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Destruction Derby 64
Platform:  Nintendo 64
# of Players:  1-4
Developer:  THQ
Publisher:  THQ
Features:  Rumble Pak compatible
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  
Finally a car destruction game where the point of the game is not to race the other cars or to shoot them with high-powered weapons, but simply to destroy them. That is the goal behind Destruction Derby 64 and it really makes the game come off better than you would think. With all of the new boring old driving games from Road Rash 64 to every wannabe sim. out for the system these days it is nice to see one that actually does what it is supposed to. Though Destruction Derby may just seem like and old re-hashed concept from the Playstation, it actually is extremely fun and packs a great deal for single and multi-player gaming.

When I first heard that this was coming out for N64 I thought the same thing you probably did, "Can't they put out anything original?" It seems that everything being released for the system was just a conversion of a dated Playstation or PC game. However, after the first 5 minutes I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed. There are numerous tracks and arenas in the game that provide fields for combat. The arenas are well designed and fun to roam around in, but what really impressed me was the tracks. They are all pretty diverse with different terrain to drive on and Rush-style shortcuts to give you that edge. If you are good enough to unlock the later levels then you will truly be in for a treat.

Play in the championships is divided between destroying cars on the tracks and destroying cars in the arenas. It would be wrong to call it racing since there are no finish lines, but basically you run around the tracks smashing everything you see until all of the cars are blown up. Points are acquired based on the intensity of a hit and hitting checkpoints. The one with the most points wins. Added to the intensity is the fact that half the cars are going one way and the other half are going in the opposite direction. Surefire mayhem ensues.

If you are a fan of multi-player games on the N64 then Destruction Derby is a must. Although there are only 4 different kinds of games (and only 2 for 3 or 4 players) they are really cool. Bust each other up in the arena or take on a friend on one of the tracks. There is also a 2-player "capture the flag" game where you and three other cars try to stop you opponent from putting your flag in their base while simultaneously trying to get their flag into your base. The best by far of the modes was the "Bomb" mode. In it one of the cars is "it" meaning that they have a fuse on the top of their cars making them a bomb. Each person gets points for the number of seconds that they are it. But if they are it when the bomb goes off then they blow up. It's sort of a cross between tag and hot potato.

So, if you are in the mood to get behind the wheel and bust up a bunch of less fortunate souls I encourage you to pick up this game. Once you get the hang of the control and the learn how to drive backwards (to protect your precious engine) you will be all set to kick ass. This is one game that I think is just as fun in the one player mode as it is with a bunch of other players. And I have to say that after a hard day of work, nothing is more satisfying then colliding head on with a pathetic excuse for a opponent.

Chris Shade

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