Published on October 18th, 2012 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Derrick the Death Fin Review
Developer: Different Tuna
Platform: PSN on PlayStation 3
Genre: Indie, Arcade Side Scrolling
Release Date: Oct. 9, 2012
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
In the middle of the holiday releases for some of our favorite franchises, many smaller games often get overlooked. These smaller games are often unique and offer gamers a new experience compared to the annual updates of franchise titles. I fear this would be the case with Different Tuna’s Derrick the Death Fin.
Derrick the Death Fin follows Derrick, a teenage shark, who is out for revenge against the humans who turned his parents into soap. His mission is to go around the world destroying and munching on everything that comes across his path.
The most unique factor of Derrick the Death Fin is the stylized from paper and card art style. Developer Different Tuna created characters, sets and retro “pow” actions with paper and card in the style of cube craft art and filmed to create the animations. Just like the 1960s action shows, the “pow” action signs censor the violence and allow the game to have a fun nostalgic feel. The style is a perfect complement to the fast-paced side scrolling action.
The game takes you to four different continents and three types of levels with 32 total levels. In the game, players will experience fast-paced side-scrolling action where you have to continue eating or your metabolism will run out and Derrick becomes belly up, speed runs, puzzles and boss battles.
Each level has side objectives including eating entire hordes of fish, flying through flaming tires, collecting diamonds, etc. Each level you can earn a gold, silver or bronze medals based on your performance. Players have to find a balance among eating, jumping through tires, collecting diamonds and more, while maintaining Derrick’s metabolism to make it to the finish line. The inclusions of the side objectives and medals provides hours of replay value.
Players control Derrick using the left analog stick; swim faster by holding R2, munch using the “X” button, and jump and eat at the same time with the “O” button. It takes some practice to perfectly time your button presses to accurately jump through the tires, or quickly navigate through speed runs to eat fishes that are in your way, and also to eat prey that is trying to escape your gnashing maw. Time your munch button wrong can cause a multitude of problems, such as slamming head first into your prey, causing the horde to swim away from you, or you can risk getting stuck during speed runs.
The levels do offer some power-up opportunities. A special tire can be devoured which forces Derrick into an eating frenzy. The pepper power-up grants an extra boost while swimming or jumping. The controls are a little stiff, but stiff controls give the game an additional fun challenge. Different Tuna did not make the game too easy.
The game saves your score on a local leaderboard. The game would have benefited by having an online leaderboard, which would have allowed players to compete for the top spot and give them an extra incentive to replay levels.
The game does have trophy support and some of the trophies offer some fun gameplay challenges. Two among my favorite trophies is: finish a level while swimming backwards and finishing a level while jumping out of water while facing the opposite direction. With the fast paced gameplay, these trophies are harder to achieve than I initially thought.
Derrick the Death Fin is an artistic, enjoyable, unique and cleaver downloadable arcade game. Its fast-paced, classic side scrolling, arcade papercraft style is a breath of fresh air during a period where the majority of the recent game releases are familiar franchises and classic remakes.
The game is purely enjoyable from start to finish. At $7.99, Derrick the Death Fin will leave you wanting to eat the entire flock of birds or scuba divers and burping up their skeletal remains.
+ Great paperwork graphics and style
– Game Length
– No Online Leaderboard