Dare Devil Derby 3D

a game by Mindscape
Platform: PSX
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 2 votes
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Overview

Dare Devil Derby… Dare Devil Derby… I like the sound of that. This title fills my head with an abundance of possibilities. Could this game be something new? Something cutting edge? Action as we have never seen before on the Playstation? From the artwork that graces the cover of Dare Devil Derby 3D's casing, it looks as if you are in for one heck of an off-road, smashing, flying, death-defying treat.

Dare Devil Derby 3D features over 30 3D tracks that involve various terrains such as land, sea, underwater, air and outer space. Races take you through the wild west, a haunted house, and deep space. Up to eight Dare Devils are selectable, each with their own story of how they got involved in this whacked-out race. Thirteen different game modes, including the multi-tap options, are available and each mode is unique in it's own right. Let's just see if this cartoon racer has the guts to stand up to me and my Dare Deviling.

Gameplay

Let's start off with the first thing you will encounter with Dare Devil Derby 3D -- the box. By looking at the cover, you would never guess that this game is a cartoon based racer. The cover looks like some serious off road action. The name suggests the same as well. I know this is fairly trivial, but you need to understand what this game is before you dive in. It is fun-for-the-whole-family, cartoon style racing. If you are looking for a serious racer with serious vehicles and drivers, look elsewhere. If you are looking for an entertaining and light-hearted game, then continue on. Not quite what you would expect from a game entitled Dare Devil Derby 3D, but a name is just a name. We all know it's the gameplay that counts.

Now that we have that clear, let's talk about the game. Dare Devil Derby is a collage of racing events. Depending on the track selected, your vehicle changes. For example, there is a race through the clouds in which your vehicle is a Zeppelin. There is a water race in which your vehicle is a speed boat. There are traditional car race tracks and even a course that puts you behind the controls of a space ship. This definitely gives a fresh perspective on each race. This is also where my complaint with the game surfaces. Some of the vehicles are nearly impossible to control. Now, I am not opposed to making different surfaces slick and treacherous to drive, but it should affect all of the cars the same. For example, one track has you racing over wet freeways with hairpin turns. Fine. The problem is that my car screeches and slides uncontrollably around the turns unless I brake to a near stop. The computer-controlled cars almost always hug the road and take the corners as if the car is on a rail. Come on. Make it challenging but make it fair.

Dare Devil Derby 3D has six different modes of gameplay in the single player mode. The first mode is the Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is a series of 10 races that takes place on a variety of tracks. In each of the first nine races, you must finish in the top three to move on to the next track (you must finish first in the final race). Failure to finish in the top three results in a one lap time trial. If you manage to beat the clock, you move on, but this can only be used once. If you don't finish in the top three after moving on with a time lap, your game is over. As a little added bonus, if you manage to finish a lap in an exceptionally quick time, you will automatically be entered in the next round.

The next mode is the World Series. This is a competition that spans over 10 different tracks. Points are awarded for your finishing position after each race. The racer with the highest total points upon completion of the 10 races is crowned the winner.

The third game option is the championship. This is a tournament where players are randomly picked to race one on one. The object is to beat the other player. The other cars will also be competing against each other but are grayed out so there is no confusion about who you are racing against. The goal is simple. Beat the car you are competing against and move on. Lose and go home. There will also be races where you are not one of the two competitors. You have the option of running the race as one of the grayed cars to see if you can affect the outcome of the race.

My favorite mode is the Knockout. This mode is quite simple. All eight competitors start the first race. The driver that finishes last is eliminated. The next race will have only seven competitors. This continues on until either you are the driver that finishes last in a race or until it is you against one other driver in a head-to-head match for all of the marbles. The thing I like about this mode is that after the first race, your finishing position determines your starting position for the next race, and the starts are staggered. So, if you finish first, you will get about a 1 second jump on the second place driver and so on.

The next mode is the One on One. This mode puts you against each of the seven other racers one at a time. Finish ahead of the driver and move on. Once again, the other cars that are not involved in the race are grayed out but they can still get in the way and affect the overall outcome of the race.

The final mode is the Speed Trial. This is a one lap race with the goal of having the fastest time possible. All 30 tracks are available in this mode, so it is a good way to learn the tracks before you actually compete in a race. Your fastest lap times can be saved to the memory card.

Now let's say you and seven of your closest friends want to play. Plug in a couple of multi-taps and you are on your way. The multi-player mode offers a whole new set of options. Race modes include a Battle Mode, which is a race to stay in the lead, a Circuit Race which is just a multi-player race for a certain number of laps, a Speed Trial in which cars race individually and the best time wins, a Battle Competition which is a battle race with the first to win three races crowned the victor, the Pro Battle Competition which just uses harder courses of the Battle Comp., a Circuit Competition which is a race until one racer has three wins and finally, a Speed Competition. This should keep you good and busy. There is no shortage of game modes.

There are three tracks in each of the worlds that you race through. There are ten worlds, which gives a total of 30 tracks. This is one thing that saves this game a little. The first world you encounter is the Wild West. The Wild West is a collection of canyons and rickety bridges. The next world is the North Pole. When racing at the North Pole, your vehicle races on skis and the emphasis is on control, not speed. The third world is Persia. Persia is a collection of temples, pyramids, and deadly roof tops. The next world is the Zeppelins. These are difficult to control, and the big spiked balloons that line the edge of the course are no treat when the damn balloon doesn't go where you tell it. Next you will encounter the Pirate world. This is a collection of waterfalls, shipwrecks, and whirlpools. Next is the Metropolis. What racing game would be complete without a rip through the city streets? Now, the coolest world graphically is the Deep Sea. The underwater wildlife is very cool. Then comes the Jungle. The jungle is a collection of volcanoes, pits and swings. My least favorite area is space. The designer was shooting for a zero-G effect but ended up making a frustrating exercise in pain. Forget any chance of controlling your ship. It's not going to happen. Finally, there is the Haunted House. Racing through the graveyard has never been so interesting.

Graphics

Dare Devil Derby goes for the cartoony style of graphics. The worlds and tracks are neat, with incredible attention paid to background activity. For example, when underwater, there are fish swimming all around. This is a minor detail, but it enhances the overall effect of being underwater. Each world is as different as you can imagine. The only disappointment is the lack of detail on the cars as well as the crashes. The cars are very bland and look like two or three-color polygons in a unique shape. Also, every crash looks the same and plays the same annoying falling sound. If a game is done right, the graphics of the crash almost make it worthwhile to jump off the bridge just to see the cool crash scene.

Bottom Line

I have to admit, the first time I played Dare Devil Derby 3D, I thought it was pretty bad. The control of the cars was difficult, and the game just looked bland and uninspired. Well, this is why we actually log some playing time on games. Don't give up on the game after one or two races. I started to harness some of the control problems and was able to compete in most of the races. Even after numerous hours of playing, I still have difficulties flying the Zeppelins and Space Ships. The game has started to grow on me some. I think with the number of tracks available and the multiple game options, this could have been a really cool game. I just don't like seeing computer-controlled cars fly around corners that if I crawl around, I still slide. I also think I was expecting something very different from what the game really is. Like I said before, I think the title is a bit misleading. Overall, if you like the sound of the game and want to give it a try, I suggest you rent it and decide if it warrants your hard earned dollars.

Download Dare Devil Derby 3D

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP