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Hydro Thunder

by Midway Entertainment
Nintendo 64
Rating Pending
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $69.84
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Hydro Thunder + N64 Cirka Controller - Red
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Product Details

  • ASIN: B000035YA0
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 3 x 0.7 inches ; 6.4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,105 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Product Description


Hydro Thunder is one of those games that prove that timing is everything. The game was rushed to the Dreamcast so that it could have the advantage of being one of the few reasonably good games available at launch, and it ended up being a beautiful, if not painfully exact, arcade port. Now, more than half a year later, the game has landed on the N64. While it's obvious the developers spent more time making this version of Hydro Thunder cleaner and more user friendly, without the graphical muscle of the arcade hardware or the Dreamcast, the N64 version simply isn't as impressive. Aesthetics aside, the game hasn't changed at all from the Dreamcast version. You're still racing one of nine different boats across 12 different courses in an attempt to place first. Along the way you'll run into various obstacles, collect boosters, make insanely huge jumps, and do your best to keep your boat afloat. This game has only two modes - play on your own or play with a friend. There's no time trial, no tournament, no battle or practice mode, just the pay-per-race-styled "game" mode that you're already familiar with. Still, the user interface has been much improved, and it now sports a "restart race" command from the pause menu and offers a more comprehensive option menu. Unfortunately, the N64 version doesn't let you completely customize your controls and instead makes you pick one of two different preset control schemes, none of which emulates the controls of the Dreamcast version. This makes it almost impossible to pull off boost jumps, as the boost button is now nowhere near the brakes. Also the boats in this version seem to be almost weightless, as they float all over the screen at the slightest bump. You'll be impressed by how well the graphics translate from the arcade onto the N64. While they're not perfect, the graphics, in general, look very nice. Unfortunately, a lot of the effects are missing, and sometimes the water looks plain awful. But the most noticeable problem is how badly the frame rate suffers, as you literally trudge along at points. What was once a fast and furious arcade racer has turned into a slow, dawdling trip through the courses, all of which seem much longer this time around. Another department that suffered heavy losses is the audio department. While the in-game music is pretty much the same, the audio cues from your navigator and the engine noises are very low quality. Now all the boats pretty much sound the same, and the sound effects are rather generic. While some areas of the game have been improved, the incredibly frustrating AI hasn't been. It's still the case that the computer-controlled opponents are faster or slower depending on which boat you select. If you choose a faster, more difficult boat to control, you'll be up against faster opponents. This makes it a bit lopsided, as you get none of the pros but all of the cons inherent in choosing a more difficult boat. So, in short, the best boats to select are the slowest ones, unless you're less concerned with winning the race than you are with placing the fastest time. Perhaps the most frustrating element of Hydro Thunder is the outright difficulty. You always start in 15th place, and the only way you can win a race is by hitting every boost, taking every shortcut, and hitting no walls. As if that weren't enough, Hydro Thunder retains the time gates - an arcade element. This makes finding shortcuts more accidental than intentional, as you've no time to stop and explore the track. Most of the details present in the Dreamcast version were sacrificed, replaced with only a few minor interface improvements. While the N64 version is definitely prettier than its PlayStation counterpart, the sluggish racing keeps Hydro Thunder from being even half as much fun as it was in arcades, and the lack of other modes keeps the gameplay from being interesting. --Ben Stahl
--Copyright ©1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HYDRO THUNDER ! ! ! April 15, 2000
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
This game overwhelms the stock of racing games availible for the N64! To start off - the 1st look at this game is amazing!The graphics are incredible, true to the arcade. The contol is amazing! The responce acts just as would want.The track and boat design are very intinuitive and ingenius in a way. As you start off, the three begining boats look ok, but the 'Lost Island' and 'Artic Circle' courses are a blast - 'Hydro Speedway'is alright. The medium tracks get a little better and longer. The medium boats are considerably better. The hard tracks are as labled - H A R D ! ! ! One of the hard boats cool - Rad Hazard. Cutt Throught is alright, but Razorback handles horribly! But if you manage to get to bonus stages - you will be rewarded for your efforts! The first three bonus courses are ok - but Nile Adventure will blow away! If find some of the secret areas - they will take into the truth of how the ancient pyramids were constucted. The bonus boats are also great! This game is definatlly THE GAME TO GET! If you want fast-paced racing excitement - look no further than HYDRO THUNDER!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so bad March 13, 2000
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
Having no prior exposure to Hydro Thunder before getting it for N64, I can find only a couple things wrong with it (as opposed to the dozens mentioned in the editorial review above) and plenty of things right. First, I'll admit the game does seem a little slower than many of the other racing games out there, but it is by no means sluggish. And second, most of the courses, I feel, are too short. On the other hand, the graphics are great, the controls are easy to get the hang of and the soaring, full-throttle, look-out-below finishes are some of the most exciting and entertaining elements I have ever come across in a video game. As for difficulty...well, it depends on which of the twelve tracks you race on. The Easy tracks are a breeze. The Medium tracks are only a little harder. And the Hard tracks will take time and perserverence to master, but not too much. Once you get through all these, you get to race on four bonus tracks, the first three of which are great fun and fairly simple. The fourth bonus track, Nile Adventure, is well worth all the effort you put into getting there--the actual race, twice as long as any other, is superseded by the awesome peripheral graphics, which include giant alligators, falling statues and so many other things I can't remember them all. Multiplayer is fun, too.
I would say that this game is a mixture between Road Rash and Wave Race. It's quirky, frantic and fun, everything a good racing game should be. Definitely worth the money.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hydro Rules April 12, 2000
By A Customer
Durability: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 5.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Not being a full-time hardcore gamer like many users, I look for certain elements to a game. The 1st being the ability to quickly start playing and "pick-up" the game. Other things that I then look for are cool graphics and response---as in the "WOW! " we all experienced back on SuperNES Street Fighter II when we pressed the kick button and our guy actually immediately responded in real-time by kicking. Wellllll, suffice it to say that HYDRO-THUNDER rates off the charts in all of these categories. When you first pop the game in you can immediately figure out the basics and play. A quick skim of the manual brings you more up to speed and lets you start to do well. The graphics are out of this world! Typical MIDWAY arcade style graphics without the $1.00 per play cost. And finally is response. The boats handle extremely well(this of course varies depending on the boat you are playing with). And all the controls respond very well---when I press Turbo I start the boost, when I turn the controller my boat responds appropriately, and when I try the hydro-jump it works every time as long as I don't screw up the sequence(the sequence success is aided as well by the good button/control response). Overall this is just about the best game I have ever played. The only drawbacks are that getting to the bonus levels appears as if it will be EXTREMELY difficult, and the 3 "HARD" levels have very dark(literally) graphics--which is a stark contrast to the brightness of the 1st 6 boards......but not necessarily a detriment, just a little weird. In general this is a fantastic game...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT GAME!!!!!!! February 7, 2001
I bought this game after playing it at a local arcade. This game is incredible!!! Some of the best graphics I have ever seen! The tracks are great, with hidden shortcuts and boosters evrywhwere. You start out with three different speedboats that are loyal throughout the whole game, then as you get better and start beating the tracks in 1st 2nd or 3rd you start getting amazing tracks from Lake Powell to New York. after you get the easy mediun and hard levels and boats, You can try your luck and go for the bonus tracks and boats, which are extremely fun ranging from a fishing boat to a armed responce ship, and the tracks like Nile Adventure which will blow your mind.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Game ever!!! November 25, 2001
The best game ever is this one. With awsome 3D graphics. With the best boats and tracks, including bonus tracks and boats to win. plus even more extra boats on the tracks for fun like cruise ships. Animals and people are also in it for example killer wales and eskemos in the alaska track. The place I played this game was at a bowling party. I would give this game six stars instead of five. I would highly recommend this game for anybody who likes boats or racing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Package arrived much earlier than expected, and worked as promised.
Published 4 months ago by Zach
4.0 out of 5 stars I've always loved this game!
The cartidridge was in excellent condition, but it didn't come with a the manual like in the picture. (not sure if I was supposed to get one or not though.)
Published 12 months ago by Chandler Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic arcade style water racing
This port of the classic arcade game might be a slight step down graphics wise, but still delivers the face-paced water racing experience of the original. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Scott Whitman
5.0 out of 5 stars this is one hell of a game,folks
in this game you race all over the place,from the arctic,to utah,to ny,to china,.13 tracks the last track is cool. Read more
Published on January 26, 2004
2.0 out of 5 stars Hydro Thunder!
Hydro Thunder is an awesome 3-D Racing game.But not just any racing game, but a water-boat one!!! It has SWEAT boats!Awesome levels!And has some Pretty darn good graphics! Read more
Published on September 24, 2001 by Jacob M. Kitaeff
4.0 out of 5 stars Hydrothunder is pretty good
this game is rather fun, although a little slow for my tastes.
Published on July 31, 2001 by "sheldon_h"
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Racing Game Ever!!!!!!!
I first played this at a pizza place arcade and it is AMAZING!!!! It's fun to try out interesting new tracks and boats and it's virtually impossible to get tired of doing the same... Read more
Published on July 5, 2001
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting there, but the game still has some flaws to work out
Having played this game in the arcade, I went out and got it for my N64. I wasn't very surprised at how the game ran, because I had played it before, but I was a bit disappointed... Read more
Published on October 31, 2000 by Mike Brennan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gamer
THE BEST RACING GAME! I first played it in a movie theater arcade and was hooked. A great buy! Controls and graphics rock!
Published on May 24, 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars OK
The game was fun but the graphics weren't the best I have seen. The only really bad thing about it was when you are playing multiplayer mode you can't zoom in or out. Read more
Published on April 12, 2000
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