VIDEO GAMES: John Reviews “Hydro Thunder Hurricane” by Microsoft Studios on Xbox Live Arcade

If you’ve stopped at a highway rest stop anytime within the last eleven years, you’ve probably seen an arcade cabinet version of Hydro Thunder, Midway’s insanely popular and outlandish speedboat racing game.  Seriously, this game is everywhere when it comes to rest stops, even today!  But now, thanks to Microsoft Game Studios and Xbox Live Arcade, you can bring the fun of crazy speedboat racing home with Hydro Thunder Hurricane.  The original was a truly great arcade experience, and HT:H lives up to its pedigree.

HT:H is a simple-in-concept, elegant-in-execution racing game in which you compete against rival speedboats to see who can make it through courses that look like they were torn straight from the Universal Studios theme parks.  There are angry gods, sea monsters and enough explosions to satisfy Michael Bay.  To win, you’ll need to draft in your opponents wake for less water resistance, pick up boost powerups, and find dangerous and exciting shortcuts to the finish line.  All of these tricks make multiple playthroughs rewarding, and truly completion-hungry players can wrack their brains trying to find the ten hidden Hydro Thunder packages in every level for special bonuses like new paint jobs for their speedboats.

The game is not limited to traditional racing, however.  There are also additional modes like Ring Master, in which you must navigate your boat through a series of rings throughout the entire course, gaining speed with each successful passthrough and losing speed with every missed ring.  There is also a Gauntlet mode that spices up the standard time trial by adding exploding barrels at random intervals, and a combination of all three modes that gets a bit crazy.

While the selection of tracks and boats (and paint applications for boats) is extremely limited at first, each completed race earns points that go toward unlocking new tracks, boats, skins and modes.  The developers even added some nifty unlockable extras for Xbox Live such as gamer pictures and avatar items to keep players from getting bored.  It’s an old trick, but it works well and the accumulation of points helps to take some of the sting out of those second-place finishes.

While the gameplay may not have changed greatly since the end of the twentieth century, the graphics have been updated for the HD generation and the water effects (while imperfect) look impressive on most HDTV screens.  The design of the levels is extremely clever, and little presentation touches (like the player’s copilot and his tendency to blurt out either snarky, excited or terrified expressions) make sure that this game is nearly as entertaining to watch as it is to play.  If you’re looking for a fun racing game to enjoy with friends or alone this summer, or if you’re nostalgic for those trips to roadside rest stop arcades, Hydro Thunder: Hurricane won’t leave you all wet. (*sigh* I really just  wrote that, didn’t I?)

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. […] the article here: VIDEO GAMES: John Reviews “Hydro Thunder Hurricane” by Microsoft … Tags: arcade-posted, highway-rest, hydro-thunder, last-eleven, probably-seen, studios, […]

  2. I found only one instance of violence on his
    record, and that had been in college, when he had protected a girl from the persistent
    unwanted advances of a drunken mann at a bar. The initial training stage lacks a lot of ‘training’ on how
    to engzge with and disengage from the enemy safely.6%, its lowest
    level for three years13th – 19-30 people are killed after a train collides with a truck in
    Malelane, South Africa13th – Financially troubled
    Scottish football club, Rangers, is voted into the third division14th – Suicide bomber
    attacks a wedding reception and kills 22 people and inures 22 in northern Afghanistan14th –
    Floods on the Japanese island of Kyushu kill 20 and displace 250,00015th – 39 pilgrims are killed
    in a bus crash in Parasi, Nepal15th – A Russian Soyuz rocket with
    an international team launches for a mission to the International Space Station17th – 17
    people are wounded in a bar shooting in Jasper, Alabama18th – 6 Israeli
    tourists are killed and 30 injured after a bomb explodes on a tourist bus
    at Burgas Airport, Bulgaria18th – 14 people are killed after a bomb explosion at Pakistan’s
    Orakzai Agency18th – Violence across Syria results in 97 deaths18th –
    Syrian suicide bombing kills three high profile government officials,
    including Syria’s Minister of Defence18th – 24 people are killed after a ferry sinks off the coast
    of Zanzibar18th – Kim Jong-un is officially appointed
    Supreme Leader of North Korea and given the rank of Marshal
    in the Korean People’s Army20th – 12 people are killed and 59 injured
    after a gunman opens fire at a Dark Knight movie premier in Aurora, Colorado,20th – 21
    people are killed and 29 injured in a bus accident in Nayarit, Mexico22nd – Car bombs kills 20 people
    and injures 80 in Madaen and Najaf, Iraq22nd –
    Pranab Mukherjee is elected President of India22nd – At least 77 people are killed by torrential rain
    in Beijing, China23rd – A series of attacks across Iraq
    kill 103 people24th – John Dramani becomes President of Ghana after the death of President John
    Atta Mills24th – Four barrels containing 248 human fetuses are found in Sverdlovsk, Russia25th – The 2012 Summer
    Olympics begin25th – Ivica Da.

  3. When you get new camcorders, do you like to reccord videos in your journal.
    It’s absolutely Free and it contains 20 of
    my Answers to the most top FAQs on Disciplining your Child
    and knowing this information will certainly help you bringing
    up your child most effectively. Russia men however are still brought up in a traditional environment
    that sees men as superior to women.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: