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Critic Reviews

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When a title comes out like this one it makes me smile and have faith that the great arcade games you play in your local game room will show up in due time for the console. I was impressed how they added the fighting to the racing theme of this game. The weapons are too many to list. The places you race through at times are mind blowing. You do not just race in snow. You smash through buildings, towers and trees. I wish I could tell you all of them. But the best way is to go out and get this game. In this reviewer's opinion, the best way to sum up this game is to take out the old road rash games of old and inject them with super strength steroids. So put on a helmet pop this great game in and make loads of racing noises and cheer as you play it. (Oh yea, that's just me!) You can do whatever you like when you play it, just make sure no one's around to see it.
Gamezilla (Nov 11, 2001)
I had a lot of fun playing Arctic Thunder but I felt that it fell short of scoring in the nineties. It was a great idea to have some sort of point-based system so that it gave you something to strive for. Also, I felt that if it weren’t for the fact that collecting all twelve of the gold medals gave you that maxed-out character, I'm not sure I would have ever played the game in racing mode. The graphics and the sound effects also added to the overall enjoyment of the game. As I said earlier, though, the game really did remind me of Twisted Metal. For this reason I took a couple of points out of the score, sending it down to a still impressive 86. So, with that score, the game still is a great purchase for all ages to sit back and enjoy.
A frozen rendition of Hydro Thunder with insane track designs, tons of hidden characters, and challenging arcade-styled races. It sounds great, yet the suspect framerate and obnoxious effects hold it back from being anything more than average at best.
GamePro (US) (Sep 19, 2001)
The visuals fall way short of what we?ve come to expect from even average PlayStation 2 titles, which makes the choppy frame rate all the more baffling. The generic tunes and sound effects get very repetitive, but somehow they aren?t irritating, so that?s sort of a bonus. The controls handle well and there are many ways to customize the sleds, but tweaking the top speeds seems to be the only thing that has any impact on races.
Gaming Target (Nov 03, 2001)
It's not likely that Arctic Thunder will become one of the must have titles for the system. But if you are someone who is looking for a good two player game, with tons of different options from the battle mode, to the one or two player race tracks, Arctic Thunder is a racing game that'll give just about anyone an entertaining way to challenge themselves. So, for better of for worse, Arctic Thunder is not the best game for everyone, but at least it's a good way to kill some time. Those with enough cash who have a friend they want to bash, buy Arctic Thunder for the "cool" explosive fun Midway has to offer!
During times like these, I wish you could hear what you were reading. Why? Because then I could save you the trouble of reading an entire article, and sum up my review of Arctic Thunder with a single, slightly exasperated, "eh…"
Gamezone (Germany) (Oct 31, 2001)
Dieser Titel hat eine Menge Action, das war es auch schon. Die Grafik ist miserabel, so daß man den Eindruck hat, ein PS One-Game zu spielen, aber auch hier eines der schlechteren. Einzig erwähnenswert ist noch das sehr kreative Strecken-Design a la "Hydro Thunder". Steuern läst sich so ein Jetski schon, aber man weiß teilweise gar nicht mehr, wo man ist und überhaupt hinsteuern soll. Fazit: Selbst für hartgesottene lieber die Finger weg!
Game Chronicles (Sep 25, 2001)
I really wanted to like this game. I had high hopes when I learned that a snowmobile racing game was coming to the PlayStation 2. Even if Arctic Thunder does nothing more than set the new "low bar" for the genre, Midway has at least opened the door for the concept of snowmobile racing. Hopefully we will see future titles that explore the concept with a bit more emphasis put into the actual gameplay.
While snowmobile games are few and far between, only the most desperate sled-junky should bother with Arctic Thunder. Clearly inferior to its ancestor, this jerky ride suffers from terrible frame rates, sub-par sound, twitchy controls and mindless, repetitive gameplay. While there are multiple modes available, each one is simply a riff on the theme of pick-up racing, and none of them come together all that well to provide a satisfying experience.
Midway has produced a number of Thunder titles, most notably Hydro Thunder which is a really decent power boat racing game. So it's no surprise that snowmobiling should be added to their Thunder line. How could this not be a good game? Simply by not being a good game, that's how. It's unacceptable that any game on the PS2 should suffer from such slow framerate. Arctic Thunder suffers from it so badly that it ruins the entire gameplay.
38 (Jan 14, 2002)
Au Backe! Ein flauer Spielhallentitel wird durch eine äußerst schlampige Umsetzung zu einem absoluten Negativ-Beispiel. Allein die Tatsache, dass man nur durch plumpes Drücken des Gaspedals in Medaillenränge fahren kann, spricht eine deutliche Sprache. Maue Grafik mit teilweise extremen Geschwindigkeitsverlusten, plumpes Streckendesign und eine unfair agierende KI tun ihr Übriges. Jedoch muss man Midway zugute halten, dass der Titel außer Haus entwickelt wurde. Trotzdem steht der Name der ehemaligen Spielhallenmeister unter dem Spiel. Und das ist nicht gerade gut fürs Image. Unter dem Streich bleiben zwei Worte übrig: Abhaken, vergessen...
38 (Nov 02, 2001)
Zugegeben, in der eigentlichen Idee des Spiels steckt Potential, die während der Diashow manchmal auch sichtbar wird. Aber leider wird dieses von den technischen und spielerischen Unzulänglichkeiten dermassen verbaut, dass eigentlich nur noch ein überflüssiger Versuch übrig bleibt, den man als Spieler besser meidet.
GameSpot (Oct 09, 2001)
In 1999, Midway struck gold with its arcade-style boat-racing game, Hydro Thunder. Though not the deepest of racing games, Hydro Thunder had its merits. The control was tight and responsive, and the graphics really made the then-new Dreamcast shine. Now, Midway has brought its snowmobile version of Hydro Thunder, Arctic Thunder, to the PlayStation 2. Unfortunately, none of the kind words said about Hydro Thunder can be applied to its chillier counterpart.
34 (Nov 10, 2001)
If you ever receive this game as a gift (I can't recommend you buy it) there are two redeeming features. First you will receive a lovely drink coaster with Arctic Thunder on one side, and a lovely metallic blue finish on the other. The second great thing is that you will end up with a spare PS2 case which, unlike the game, has that great PS2 quality we have come to expect. In all honesty however, Arctic Thunder is hardly worth a rent let alone a purchase, and why Midway even continued developing the title after early tests astounds me. Give this game a great big miss.
Game Revolution (Oct, 2001)
Arctic Thunder is simply not a good game and can't be recommended. You'll find more arctic thunder around an outhouse in Antarctica than you will in this entire game. Don't bother to thaw.
The Video Game Critic (Feb 09, 2005)
Arctic Thunder could have been spectacular, but instead it's a choppy mess. If you're really interested in this game, check out the Xbox version, which is still flawed but at least addresses the abysmal frame-rate problem.