Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Video game number two hundred and fourteen: Hydro Thunder Hurricane

Video game review number two hundred and fourteen in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Hydro Thunder Hurricane"

Game number two in the Xbox 360 "Summer of Arcade" is Hydro Thunder. What happened to game number one you might ask? Simple. It came out during Comic Con, and I haven't played it yet, but I will tonight. I decided to start with Hydro Thunder, because it's supposed to be arcadey and fun...and I figured I wouldn't need to spend much time with it to get the gist for a review.

Man, was I wrong.

This game is just as good as the quarter munching version you may or may not have spent hours playing in the arcades like I did. You're a speedboat, and you race down a winding water track (often against other boats), taking shortcuts, earning boost power-ups and sometimes finding hidden collectibles. The single player mode of this game is as entertaining as any racer I can remember playing on Xbox Live arcade. It's great.

The game also has modes where you drive through rings, or avoid explosive barrels (both of these are ok, but not spectacular)..and then there's multiplayer. I booted the multiplayer to give it a shot, and even though this thing just came out, it seems like everyone is already an expert at it besides me. I came in sixth out of seven people in my first race, and that's after searching lobbies time and again just to find one that I could actually jump into. Not a good first impression for multiplayer at all, but that doesn't mean I won't be back to give it another try.

Overall Score? 7.5/10. Even though it doesn't involve cars, this is probably the best racer I've played on Xbox Live. The graphics are polished, physics are fun, and there is a lot of replay value as you try to see all the shortcuts and unlock new boats. My big gripes are with the braking (obviously, it's a boat, it can't stop) and of course the difficult online opponents, but that didn't stop me from playing it for several hours. Good stuff.

Achievements? A few to start, but I'll get more.

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