Hydro Thunder

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Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Arcade 2 4.2
Dreamcast 19 3.9
Nintendo 64 8 4.1
PlayStation 6 4.0
Windows 4 4.6
Combined User Score 39 4.0

Critic Reviews

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DreamcastThe Video Game Critic
This "launch title" (released on the same day as the system) is my favorite Dreamcast game of all time. Hydro Thunder is pure arcade bliss, with eye candy galore, simple controls and some of the most exhilarating gameplay you'll ever experience in a video game.
ArcadeAll Game Guide
I could go on for pages about how much fun this game is and many other subtle details I don't have room to mention, but finding out for yourself is half the fun and I don't want to ruin the whole game. Track this one down at your local Arcade and have at it!
Ich gehöre ganz klar zur Minderheit, wenn ich behaupte, Hydro Thunder sei eines der besten Rennspiele, die es gibt. Es ist schon komisch: So klein der Umfang von diesen Action-Racer auch ist, kein Spiel habe ich wohl häufiger in meine Dreamcast gelegt. Bis heute habe ich nie ein besseres Streckendesign gesehen. Daher macht jede Session auch immer wieder viel Spaß. Hervorgerufen wird dieser selbstverständlich auch durch die tolle Technik, die gelungene Steuerung und der dargestellten Action auf dem Wasser. Auch die Motivation geht dank der spannenden Jagd nach Bestzeiten nicht flöten. Kurzum: Hydro Thunder ist ein wahres Rennspiel-Erlebnis!
DreamcastAdrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
Hardly a genre-redefining title or anything of the sort, Midway’s Hydro Thunder just takes the best aspects of classic racing title spills, thrills and gameplay and adds a soggy twist to the whole thing. Out of all the racers available at the Dreamcast’s launch, this is the one you’re going to want to get, especially if you’re a casual shopper, as it’s the most jaw-droppingly beautiful and fun to play one out of the lot. Many hours will be happily spent alone or with friends in front of this one, thanks to a combination of spectacular visual effects and razor sharp gameplay. This title may not have garnered a Reviewer’s Choice award stamp in the end due to a few minor flaws, but trust me, it wasn’t far from hitting paydirt.
Overall, Hydro Thunder was an awesome launch title for Sega’s Dreamcast. Even today it’s a fantastic game with excellent graphics, an awesome sound track, and simple pick-up-and-play controls. The game is challenging, but rewards your patience with even faster boats and more interesting locals to race through. Hydro Thunder deserves a place on every gamers shelves.
Midway seems to have taken a liking to the Dreamcast and we gamers are all the better for it. This game is really fun yet very challenging. The track designs are unparallelled and the different boats are great. I recommend picking this game up. I just wish it was not such a pain to restart a race because you will be doing it often enough.
Still, I can't deny that once you get into the race, you'll probably be having a tremendous amount of fun - so much fun, in fact, that you'll find yourself looking past the interface issues just so that you can race again. There's a lot to do in Hydro Thunder, and a lot of fun to be had. I'd suggest you add this to your Dreamcast collection.
DreamcastDefunct Games
All in all, if you like racing games or taunting your friends while you careen your rocket-powered catamaran into them, then oh boy, this game is DEFINITELY for you.
DreamcastMega Fun
Wow, der Hersteller Midway stand für mich bisher immer nur für ein indiziertes Prügelspiel, und das fand ich schon nicht sonderlich gut. Aber mit Hydro Thunder bringen sie einen richtig guten Titel heraus, der mehr als nur eine Alternative zu den konventionellen Rennspielen ist. Hydno Thunder macht sehr viel Spaß und auch zu zweit kann man es ordentlich krachen lassen. Allerdings hat das Game ein großes Problem: Die Umsetzung ist zwar 1:1 gelungen, mehr aber auch nicht. Der Umfang hätte durchaus etwas größer ausfallen dürfen. Ansonsten ist der Titel trotz seiner kleinen Macker auf jeden Fall ein heißer Tipp für alle Freunde schneller Rennen.
DreamcastSuper Play
Och eftersom spelbarheten inte bjuder på några direkta överraskningar, man bara kör och kör och boostar då och då, tröttnar man på Hydro Thunder när man har sett de häftiga banorna en gång.
DreamcastGaming Target
Was I satisfied with Hydro Thunder? Well, although the Dreamcast version is a near perfect port of the Arcade, you may get tired of having the game around, and be better off showing a couple quarters down the machine. Why spend all that money for a Dreamcast title that gets old, just spend about $5.00 worth of quarters in the Arcades. However if this is your kind of game, and you can stick with it, its worth the buy and will satisfy. There isn't any slowdown in the one player game, although you may experience some during the two-player mode. Midway did a fine job on this title, hopefully we can see a sequel sometime soon.
Nintendo 64HappyPuppy
Still, the tracks are the same, the racing's fun, and the only way you're gonna get a threesome or better going, is in this one. In fact, the whole idea kind of makes me wonder what Ruthie Ann's up to these days. Maybe she's got a couple of friends...and an N64. I'll bring the game.
Nintendo 64Total! (Germany)
Sieht man einmal vom vermurksten Drei- und Vierspieler-Modus ab, so bleibt aber unter dem Strich gerade für Einzelspieler ein sehr spannender Arcade-Racer, den die Rennspiel-Fans unter euch aufgrund der spektakulären, abwechslungsreich gestalteten Strecken und des actionreichen Spielverlaufs mögen werden.
DreamcastPlanet Dreamcast
Hydro Thunder is a very fun, but fairly difficult game. If you don't take your racing games seriously, you'll probably love Hydro Thunder's style of racing and over-the-top track designs. It's certainly nice to look at, the control is solid, there's a lot to do, and it's one of the better games available for the Dreamcast right now, so you may want to give it a good look. Best of all, you won't get seasick.
Now you all must know by now what type of score this game is getting. All I have to say is that this is one of the best ports for the system yet. If SEGA keeps delivering these types of games you&of gaming to come.
The gameplay may get a little annoying, and the speeds aren’t all they could be, but if you zip up a massive ramp, appearing through a waterfall with a sheer 200ft drop, you will get a view that makes up for any imperfections otherwise found in the game. It’s a shame that Hydro Thunder only offers you a two-player option, with four joypad sockets sitting proudly on the front of the Dreamcast. This is a factor that reduces the game from being a must-have to a wellyou- might-have game. It’s very difficult not to stand aloft and applaud the superb graphics, and the detail put into each individual boat and track, although the angles can sometimes throw you unnecessarily. But as a oneplayer game, there’s perhaps not quite enough in the gameplay to have you drooling at the mouth. All in all, if you’re mad about water but can’t for Get Bass to be released, you’ve got to rush out and buy Hydro Thunder before I finish this senten…
Nintendo 64Nintendo Power Magazine
To win you'll need to find shortcuts and grab all the boosts, making the game deeper than it seems at first. Next to Wave Race, this is the coolest game in the N64 pool. The boats and levels have a fast feel, and the courses are well designed. Unfortunately, you must have the Expansion Pak for three- or four-player races.
Nintendo 64Game Informer Magazine
Hydro Thunder for the N64 certainly looks lovely, but in one-player it feels like you're navigating rivers of corn syrup rather than water. Two-player, however, feels like you're riding on a jet stream since there are only two boats to track.
Nintendo 64Daily Radar
It's not as if the N64 is yearning for some additional racing games. However, Hydro Thunder stands out as one that's well worth a play. The speedboat racing game is chock full of shortcuts, bonus tracks and boats; it also features some high-flying physics. The game has made a move from the arcade to the Dreamcast to the N64 (and also PlayStation), and while the graphics are obviously not as mindblowing as they appear in the arcade or on the Dreamcast, they're certainly worthy of the N64. It might not be the next Wave Race 64, but racing fans will be well rewarded if they check this one out.
DreamcastArmchair Empire, The
Regardless of the game being an exact port of the arcade version, Hydro Thunder still makes for a very fun title. At the end of the day it still equates to being an arcade game that can now be played at home which is fine and dandy. The game still stands above many of the other arcade racers on the Dreamcast and that's what counts.
PlayStationMega Fun
Wer Hydro Thunder noch von keiner anderen Plattform kennt, wird von diesem Spiel positiv überrascht sein. Wer allerdings schon die DC-Variante oder den Automaten gezockt hat, wird enttäuscht sein. Technisch können beide Umsetzungen damit nicht mithalten und spielerisch bieten sie auch kaum Neues. Ebenfalls unverändert bleibt der sehr hohe Schwierigkeitsgrad, über einen Mittelfeldplatz kommen beide Fassungen somit nicht hinaus.
If you loved the arcade version like I did and you don't own any other system, then Hydro Thunder is without a doubt the most rip-roaring, fun-loving boat racing game on the system. However, if you own another system, either the Dreamcast or Nintendo 64, then you should pick up one on either of those two systems, the Dreamcast version being the best of the bunch.
Nintendo 64games xtreme
I’m not 100% sure about this game. I’ve got no doubts there’s going to be quite a few people out there who like this game! Unfortunately I’m not one of them. I’ve heard lots of things about the arcade version, and this isn’t anything like the stories I’ve heard (apparently)! There is no real feel for speed in this game. I mean, after all isn’t this supposed to be the best boats money can buy? I’m not that convinced. It was ok for a while but it soon lost it’s appeal!
A PlayStation port of a powerful arcade machine obviously can't look as good as its coin-eating counterpart (and at times is downright ugly), but if you're desperate for some Hydro Thunder action, you'll still have a blast with this version.
Tout est loin d’être parfait, mais on a affaire avec Hydro Thunder à un jeu grisant de par sa vitesse et sa bonne jouabilité. De plus, le style étant peu exploité sur la machine, on bénéficie d’un gameplay un peu particulier qui apporte un peu de fraîcheur à côté de la myriade de jeux de course auto disponibles.
Nintendo 64Mega Fun
Wer Hydro Thunder noch von keiner anderen Plattform kennt, wird von diesem Spiel positiv überrascht sein. Wer allerdings schon die DC-Variante oder den Automaten gezockt hat, wird enttäuscht sein. Technisch können beide Umsetzungen damit nicht mithalten und spielerisch bieten sie auch kaum Neues. Ebenfalls unverändert bleibt der sehr hohe Schwierigkeitsgrad, über einen Mittelfeldplatz kommen beide Fassungen somit nicht hinaus.
DreamcastGamezone (Germany)
Dieser feuchte Titel ist hats schon in sich. Neben den vielen unterschiedlichen Rennbooten, welche noch zu gewinnen sind, beeindruckt das Streckendesign sehr. Abwechslung, nette Gags, riesige Wasserfälle und einige Ramps zum Springen. Auch gibt es Boost-Power-Ups zu sammeln, um noch schneller, und noch weiter zu springen. Steuerung und Grafik sind auf jeden Fall gut, keine absolute Meisterleistung, aber gelungen. Fazit: Für Race-Fans mal was anderes!
While it's obvious the developers spent more time making this version of Hydro Thunder more complete, without the graphical muscle of the arcade hardware or the Dreamcast, the PlayStation version simply isn't as impressive.
DreamcastDigital Press - Classic Video Games
The fun factor alone is enough reason to pick this game up, at least for a test run. With only the arcade and a multi-player mode to dive into, this one is over too soon. Having a party? This would be a recommended pick-up. If you enjoy playing your games alone, then there's no reason to actually spend money unless you're collecting.
WindowsPC Gamer UK
Hydro Thunder suffers from so few options, it sometimes feels like a demo. there are no time trials or championship modes, but above all, no multi-player. No Internet play, no LAN play, not even split-screen. In an arcade, that's acceptable. Single-player games become multi-player when other gamers watch, each itching for you to fail. But on a PC, without the chance to race someone human - without the pride or humiliation - it's unforgivable.
Midway nous avait surpris avec Ready 2 Rumble. La surprise est similaire avec Hydro Thunder, mais en sens inverse ! La bonne jouabilité et la diversité du jeu ne rattrapent pas les bugs et la qualité moyenne du graphisme et de l'animation. HT aurait pu être une alternative intéressante aux jeux de caisse, mais une désagréable impression de "vite fait" domine à l'écran. Et que les chargements sont longs !
PlayStationPower The PlayStation Mag / Playstation Power
No worse than N64 or DC versions, but nothing special. With graphics like these, it's hardly Gran Turismo with boats.
This game is offensively bad and will appal all who sail in her. Even if you’re a die-hard boat racing fanatic, then this game will only serve to frustrate and depress. Rubbish.