Destruction Derby Arenas
|Editor Rating:||5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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I like smacking into other cars. Sure I do. But Destruction Derby Arenas takes an exciting Sunday-driving pastime and turns it into a thoroughly unexciting game. It's easy to beat the 16-event single-player championship on .your first try, and then all that's left is to go through it over and over again with different cars. I did, and now I'd kinda like those hours of my life back. Unlocking a handful of new vehicles and maxing out my upgrades isn't much payoff, even if they are a cakewalk to earn. The 20-player online (broadband only) battles are fun at first, but human opponents, even a whole lot of 'em, can't make up for Arenas' fundamentally shallow gameplay and dated graphics. (By the way, there's voice chat in the game lobby, but not while playing. Bleh.) The Destruction Derby franchise may have had a good rep in the PS1 days, but now it's a rusted-out beater best left up on blocks.
People attend demolition derby events for one reason--to catch a glimpse of highlight-worthy fender benders. But don't expect any spectacular pileups Arenas even crash-test dummies would yawn at this wreckage. And that's not the only problem here: The game's visuals are circa PS1, and the bare-bones championship mode offers little challenge (you'll unlock the majority of the cars and tracks during your first sitting). Now I give Arenas props for heading online, but c'mon, do you really wanna drive around in jalopies that resemble your little bro's Matchbox collection? I sure don't.
If not for the online play, Destruction Derby's lasting appeal would clock in at a little over an hour. It's far too easy, due to the odd balance of the championship mode: The early courses are ripe for both high placement and destruction points, while the latter events are so fast, they present little opportunity to smash and crash. But scoring tens of thousands of points in the final arena level--a task easily accomplished--often makes up the difference and renders the previous races irrelevant.