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MassEffect 3
Hydro Thunder Hurricane [X360]





The sequel to the arcade and console hit.

9.0

Editors' Choice

Summary

Hydro Thunder was a favorite in the arcades, and proved just as popular once it appeared on the home system. You piloted a super powered speedboat, through settings from the tropics, to sinking palaces in Venice, to the Arctic, and picked up power boosts along the way. Your boat could jump, crash and navigate through secret tunnels. It was very fast and fun.


The new version looks sleek, with more streamlined graphics. There are more things in your way, such as nasty tangles of branches in the water, and sudden turns in the rock channels that will cause you to crash into the walls quite a bit, until you can memorize the course. It seems to be a little harder to find boosts. This means you will have to rely more on your standard ability to steer the boat. Do try and take advantage of the jump ramps. They can save you some time. Nevertheless, 'Hurricane' is fun for those who want something different in a racing game.




A great game with fun for every skill level... The multiplayer mode is really fun and not difficult either! 4out5

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Great multiplayer"

Summary

This is a great game for 360 that everyone should own. It can go up the 4 local mutiplayer and is a quick pick up and play just like mario kart. We haven't yet seen ?any? or decent water sports game for Xbox 360 so I'm glad this turned out so well.

The controls are wonderful! The colors and animated background make it super cool to play again and again. I actually duck in some places because it get suspenseful when your up in the air and theirs almost nothing you can do about that mountain your going to hit.

8 out of 10. Fun for the family... and just as much fun for single player too.

The style of the game is very arcadeish which I personalty love and reminds me of going to a place called Gameworks(all arcade games) and this game behaves even for arcade like then wave runner for N64.

The only con's to this game are some glitches in the graphics as it seems to almost forget that it's supposed to lead you in another direction and a wall suddenly apeers.

Multi player racing is the best but theirs a mode called rubber ducky and it's just really dumb and unpopular. Your team have one rubber duck that you need to insure comes first before the other teams duck. Yea... it just is quite boring.

In conclusion, GET THIS GAME




Hydro Thunder Hurricane. Arcadey update is well worth it. Impressive.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Guilty pleasure"

Summary

For fans of Hydro Thunder, this is a must own game. Forget about re-released versions of Hydro Thunder on best-of Midway compilations. This game is a whole new experience. Some might say I'm exaggerating, but with added mutliplayer online and sparkling new graphics, you'll recognize a better quality game than the original. Modes like Ring Master, Gauntlet, and Championship give more depth than you'll ever imagine. You can even unlock avatar awards in this game. To add to the depth, the achievements will have you coming back for more.

One small drawback is online matchmaking. Not very many people are playing this, but if you and many others read this, get the game now and that will change. In single player, beating certain times in ring master and gauntlet are challenging but attainable at the same time. Lots of replayability on this one.




Hydro Thunder is an arcade adrenaline fuelled boat racer that deserves to be played. My DarkZero review

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

Gamers might remember the title Hydro Thunder from 11 years ago when it arrived for the launch of Sega's Dreamcast. If you never had a Dreamcast then you might have seen it in the arcades, if you were lucky to have one near your area. Hydro Thunder was a popular Midway-published speedboat racer that would let players select a boat, track, and then race on some very creative water-based courses.

Back then, Hydro Thunder was best known for its easy pick-up-and-play feel, which led to plenty of fun, mixed with some great visuals and water physics. It's taken 11 years and a switch of publishers to finally get a sequel, which goes by the name Hydro Thunder Hurricane.

The IP now belongs to Microsoft after Midway went bankrupt. Regardless, Hurricane does well at being a great sequel to the original. This isn't a case of simply redoing the original game for the HD era, which is something the team at Vector Unit could have easily done. Instead, they have opted to do a full-on sequel with all brand-new content.

Fans will be happy to know that it plays just as you remember the original Hydro Thunder. In a way it's kind of like playing the XBLA version of Perfect Dark; it keeps the nostalgia without painfully revealing how badly the game has aged. Vector Unit has made sure to keep the gameplay intact, straightforward, and as close to the original as possible. You certainly get an arcade vibe when playing the game because of Hurricane's fast paced gameplay and simple controls; you just need to hold down the trigger and drive. All the game is missing is an arcade cabinet.

Taking a page out of the original game's book are the crazy track designs featured throughout. The 8 tracks created for Hurricane aren't your boring bog-standard waterways or vast open oceans. Instead the tracks have a given theme like a Japanese watersports arena, ancient ruins, or the Paris sewer system, which I bet in real life looks nothing like the clean architectural design in Hurricane.

In addition there are plenty of various pathways included on each track. The game will send the player through different routes changing the layout of the lap (if the race isn't point-to-point). For example, the last lap of Monster Island has players racing past a giant sea monster that pops out when you drive through the temple. It's situations like these that keep you on your toes so that you don't drop any positions; there are, after all, 15 other boats gunning for first place. Obviously once you've experienced these scripted hazards they lose their "WOW" factor, but nonetheless it changes the dynamic of the racing.

Another dynamic that is fantastically represented is the physics of the water. They play a huge part on how your speedboat will react. The best example of this is when huge objects – like icebergs collapsing off cliff-sides or lizards powerbombing into the lake (okay, they don't actually powerbomb, but how awesome would that be?) - cause massive waves that come and push you aside or lift your boat into the air. It can really mess up the control of your speedboat when you are trying to aim for that shortcut or alternative route to get a hidden icon, of which each track has 10 stashed away. There's rarely a quiet moment on the waters while racing in Hydro Thunder Hurricane.

Single player is split into four categories – Race, Ring Master, Gauntlet and Championship. Race describes itself; you pick a boat and then race on the selected track. Ring Master is based on getting your boat through all the rings on the track in the fastest time possible. Gauntlet is a survival based game where you have to get the fastest time possible while dodging hazardous barrels that explode on impact. Championship takes all these modes and mixes them up to make a tournament based on gaining points to win.

The difficulty of these depends on which boat you select. There are 9 boats which fit into three categories of novice, pro and expert – three for each. Expert is the one to aim for if you want to experience the fastest the game has to offer. The difficulty also affects how much credit you get after a race. The higher the difficulty, the more the credit, which is built up to unlock things in the game.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane has a lot of content locked when you first begin. To unlock more boats, tracks and other races in the four game modes, you need to keep earning credits. Things unlock considerably quickly, and can also be done in multiplayer. You'll normally unlock at least one thing every time you win a race. It's a strange thing to implement but at least it doesn't take hours to get things unlocked.

Hurricane allows up to four people to play locally, via split-screen. The best thing is you can also take these four players online to make half of the eight-player online mode. Offline only features race mode, but online features an additional mode called Rubber Ducky. This mode splits players into teams where one of the team members has to drive a rubber duck while the other team members try and help the duck driver get over the line first before the other team's duck does. It's a mode for violent players as it allows them to ram into other boats to their hearts' content. Online seems to work well, and never felt laggy during my time with it.

Something that isn't new to racing games but is still a hit feature, is the inclusion of leaderboards while you're racing. Hydro Thunder Hurricane takes the person who is right above you in the rankings and will display how much faster or slower you are compared to that player. It also helps that it does that at each checkpoint in a race, so you know if you're doing well or not.

There is a downloadable content option in the menu, which means DLC. It would certainly be brilliant to be able to see more imaginative courses or ships created for the game. Even better would be the return of old tracks for fans to see updated. Hydro Thunder Hurricane's presentation feels exactly as you'd expect if you were playing it in the arcade. It has announcers shouting at you as though you didn't know what you'd just selected in the menu, the interface is easily understandable and the graphics are smooth and fluid with a solid frame rate.

The tracks look good, with some very creative designs, but they can't match the details of big blockbuster games. The speedboats look a little flat in the texture work, reminding you of some models from older Xbox games. The star of the show is the water – the way it reacts is certainly the best feature of Hurricane.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane comes with a price tag of 1200 Microsoft Points. I'd say it's worth every one of those virtual points as you get a fair amount of content and replay value with your purchase. It's made for quick pick-up-and-play sessions and is a hell of a lot of fun.

If you fancy a different take on the racing genre and want something that lives and breathes the arcade experience, then go take yourself for a skinny-dipping session in Hydro Thunder Hurricane, as this is the best Xbox Live Arcade racer yet on the system.




High speed boat racer but with a surprising result

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Very Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Surprisingly good"

Summary

I myself have not played the original Hydro thunder out for the Dreamcast, but from this sequel its definitely a water ride with a big splash.

A nice racer with charming and beautiful locale, great environments and shortcuts which will definitely keep gamers from all groups happy. You can easily grab a groups of 4 and play together in local or on xbox live. Controls are simple and game direction are simple to be played. Its recommended party game to play with non gamers that does not involve singing or dancing but its the game that dont keep anything interesting for regular or hardcore and might get bored of it soon after. Althought it has quite a large amount of tracks and speed boat, its limited mode doesnt keep the game long enough to keep gamers interested.

Graphics: 8.0
very good visuals for an Arcade game, water physics are exceptional and will affect the handling of speed boats. Great art and details on boats

Gameplay SP: 7.0
its rather boring to play solo, other boat Ai provide sufficient difficult. Quite a few unlock to achieved.

Gameplay MP: 7.5
A game which will attract all types of players regardless of what they feel about it. Its fun to play with friends.

Audio: 6.0
Nothing outstanding, but for an arcade game they offer more than other Arcade.

Value: 7.0
For $10 it will definitely worth for a short burst of game with friends. Will not keep regular or hardcore gamers interested for long.


8.0

Superb
7.5
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