Derrick the Deathfin
: Sony Computer Entertainment
October 10th, 2012
Sometimes, all it takes is a unique art style to make a game standout. PSN title Derrick the Deathfin
grabbed the eyes of many gamers when it released this October, thanks to its adorable paper-craft world. But does the game have more substance beneath it's eye-catching art style? Thankfully, the answer is yes.
Derrick the Deathfin
is the lighthearted tale of Derrick, a shark that's out for revenge. See, Derrick's parents were killed and turned into food by the malicious M.E.A.N. corporation, and now Derrick's out for blood. During the player's adventure, they'll visit four distinct "worlds", ranging from the Americas all the way to the Arctic Ocean. Developer Different Tuna has done a remarkable job at making each of these areas stand out from one another, each built with their own different theme and challenges.
When it comes to visual fidelity, Derrick the Deathfin
may not have a leg up over its competitors, but it more than makes up for it with a wonderful art style. Every object in the game is based around paper-craft art, with our own little Derrick being the most adorable - and deadly - cardboard shark I've ever seen.
The game is quite colorful; each world lovingly crafted to suit its respective theme. The Arctic world, for example, is littered with cardboard evergreen trees, while the Asian world takes upon a more oriental theme. If there's one thing Derrick the Deathfin
succeeds at, it's creating an eye-popping artstyle.
Being a PSN-only release, Derrick the Deathfin
obviously doesn't have the same budget as a AAA retail title. As such, there is no voice work to be found, save for the screams of Derrick's victims. Parents need not worry, as the game presents aquatic death in a way that makes chomping up fish and baby turtles appear child-appropriate.
In terms of music, nothing about the soundtrack really stands out. Aside from hearing the word "Derrick" at the game's opening, there are no memorable tunes to be found. The overall audio quality is quite nice however, found whenever Derrick chomps away at the undersea life or destroys M.E.A.N. Corp's variety of contraptions.
There are three types of levels in Derrick the Deathfin
: adventure levels, time trials, and destruction levels. During the adventure levels, players must reach the end goal, eating as many aquatic beings as they can. Derrick's life bar, however, is always depleting and the player must make sure to routinely eat fish - otherwise, it's game over. There are also secondary objectives, which include destroying M.E.A.N. Corps' giant tires and collecting gems. Completing a level is easy, getting a gold medal is a challenge.
The player earns points for each fish they kill and utilizing special power-ups within the environment can help earn bonus points. Gems and tires don't contribute to the player's overall score, but they will be necessary to progress throughout the game.
Time Trial levels are a bit different; much like before, the player's objective is to reach the end goal, this time as quickly as possible. There are no life-bars, gems, tires, or scores to worry about here - instead it's all about pure speed.
Lastly, destruction levels will test the player's cerebral ability, tasking gamers with, well, destroying objects. Much like time trials, there's only one objective this time around, so players need not worry about time constraints or health limitations.
Overall, Different Tuna has done a wonderful job at spreading out each of the levels, giving enough variety for when it is needed. Players will never feel bogged down by playing the same type of levels, as there will always be a different level type in between.
Though the gameplay in Derrick the Deathfin
is quite satisfying, the game itself is quite short. There are four worlds in total, and the entire game can be completed in less than three hours - though that's assuming the player isn't going for all of the trophies. Players going for 100% completion will find themselves spending more time in the world of Derrick, as getting all of the gold medals or collecting all the gems/tires can prove to be quite challenging.
Derrick the Deathfin
may be big on brevity, but that doesn't stop it from being a fun game. Players are sure to enjoy the time they spend with Derrick, with teh game's papercraft artstyle adding a charm rarely seen anymore. Those who take a dive into Derrick's world will find satisfying gameplay and heap of challenges, even if the overall package is marred by its short length.