Review: Derrick The Deathfin
Some sharks need to constantly be swimming in order to breathe. If they stop moving it is game over. Derrick The Deathfin is certainly one of these sharks. The game, for the most part, is all about speed.
In Derrick The Deathfin you play as Derrick a shark whose parents were recently sucked up into a shark fin processing boat. Because they killed your parents, you want to get back at the M.E.A.N. Corporation by any means possible. Seeing that you are a shark, this means chomping up as many things as possible, while causing destruction along the way.
The game has a really unique art style, everything is papercraft. In fact you can even print out some of the characters and make them yourself. I really enjoyed not only the papercraft look of the game, but also the bright and vibrant colors each level uses. Taking place on 4 different world regions, each level has its own unique background and visual style. From the Amazon Basin’s oranges and yellows to the reds and whites of Russia, each level brings something new. The game is never a bore to look at.
While in these worlds there are a couple different types of levels for Derrick to chomp around in. First off there are your basic maze type levels. In these there is a meter which acts as both your health and a timer. To keep it up you must collect gems or eat creatures that are scattered throughout the level. The problem with this is that in later levels you might lose your way and end up dying a few times due to starvation. The levels have different objectives, like jumping through tires and collecting gems which are used to open up different areas on the world map. Exploration however takes a back seat because you really need to constantly be keeping your meter up.
This isn’t an issue with the other level types, time trials and puzzle. Puzzle levels tell the game’s small bits of story. But let’s be honest here, you aren’t really playing Derrick the Deathfin of its story. These levels are mostly about just pushing a bomb fish to different parts of a level. Time trials on the other hand were my favorite level type by far. You have to maneuver Derrick around a stage as quickly as possible. There is no hunger gauge, it is just you against the clock. The game really shines when you don’t have to worry about constantly eating.
I don’t think the time trial levels would be half as fun as they are if they controls weren’t as tight as they are. It might take a little bit of time to get used to, but if you have played a game like NiGHTS into DREAMS or Ecco the Dolphin you will be right at home. I found that I could quickly navigate the mazes with using just small inputs on the analog stick. If you try big movements you will probably end up smashing into walls. One small gripe I had with the controls was that it is a little too hard to judge jumping angles.
One big issue I have with the game is that there are no online leaderboards. The only replay value is for trophies. I would love to be able to see how fast my times were on time trials compared to my friends. Hopefully DifferentTuna can patch this in, as I think it would add a lot to the game since it is rather short. The roughly 30 levels take about an hour or two to get through. If you are shooting for all the trophies it will take much longer, but you can see most of what the game has to offer in one sitting. Having the option to challenge my friend’s times would only bring longevity to the game.
But with that being said, I still really enjoyed my time spent chowing down on all sorts of sea creatures. Just be on the lookout for narwhals, they can be a real pain in the tail. Derrick the Deathfin brings to PSN that old school style of gameplay matched up with a rather interesting visual style. It is definitely worth checking out.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Unique artstyle and premise
- Tight controls
- The old school boss battles
What I Dislike:
- No online leaderboards
- Some screen tearing and slow down
- Not enough time trials