Inside PlayStation Network – Destruction Derby

The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.

Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We’ve got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.

Today, we buckle up for a royal rumble in the PSOne Classic Destruction Derby.

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Developer: Reflections
Region(s) available: North America, Europe
Players: 1

Blimey, this takes us back a few years. Originally cruising on to shelves way back in 1995, Destruction Derby proved an instant hit, subsequently becoming one of the first PSOne titles to have a Platinum sales sticker slapped on its windscreen. First conceived under the moniker Demolish ‘em Derby, the classic crash ‘em up remained a staple of early PlayStation adopters and later spawned the rapturously received Destruction Derby 2, as well as a countless barrage of inconsequential follow-ups and spin-offs. For many, the first two games are where it’s at, and rightly so — the formula would never be replicated with the same success.

As you might have already gathered, the classic car fest is based on the real-life petrol-head pastime of Demolition Derby. As such, your primary objective couldn’t be more clear-cut: mash up as many motors as possible in the given time frame, sending your score tally through the stratosphere. Naturally, this leaves your own vehicle susceptible to a battering, and while it can take quite a beating before becoming scrap iron, there’s no miraculous pit lane paint job that can have you back in the race should your car end up totaled. Speaking of totaled, Destruction Derby packs a fair bit of clout under its hood for a 15-year-old banger, boasting a surprisingly intricate damage system. Every chip, tear and whack is represented via a special indicator in the corner of the screen, offering valuable warning as to how many more collisions your motor can take before giving up the ghost.

Fortunately, Reflection installed a heap of game modes to inject a little freshness into the motor mashing proceedings. Aside from your standard royal rumble in The Bowl, players can also compete in adrenaline-fueled races where you have to not only keep damage to a bare minimum, but also cruise over the finish line in first place to come out on top. Meanwhile, those of you who fancy a quick whiz around the track without the worry of someone looking to tear your tires off can plump for the Time Trials.

Others may opt for the Wreckin’ Racing mode, which offers an amalgamation of the above — that is, inflict as much damage as possible while bagging pole position. The game’s three-car line-up is conspicuously bare by today’s standard, though they at least offer varying levels of performance in terms of handling, speed and other such automobile-specific attributes. The track offering is a far meatier affair, however, throwing in a diverse set of environments to wreck havoc on. A classic crash ‘in bash fest, it’s just a shame there’s no two-player mode — you’ll have to look to the sequel to get your multiplayer kicks.

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Join us again tomorrow as we once more jump headfirst Inside PlayStation Network.