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Hydro Thunder Hurricane Review
Review Score:

As part of the Xbox summer season launch, one of the major announced titles was that the legendary arcade title Hydro Thunder was to get a brand new reboot with HD gloss and a totally new roster of tracks, vehicles and an online component to boot. This news sent shockwaves around well, me! Hydro Thunder was one of the most underrated games released and whilst it never gained massive notoriety, it’s follow up will. At 1200 Microsoft Points, the powerboat racing game tops in at a mid-range price point. As for whether it’s worth that price point I shall discuss very shortly.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane is very arcade in its very nature to say the least. It tells realism to go fuck itself and that’s an extremely good thing. One of the most immediate things about this title is that you’ll notice that every one of the courses in the game have individual charm and have clearly crafted with the biggest of imaginations. Lake Powell is a real location but to throw things into hyper drive, you’ll have police boats chasing you, old steam trains running by in bridges above you and a dam power failure whereby you’ll have to boost past the closing dam gates to avoid being crushed. Furthermore big jumps are no stranger to this game. Just in Lake Powell and the Asgard courses alone there are huge jumps that are greeted with extreme lens blur and the adrenaline rush of the driver.

Hurricane’s courses are a real joy to play. For instance in the third lap of the third course in the game, a big dragon serpent rushes out of the water and tries to attack you. Something that we never expected but enjoy each and every race we play on that level. The game also boasts multiple paths, they can aid you to the front of the pack but mostly it’s all about discovering the Hydro tokens which you can collect throughout the campaign mode to work towards an achievement. Such are these hidden areas so entertaining is because they are not all obvious, some require you to destruct an environment, collect a ramp button before it’ll activate the hidden area, or some are simply hidden away and not found unless you purposely go looking for it. It’s a great touch that is executed with real aplomb. Playing this game on my X10 Turtle Beaches are a real joy!

In terms of bang for your buck, you’ll have different vehicle classes, just under 10 tracks, multiplayer which is online and split-screen plus the addition of several game modes which include Gauntlet (where you have to avoid explosive barrels) and Ring Master (where you have to slalom through certain rings, something akin towards the Wave Race games). Whilst Hydro appears to lack allot more choice of things to do than other XBLA titles, it’s the quality and craft of the level designs that make this game a real winner.

Graphically the game is very polished, visuals are very good for a downloadable platform game, sound is nicely executed too. If there was anything to critique it would have to be the slight texture glitches that can happen throughout the different races that you play. Is this anything to mark the game down for? Not at all, although it takes away from the thrill of the race for a split second, it doesn’t ruin the race at all.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane feels like a meld of mother earth’s natural forces. From its awesomely brutal weather effects and wave patterns straight through to the inventive levels on display, Hurricane is a game that should be owned by anyone who has an Xbox 360. Vector Unit have done a fantastic job of reinvigorating a legendary arcade racer.

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Rating: 7.3/10 (4 votes cast)
Hydro Thunder Hurricane Review, 7.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
  • https://?u=craigbaker Craig Baker

    can’t wait to check this out.

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