s defeat themselves, then just pick off the remaining stragglers. Still, nothing is funnier than falling down the pit and then seeing another car just fly over the top of you moments later.

Fun little facts about Destruction Derby 2:

  • All cars in DD2 are 1995 Ford Thunderbirds Nascars
  • Despite this, the cars shown in the Intro and the cover are 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix Nascars
  • All songs on the game were done by 2 English thrash metal bands, known as Jug and Tuscan

When I actually got around to playing this game, I really did have fun. Back during this era of gaming, there weren’t too many good racing games, but I would say that Destruction Derby 2 is worth the title. It’s a break away from the norm of the traditional racer, incorporating a destructive element to the racing. I had a tendency to simply smash into other racers on my way to victory, yet this becomes more cumbersome when you run the risk of being eliminated from each race if you do. For anyone who fancies a game that not only is entertaining but can also be stress relieving with it’s Wrecking Races, Destruction Derby 2 is definitely a game I would recommend.

What are your thoughts on Destruction Derby 2? Did you enjoy playing it? Did you even play it at all? Let us know in the comments section below!

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