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Hydro Thunder Hurricane

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Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a futuristic boat racing game. It is the sequel to Hydro Thunder from more than ten years earlier and although it is done by a different development team, it pursues the same arcade-like gameplay with a cheesy announcer. There is no premise; players race on eight tracks filled with hazards, breakable objects, shortcuts, jumps, tunnels, and events such as police boat chases or a giant sea monster rising from the depths.

There are no weapons and the effect of the hull from the first game that allowed the player to smash other boats out of the way, has been removed; collisions only slow the boats down and they cannot take damage except when hitting explosive barrels (instant death and respawn). Instead there is a slipstream drafting system where boats in pursuit can gain speed by following the tracks of opponents in front. Additional depth is provided through a boost system. Different types of boost power-ups provide additional speed and they can be combined for even more speed. Enabling boost takes a few seconds after picking up an item, as the engines need to be transformed. While boost is equipped it is possible to jump to reach higher areas.

In the main racing mode players race fifteen opponents. Good results are rewarded with trophies, and credits used to unlock new boats and races. Certain items such as boat skins can only be unlocked by completing specific tasks in a race. Boats are divided into three classes (Novice, Pro, Expert) with different handling, acceleration and speed. The game's difficulty adapts along with the chosen boat class. The individual boats also have different characteristics. Flat-bottomed ones slide more easily through corners, multi-hulled boats have better grip and V-hulls balance power and control.

The other game modes are Championship (a series of racing events), Ring Master (time trial races through gates that provide boost) and Gauntlet (time trial through an environment filled with explosive barrels). Multiplayer is supported locally (split-screen) for up four players, and online for up to eight players. Next to the main Race mode, there is a multiplayer mode called Rubber Ducky. Players are divided into two teams and each team has a player controlling a rubber ducky. The goals is to get the team's rubber duck across the finish line ahead of the other team's duck.

The game also contains 80 hidden packages. These are spinning Hydro Thunder logos and there are ten to be found on each track, often at hard to reach places. Collecting all of them in a single level unlocks a special.


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Critic Reviews

Gamestyle Xbox 360 Jul, 2010 9 out of 10 90
Edge Xbox 360 Jul 27, 2010 8 out of 10 80
GamesRadar Xbox 360 Jul 26, 2010 8 out of 10 80
Thunderbolt Games Xbox 360 Oct 03, 2010 8 out of 10 80
videogamer.com Xbox 360 Jul 26, 2010 8 out of 10 80
4Players.de Xbox 360 Jul 28, 2010 79 out of 100 79
That Gaming Site Xbox 360 Aug 03, 2010 7.5 out of 10 75
Eurogamer.net (UK) Xbox 360 Jul 26, 2010 7 out of 10 70
TotalVideoGames (TVG) Xbox 360 Jul 27, 2010 7 out of 10 70
MS Xbox World Xbox 360 Jul 27, 2010 7 out of 10 70


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Even though this is Vector Unit Inc's first game, the two main developers already worked together almost ten years before on an arcade-like boat racer called Blood Wake at Stormfront Studios.
Contributed to by Sciere (330116)