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Hydro Thunder

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Released: 1999

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Dreamcast

Publisher: Midway

Developer: Midway

Submitted by: James Holian

Another great Dreamcast arcade port. Hydro Thunder come with a wide variety of boats and tracks which increases it's longevity. This game has improved graphics as well, even from the arcade version.
The visuals in this game pretty good. There's incredible attention to detail, and many of the graphical treats will probably go unnoticed, like the hot air balloons floating around. The water looks nice (although not as impressive as Wave Race 64), and so do all the boats. 2-player mode's frame rate hardly slows down at all and doesn't lose much detail.
That announcer can get annoying but the sound effects all have that ‘larger than life’ arcade feel, which really suit’s the game.
The control is very good. Turns are made very well and each boat handles differently. The Turbo-Boost is a great edition that you will need to master in order to beat the competition, and being able to great too. Multi-player is confined to only two players unfortunately, (strange as the N64 version has a 4-player option).
Overall I love this game. The graphics, the sound effects, the hidden boats, the secret passages, all make another great Arcade Dreamcast conversion. The hard levels can get very frustrating. Also the time limits are slim so some tracks can take a while to master. While defiantly not the best arcade racer on the console, it’s the best water-based one. Fun in quick blast’s but probably won’t hold your attention for all that long.