Hydro Thunder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hydro Thunder
Hydro Thunder DC cover.jpg
Arcade flyer
Developer(s)Midway San Diego
Midway Games West
Eurocom / Blue Shift (consoles/PC)
Publisher(s)Midway Games
Composer(s)Orpheus "Soundstation" Hanley
Platform(s)Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Windows
ReleaseArcade
March 1999
Dreamcast
  • NA: September 9, 1999
  • EU: October 24, 1999
Nintendo 64, PlayStation
  • NA: March 7, 2000[1]
  • EU: May 14, 2000
Windows
  • EU: April 6, 2001
Genre(s)Racing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemMidway Quicksilver II[2]

Hydro Thunder is an inshore powerboat racing video game, originally an arcade game and later released for the Sega Dreamcast as a launch title in 1999. It was also released for PlayStation and Nintendo 64 in early 2000. This game is part of Midway's Thunder series of racing games, which includes Offroad Thunder, 4 Wheel Thunder, and Arctic Thunder. Hydro Thunder Hurricane, a sequel to Hydro Thunder, was later released for the Xbox 360 on July 27, 2010 on Xbox Live Arcade.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

Arcade version showcasing the boat Banshee racing on the Ship Graveyard track

The gameplay of Hydro Thunder is similar to Sega's Daytona USA, it consists of racing high-tech speedboats through treacherous environments, from the cold seas of the Arctic Circle, to a post-apocalyptic version of New York City.

Scattered across the tracks are blue and red boost icons. When touched these icons allow the player who touched them to boost. Red boost icons are more scarce than blue boost icons due to the fact red boost icons give more boost fuel. When a player has boost fuel they may use the boost button to boost, which allows a player's boat to reach speeds much higher than what would normally be possible. Also by boosting a player can knock other boats into the air, a feature described by the game as the Mighty Hull. Another aspect of boosting is the Hydro Jump which is performed by braking and using the boost button. When combined with the many ramps on the tracks, players can reach short cuts and boost icons that would normally not be accessible otherwise.

The boats in Hydro Thunder are divided into four categories: easy, medium, hard, and bonus. The easy boats tend to be easy to control but they do not have the speed of other classes. Medium boats are in the middle, and Hard boats are usually very difficult to control but are very fast. Bonus boats are accessible by entering a combination to access the boat. The tracks in Hydro Thunder like the boats are divided into four classes: easy, medium, hard and bonus. The easy tracks are usually short and easy with the bonus tracks being the longest and hardest. The arcade version of the game had only two bonus tracks, New York Disaster and Nile Adventure. Hydro Speedway was present as a hidden track. The console versions add two more, Catacomb and Castle Von Dandy, making four in all.

Development and release[edit]

The arcade version of Hydro Thunder utilizes the same basic cabinet as Midway's earlier Hyperdrive. It has the same cabinet seat as Atari's San Francisco Rush. It also has the same steering wheel on the control panel as Cruis'n USA, minus the standard foot pedals, and adds a variable position throttle with forward, neutral and reverse directions. The game also has an unusual volume adjustment, where the regular play volume is usually set lower than the feedback volume for the subwoofer in the seat. This is intended to place the player "in the game" and make the player feel like an actual pilot of a powerful, high-tech speedboat.

In addition to the arcade, Hydro Thunder has been ported over to several home consoles. The PlayStation version of the game includes a career mode not found in the other versions. The Dreamcast version of the game has graphics that are more detailed and closer to the arcade version than the other console versions. The Nintendo 64 version allows up to 4-player local multiplayer (instead of just 2-player) when the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak is present. A standalone Windows version was released exclusively through budget re-releases in Europe. The Dreamcast port became one of the few Sega All Stars titles. Midway Games had plans to create a double pack for Hydro Thunder and San Francisco Rush 2049 under the name Hydro Rush for the PlayStation 2, but the game was cancelled and the project moved to Midway Arcade Treasures 3[4] (a compilation of Midway's many racing games) for GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, and was also included in the later Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition for Windows - neither of these versions were based on the arcade original, but rather the Dreamcast port.

Reception[edit]

The Dreamcast version received favorable reviews, while the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation versions received mixed or average reviews, according to the review aggregation website GameRankings.[5][6][7] GameSpot gave the Dreamcast version a positive review, over a week before its U.S. release date.[25]

An unnamed reviewer of Next Generation said of the arcade version in its July 1999 issue, "Boat-racing games have never been very popular, perhaps because it's hard to tune the control just right and keep the excitement as high as in a land-based game. Now, with Hydro Thunder, Midway has finally created the boat-racing game that will bring this sub-genre to the forefront."[32] Three issues later, Jeff Lundrigan of the same magazine (now labeled NextGen) said that "the Dreamcast version is just shy of being a perfect conversion."[33] Five issues after that, Eric Bratcher said that the Nintendo 64 version was "not as pretty as the Dreamcast version, but if you own an N64, you need this game."[34]

Game Informer praised the PlayStation port being as well done as the original Dreamcast version and gave praise for the decent frame rate for the two player mode and noting where other racing PlayStation games lack.[20]

Dan Elektro of GamePro's October 1999 issue said of the Dreamcast version: "With killer visuals, good physics, and addictive gameplay, Hydro Thunder will help anchor the Dreamcast on its maiden voyage. However, two-player showdowns become two-player slowdowns, and after racing alone for a while, you'll plateau in your quest to beat your best time – and that reduces the replay value. Still, Hydro Thunder swims more than it sinks, and is at least a renter for all race fans."[39][d] Six issues later, however, Lamchop said of the Nintendo 64 version, "Like the Titanic, Hydro Thunder takes to the water well-equipped, but slow gameplay is the iceberg that sinks it. You may still want to rent HT to test the waters, but consider yourself warned."[40][e] An issue later, Jake The Snake said of the PlayStation version, "If you like arcade-style racers and want a break from automobiles, don't miss the boat on Hydro Thunder."[41][f]

Cam Shea of Hyper gave the Dreamcast version 84% in its January 2000 issue, saying, "After playing the arcade version, it has to be said that Hydro Thunder is a very faithful port. Graphically this is a good thing, but in terms of replay value, the Dreamcast version suffers for its arcade heritage. It may come packing all the graphics, boats and courses, but it's very much a no frills port that ultimately has a similar replay value to the original."[42] Five issues later, however, Arthur Adam gave the Nintendo 64 version 72%, saying that it "doesn't give the impression of speed to make it a worthwhile racer, feeling more like a gentle ride up an escalator being powered by monkeys pulling a rope."[43]

Legacy[edit]

Midway had plans to create a sequel for Hydro Thunder; however, the project was soon cancelled and never recreated, though it did result in the formation of the Thunder sub-series including Offroad Thunder and Arctic Thunder. A spiritual successor to Hydro Thunder, titled H2Overdrive, was developed by Raw Thrills with the assistance of the former Midway San Diego members who worked on the original arcade version of Hydro Thunder, released in May 2009.[44] A sequel titled Hydro Thunder Hurricane was released for Xbox Live Arcade.[45] Microsoft had bought the rights to the series after Midway was acquired by Warner Bros. It was released on July 28, 2010.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Two critics of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Dreamcast version each a score of 7.5/10, one gave it 8/10, and the other gave it 7/10.
  2. ^ In GameFan's viewpoint of the Dreamcast version, three critics gave it each a score of 90, 81, and 88.
  3. ^ In GameFan's viewpoint of the Nintendo 64 version, three critics gave it each a score of 75, 70, and 73.
  4. ^ GamePro gave the Dreamcast version three 4.5/5 scores for graphics, sound, and control, and 4/5 for fun factor.
  5. ^ GamePro gave the Nintendo 64 version 4.5/5 for graphics, two 4/5 scores for sound and control, and 3/5 for fun factor.
  6. ^ GamePro gave the PlayStation version two 4/5 scores for graphics and fun factor, and two 4.5/5 scores for sound and control.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McClendon, Bill (March 7, 2000). "Out Now and Coming Soon". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on June 16, 2000. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  2. ^ "Midway Quicksilver II Hardware (Midway)". System 16. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  3. ^ Parkin, Simon (July 26, 2010). "Hydro Thunder Hurricane Review". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  4. ^ "Hydro Rush". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Hydro Thunder for Dreamcast". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 5, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Hydro Thunder for Nintendo 64". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on March 11, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Hydro Thunder for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  8. ^ Sackenheim, Shawn. "Hydro Thunder (Arcade) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  9. ^ Sutyak, Jonathan. "Hydro Thunder (DC) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  10. ^ Holoka, Chris. "Hydro Thunder (N64) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  11. ^ Thompson, Jon. "Hydro Thunder (PS) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  12. ^ D'Aprile, Jason (September 21, 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 23, 2000. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  13. ^ Mahood, Andy (April 19, 2000). "Hydro Thunder (N64)". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 24, 2000. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  14. ^ Steinberg, Scott (March 22, 2000). "Hydro Thunder (PS)". Gamecenter. CNET. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  15. ^ Edge staff (November 1999). "Hydro Thunder" (PDF). Edge. No. 78. Future Publishing. p. 75. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  16. ^ Johnston, Chris; Hsu, Dan "Shoe"; Davison, John; Chou, Che (October 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)" (PDF). Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 123. Ziff Davis. p. 213. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  17. ^ "Hydro Thunder (N64)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 129. Ziff Davis. April 2000. p. 161. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  18. ^ McNamara, Andy; Anderson, Paul; Reiner, Andrew (October 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)". Game Informer. No. 78. FuncoLand. Archived from the original on October 14, 2000. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  19. ^ "Hydro Thunder (N64)". Game Informer. No. 85. FuncoLand. May 2000.
  20. ^ a b Helgeson, Matt (April 2000). "Hydro Thunder - PlayStation". Game Informer. No. 84. FuncoLand. Archived from the original on December 2, 2000. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  21. ^ Rodriguez, Tyrone "Cerberus" (October 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)". GameFan. Vol. 7, no. 10. Shinno Media. p. 74. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  22. ^ Mylonas, Eric "ECM"; Ngo, George "Eggo"; Chau, Anthony "Dangohead" (October 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)". GameFan. Vol. 7, no. 10. Shinno Media. p. 18. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  23. ^ Weitzner, Jason "Fury"; Ngo, George "Eggo"; Mylonas, Eric "ECM" (May 2000). "Hydro Thunder (N64)". GameFan. Vol. 8, no. 5. Shinno Media. p. 13. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  24. ^ Liu, Johnny (October 1999). "Hydro Thunder Review (DC)". GameRevolution. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  25. ^ a b Stahl, Ben (August 25, 1999). "Hydro Thunder Review (DC) [date mislabeled as "April 28, 2000"]". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  26. ^ Stahl, Ben (March 2, 2000). "Hydro Thunder Review (N64) [date mislabeled as "April 28, 2000"]". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  27. ^ Stahl, Ben (March 1, 2000). "Hydro Thunder Review (PS) [date mislabeled as "May 2, 2000"]". GameSpot. Red Ventures. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  28. ^ Bowen, Kevin "Fragmaster" (September 10, 1999). "Hydro Thunder". PlanetDreamcast. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on January 31, 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  29. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (September 7, 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  30. ^ Casamassina, Matt (March 3, 2000). "Hydro Thunder (N64)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  31. ^ Perry, Douglass C. (March 20, 2000). "Hydro Thunder (PS)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Hydro Thunder (Arcade)". Next Generation. No. 55. Imagine Media. July 1999. p. 96. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  33. ^ a b Lundrigan, Jeff (October 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)". NextGen. No. 58. Imagine Media. p. 106. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  34. ^ a b Bratcher, Eric (March 2000). "Hydro Thunder 64 [sic]". NextGen. No. 63. Imagine Media. p. 89. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  35. ^ "HydroThunder [sic]". Nintendo Power. Vol. 130. Nintendo of America. March 2000. p. 121. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  36. ^ "Hydro Thunder". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Vol. 3, no. 7. Ziff Davis. April 2000.
  37. ^ "Hydro Thunder". PC Gamer UK. Future Publishing. August 2001.
  38. ^ Bottorff, James (1999). "Hydro Thunder's speedboat thrills march arcade's (DC)". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  39. ^ Dan Elektro (October 1999). "Hydro Thunder (DC)" (PDF). GamePro. No. 133. IDG. p. 138. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  40. ^ Lamchop (April 2000). "Hydro Thunder (N64)" (PDF). GamePro. No. 139. IDG. p. 110. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  41. ^ Jake The Snake (May 2000). "Hydro Thunder (PS)" (PDF). GamePro. No. 140. IDG. p. 90. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  42. ^ Shea, Cam (January 2000). "Hydro Thunder (DC)" (PDF). Hyper. No. 75. Next Media Pty Ltd. pp. 84–85. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  43. ^ Adam, Arthur (June 2000). "Hydro Thunder (N64)" (PDF). Hyper. No. 80. Next Media Pty Ltd. p. 78. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  44. ^ Shaggy (January 22, 2009). "New boat racing game by Raw Thrills' and the Hydro Thunder team to be at ATEI". Arcade Heroes.
  45. ^ McWhertor, Michael (March 26, 2010). "Hydro Thunder Returns With All-New Xbox Live Arcade Sequel". Kotaku. G/O Media. Retrieved November 29, 2021.

External links[edit]