Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Derrick the Deathfin
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Derrick the Deathfin

2:00 PM on 12.03.2012 // Daniel Starkey
  @dcstarkey

I didnít know eating people could be so satisfying

So… have you ever wanted to be a cardboard shark hellbent on taking down “the man” and all his dirty, environment-destroying machines? Yeah it’s not something I ever really thought about either, but it sounds pretty freakin’ badass.

Then again, I’m a man easily won over by creativity and style. While Derrick the Deathfin might have a few minor annoyances, at least it has an indie-vogue panache that’s more than a little refreshing.

Derrick the Deathfin (PS3)
Developer: Different Tuna

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release: October 10, 2012
MSRP: $7.99

D the D
opens with a short cutscene showing the death of Derrick’s parents. That’s right up there with a kidnapped lover among the most common motivations for a hero. The culprits in the case are the non-too-subtle “M.E.A.N. Corporation” that gives rise to a huge pile of tongue-in-cheek political and social satire. As the eponymous cardboard shark you’ll be blowing up oil rigs and ships carrying toxic waste in a blind rampage against the corporation, though it always seems like you’re doing more harm than good, regardless of intention.

In Derrick’s quest to avenge the meat-ification of his parents, he traverses the oceans surround several continents. In each area there’s also one or two “bosses” which consist of a unique, albeit very easy puzzle that typically results in the destruction of some kind of heavy industrial equipment.

Each area of the world has a theme that subtly and roughly represents the aquatic life of its respective continent. For example, there are tons of crocodiles in the oceans surrounding Africa as well as squid near Asia. It’s a light-hearted and vaguely logical mechanism to introduce different enemies and foodstuffs for the young shark to eat.

Friendly and inviting, nearly everything in the environments is personified with awkward or hilarious faces that clearly indicate someone’s been smokin’ da ganja. Its charm is remarkably saccharine, despite the subversive message behind it all.

Initially I thought that Derrick was just graphically impressive, but while looking for screenshots and artwork to include in this piece, I learned that the game is papercraft. Not just inspired by one of the more popular nerd hobbies these days -- the characters environments, and effects are all made by people taking actual pictures of folded-paper analogues. It's pretty awesome stuff and definitely impressive to see that kind of care and effort put into the title.

With that, Derrick’s visual style feels very much inspired by a fusion of earlier cel-shaded titles like Viewtiful Joe and Yoshi’s Story. The world is bright and colorful with a smattering of “BLAM!”, “CRUNCH!” and “SNAP!” for effect.

Speaking of which, Derrick, being a shark, eats fish, lobsters, crabs, and the like for health – which quickly depletes automatically as you move through a course. In many cases, there will be a very clear trail of fish to follow through the course, but some levels amount to little more than a giant, confusing maze.

You’re left to wander aimlessly, and because health is directly tied to the food available, I died a few dozen times simply because I took some wrong forks in a path. Progress is almost never based on the skills you’ve acquired and applied so much as it is simple knowledge of the map. None of my deaths ever felt fair. I came away from each with a mild annoyance at some of the more misleading paths.

 

Thankfully, these moments, while frustrating, weren't too common. That said, they are compounded by a very loose control scheme. Super Meat Boy this ain't. To a degree, I can understand the design choice. Derrick drifts slightly around corners and always slides just a bit past where you intend to stop. It definitely gives the feeling that you’re piloting a super-fast shark through tight quarters, but it can lead to a few really annoying mistakes that cost valuable time – especially when you’re already running low and frantically looking for something to eat.

In hindsight, I don’t feel like I was any better at Derrick when I finished than I was when I started. I feel like that can be forgiven, though. I enjoyed the music, the aesthetic and the ability to munch on wandering divers. I could also see fans of the 2D Sonic games really getting into this as it definitely has a lot in common with the Sega Genesis titles.

It’s pretty short overall, but will take players quite a while to figure out the perfect path to take to guarantee a gold medal in each world. I milked about 4 hours from the thing – pretty middle-of-the-road for a downloadable title, but I could see it lasting someone else much longer. Ultimately, Derrick’s lifespan as an entry on your “currently playing” list will depend directly upon how much of a completionist you are.

Derrick the Deathfin is an easy recommendation for anyone who likes their platformers with a unique flare. Its self-referential humor and topical environmental humor are more than enough to give it a personality that you won’t find outside Banjo-Kazooie.  



THE VERDICT

7.5

Derrick the Deathfin - Reviewed by Daniel Starkey
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Daniel Starkey, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dcstarkey Tips
Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Destructoid empire, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Game... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Derrick the Deathfin


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Summer Wars: The Video Game….I mean Digimon: Cyber Sleuth

Gaming's Beautiful People #4: Valentine's Day Special OR Love Multi-Kills

Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky Import Review

Stupid Teens Do Stupid Things: An Oxenfree Critique

A blog test. Brought to you by Buckner & Garcia

Cblogs of 2/11/16, 2/12/16 + Firethoughts

XCOM 2 And The Glory of Mods

PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango

Your Opinions On Racing Games Are Stupid

The Nerds Have Won

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
I can't wait to mute Niero. #NoRules #ThePurge
Joe Parlock avatarJoe Parlock
I spent all last night playing Day of Defeat: Source. If only Valve gave it even half the attention it did to TF2 or CS:S...
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Nearing Platinum status.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
THIS IS THE BEST EMAIL I'VE EVER GOTTEN HOLY SHIT
Parismio avatarParismio
Sheesh i played metal gear rising before and Platinum ruined the franchise.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Toonami is running a poll right now at [url]www.toonami.com/poll[/url] where one of the questions is which show you'd want un-cancelled. Oh, Teen Titans is included? That's curious...
SlyTAdvantage avatarSlyTAdvantage
"The Ravagers dropped the giant insects and waited for them to evolve ... it's clear. This is their plan from the start" -EDF 4.1 scientist So dragons are evolved forms of ants, spiders and/or wasps ....... what?
Ckarasu avatarCkarasu
Every time I hear "I don't understand why people like _____ game", I get annoyed. Of course you understand, if you've listened to what those people were saying. You just don't agree, and that's A-OK. I HATE Twilight, but I understand why people like it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just tried playing the first Bayonetta game... it was really bad. Honestly I don't understand why Platinum games are so well regarded. None of them are really worthwhile.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
The first person I block is the person who talks shit about Platinum
Torchman avatarTorchman
Even though your waifus are shit
Darth Wachen avatarDarth Wachen
Finally, a blog that I can call my own, I feel accomplished somehow.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Gonna be honest; this really made my day.
Rico the Penguin avatarRico the Penguin
I doubt I'll use it much but I'm totally fine with a block/ignore feature. Everyone has a right to speak, but I don't think anyone has a right to be heard. If this place played country music I'd want a mute button, basically :p.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Mall haul today (plus I split a BEAUTIFUL Star Wars Slave I with my brother). Any thoughts on Haze? Wanted to play it back when it came out and I had no PS3. For a dollar you can't go wrong!
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
I'm not gonna lie, I don't feel "good" about the upcoming "ignore" feature. Maybe it's just me, but I don't like the idea that people can mute other people because they don't agree with them. Spammers and trolls, sure, but not regular community members.
Gundy avatarGundy
Oh man. Those Next Gen transformations in Megadimension Neptunia are legit as fuck!
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
The first thing I do when I see clickbait is click on it and complain about clickbait.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Wow, uh, after having a lovely time with Kirby Air Ride, I decided to try playing some melee, for old times sake... I pretty much disliked my whole time with it. More details in a comment if I get around to it.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Help me gather games for a new blog series - "Worst Sequels Ever"
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -