Hydro Thunder Hurricane

7.0 Overall Score

Written by on August 18, 2010 in

I’m not really into racing games, especially when you are racing boats. Give me a Hydro Thunder game though and my opinion and interest level changes. Hydro Thunder Hurricane, the new remake of the boat racing classic by Vector Unit, takes me back to my arcade and N64 days, trying to figure out how to make my boat jump, flying through epic shortcuts, and grabbing as much boost as my boat would hold.

While Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a very simple game, it can also be quite of a challenge. The main strategy boils down to collecting as much boost as you can, maneuvering each track’s obstacles, and knowing the location of secret shortcuts.  The game only has 8 race tracks, but with all the different shortcuts and routes you can take, each track feels like a lot more than one in my opinion. There are 3 different difficulty levels to choose from, each with its own assortment of boats. When you first play the game you will be driving one of the beginner boats, which are steady-paced with reliable maneuverability. After choosing a beginner boat you will be racing against beginner level opponents. As your skill improves, so does the competition.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane tracks aren’t your normal racing tracks. You will race through exotic locations such as Lake Powell, Paris, and Area 51. Along the way you will pass obstacles like UFO’s, giant alligators, and massive sea creatures. While playing, I sometimes find it hard to concentrate on driving while I have all the beautiful scenery around me, leading me to smash into walls and obstacles. I like to compare it to racing on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. You might not see everything on your first ride through, but the more you keep going back, you discover something new every time.

There are 4 different game types you can play through in single player and 2 game types in multiplayer. Single player modes include Race, Ring Master in which you have to navigate through ringed gates as you race for the finish, Gauntlet which is a timed race where explosive barrels are littered everywhere, and Championship which is a mix of all the previous game types into points and round-based events. In multiplayer you can play 1-4 players on a local console, or 2-8 players online. Online play is restricted to racing only, where you can either play a normal race or you can play a team race with a twist. In the team race one player from each team is designated to drive the Rubber Duck boat. Whichever team gets their duck over the finish line wins.

As you complete more races and events online or locally you will accumulate points, unlocking boats, tracks, and more challenges. The first set of tracks and challenges are easy, but as you unlock and advance up into the Expert tracks you will notice that the challenges become more impossible and your 15 other competitors seem to be leaving you in their wake. Don’t be afraid though, because if you don’t want to play against impossible opponents then you just need to pick a beginner or pro boat.

If you are looking for a fun arcade racing game then I would strongly recommend you download Hydro Thunder Hurricane, out now on XBLA. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is rated E for Everyone.

A copy of Hydro Thunder Hurricane was provided to TMG for the purpose of evaluation and review.

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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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