An excellent racing game
Hydro Thunder was game originally released on the Arcades. But, for those like me who never played the arcade game, Hydro Thunder brings an excellent racing experience. And even if you have played the arcade game, the Dreamcast version still has that same racing fun to offer.
While the game isn't loaded with game modes, the main attraction about Hydro Thunder is that it's just plain fun to play. Each race course is loaded with scenery and effects, so much that I've often felt like I was taking an amusement park ride. You control a boat and you simply race each course to place as high as you can in the rankings. Along the way, not only will you be taking in the beautiful look of each course, but you'll also be collecting boosts. On your HUD, you'll see a boost gauge which looks just like a fuel gauge with an "E" and a "F". As you collect boost, the needle moves toward the F and as you use boost, the needle moves toward the E. There are many boosts to pick up, and as long as you collect them all, you'll be using boost throughout most of the race, making the racing not only fun, but fast too. As you use your boost, you can slam into another racer to send his boat flying across the track.
When you start the game, you'll begin racing easy courses with easy boats. Place third on each of these, and you'll move onto the medium courses. Place second on each medium course, and then you'll move onto the hard courses. The difficulty in the game came be challenging. If you don't pick up boosts and take some shortcuts in the harder courses, you won't finish high in the standings. You must find all of the shorcuts and boosts to win.
The graphics in this game are just amazing. Despite being a nine year old game on a nine year old console, the graphics still live up to today. The colors are great and the graphics are crisp and sharp. You'll see many great water effects including waves, waterfalls, and all kinds of colorful effects as you race each course. You'll race through caves, waterfalls, rivers, ancient landmarks, volcanoes, all kinds of stuff. Whether you win or not, seeing the scenery of each course is a reward on its own. The framerate is usually smooth, although it can dip on occasions.
The sound is also pretty cool. Each boat makes a different engine noise, and it gets louder when you boost. There is music, but between your engine noise and the sounds of other boats, you barely hear it. When you're boosting and you have other racers around you, it can get pretty loud. But if you've used all your boost and the other racers aren't close to you, it can suddenly get very quiet. But that usually won't last long. There are many sound effects, from hearing waterfalls to waves splashing. Sometimes while you're racing, a police boat will come out and race along side of you and blare his siren. If you boost into him, his boat will fly and he'll let out a comical yell. In one course, you fall down a waterfall and as you do, you'll hear a "Yee Haw" or even the tarzan yell. These are just some of the amazing sound effects. I have noticed, however, that sometimes the sound does stick.
Simply put, Hydro Thunder is an amazing racing game. It's an exciting experience you won't find in any other racing game. While it doesn't have many game modes, and the difficulty may be tough for some, the thing that keeps you coming back is the fun. And to add to that fun, you can plug in a second controller and race against a friend. So, go ahead, set sailRead full review