Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 56
  2. Negative: 1 out of 56
  1. 83
    It's not nearly as robust at what you'd expect from a current-gen racing title, but, at 15 dollars, Hydro Thunder Hurricane's blast of late-arcade-era nostalgia is a perfect match for Xbox Live Arcade.
  2. AceGamez
    Sure, it has its share of faults; the visuals are a bit hit and miss and its long term value is dependent upon a required penchant for time attack chasing, but my God, give in to Hurricane's OTT aesthetics, its arcade handling and its complete disregard for the laws of physics and you'll be in for one hell of a ride.
  3. A quality racer that won't break the budget, we expect Hydro Thunder Hurricane to make waves this summer.
  4. If you fancy a different take on the racing genre and want something that lives and breathes the arcade experience, then go take yourself for a skinny-dipping session in Hydro Thunder Hurricane, as this is the best Xbox Live Arcade racer yet on the system.
  5. I love getting a good value for my money. If a game can offer me 50 entertaining challenges to overcome and then multiplayer I can happily spend my hard earned cash. It only has a few shortcomings, one of them, being in the over-saturated racing genre, but new comers and veterans alike will enjoy themselves.
  6. At its core, though, is Hydro Thunder Hurricane's handling model. Swerving between subtlety and throttle every few seconds, it graces tracks that provide both competitive dashes and full-on fairground rides. All this is wrapped up in a perpetually rewarding structure that keeps these precious elements fresh, making up a comeback that holds its first principles close.
  7. The two multiplayer modes - a straight race between eight players online, and Rubber Ducky, in which two teams try to nose their rubber duck past a threshold before their opponents - provide a good balance of competition and playfulness.
  8. This brand new episode of the Hydro Thunder franchise in a great example of a well designed arcade racing game. The water effect is realized in a fantastic way, with the right amount of movement and the perfect reaction to every single kind of interaction. If you are looking for a funny, single player and multiplayer game, you should definitely consider Hydro Thunder. Unfortunately, the game has 8 tracks only.
  9. Hydro Thunder Hurricane compensates for the simple and fun approach. This is a title capable of providing a sense of freshness, very useful these days.
  10. A decent game that can provide hours of fun, but there are better offerings and its price tag might be a bit too high.
  11. In the spirit of the arcade racers of the past, Hydro Thunder Hurricane does no wrong with its back-to-basic arcade rooted gameplay. The action is fast, super fun, and worth the investment.
  12. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is clearly a work of nostalgia, there aren't really any new ideas here, just a fervent desire to return video game racing to a time when speed and fun meant more than complex career modes and customizable liveries.
  13. Hydro Thunder Hurricane destroys its predecessor by providing more of what made it such a classic to begin with, and improving upon it.
  14. Hydro Thunder Hurricane shines with its crazy core racing mechanic, but falls short because of a repetitive single player component and meager list multiplayer options.
  15. 80
    Midway Games would be proud to see what Vector Unit and Microsoft have done with the Hydro Thunder franchise -- it's a really good example of how old-school arcade games could (and should) be updated for HD console releases.
  16. There are few XBLA titles that warrant a $15 price tag. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is one of them.
  17. Hurricane is a worthy sequel to Hydro Thunder. The tracks offer variety and have a lot of dynamic obstacles, the game offers some strategy and the multiplayer lengthens the replayability.
  18. Waves crashing and dinosaurs jumping out of the water are just two of the many things this water racers has going for it. The controls are brilliant, and the only thing keeping it back is a lack in variation.
  19. Old school arcade racer updated for the HD-generation, apart from the fact that this doesn´t feel HD at all. The racing is good fun and the track-layout great, but Hydro Thunder Hurricane never loses the feeling of being a cheap arcade game, and at 1200 MS Points it unfortunately isn´t.
  20. Fast, cool and furious. Hydro Thunder is good fun for a couple of hours, especially if you play it with a bunch of friends, either online or offline. But there really should be more meet to the game, don't expect Hydro Thunder Hurricane to last past the summer.
  21. It's hardly one of the best games on the Xbox Live Arcade, but it might be one of the strongest in terms of providing an actual "arcade" experience without the need for quarters.
  22. With only eight courses and a handful of ships per class, the real problem with Hurricane stems from the fact that you'll have seen everything the game has to offer in an afternoon. It's the gaming equivalent of having a bag of Haribo to yourself – it's colourful, enjoyable and great while it lasts, but before you know it there's nothing left, and you're left feeling a little bit empty inside.
  23. This aquatic arcade racer is fun, fast-paced, and features fantastically varied courses to compete on.
  24. It looks like racing junk food, but is in fact totally hardcore. We're betting many players will give it a whirl and dismiss it as shallow before ever getting to the serious, beautifully crafted design underneath.
  25. Hydro Thunder Hurricane will not be the stand out title of the 'Summer of Arcade', but for fans of the original and newcomers alike, it is a wonderful experience that deserves your attention.
  26. Hydro Thunder Hurricane doesn't make a huge splash, but riding the waves and boosting for shortcuts make for some good, cheap summer thrills.
  27. If you're looking for a fun arcade-style racer that you don't have to plop a disc into your machine to play, Hydro Thunder Hurricane is definitely a more than worthy candidate.
  28. An experience that never stops giving, even after hours of play. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is the must-have arcade racer of 2010.
  29. The game is still balls-to-the-wall crazy in its concept, but the execution just feels a bit... watered down.
  30. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a fast racing game for casual players and fans of the Burnout series.
  31. While I found most of the single-player modes to be a bit of a drag and the way things get unlocked for single-player could have been handled a bit more smoothly, the online multiplayer is what earns Hydro Thunder Hurricane its keep. It's a fast-moving and thrilling online race that offers just enough content to fit with its downloadable-sized pricing.
  32. 55
    Between uninspired references to the original game and its reliance on aged arcade racer elements, Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a dull, monotonous experience that shows its hand early and fails to deliver on its pedigree.
  33. 80
    This is a great, content-rich title that truly puts the "arcade" in Xbox Live Arcade -- there are better retail racers, but Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a dynamite download.
  34. 80
    The action is intense and the game is undeniably fun with unlockables all over the place.
  35. At first this seems like a perfectly suited title for XBLA. But despite a great first impression, a well crafted cooperative mode and attractive presentation you'll find some cracks in the facade after a few hours. Too few levels and a somewhat lacking sense of speed dampens what is otherwise one of the very best racing titles on XBLA.
  36. Not the game we were hoping for, maybe a full release in the future will help this series gain back what it lost here.
  37. Big dumb fun doesn't have to be quiet this witless, but this is still a fairly competent arcade update.
  38. Very variegated tracks, many play modes and a good selection of boats make Hydro Thunder a good game, thanks to the online multiplayer too.
  39. Not much has changed with the gameplay in the 11 years between games, but it does stay true to its arcadey racer roots that provides fun for everyone.
  40. Dec 13, 2010
    Coming straight from the '90, Hurricane successfully replicates the gameplay of the first episode, coming up with an arcade game that is not really common nowadays. Not for everyone, but if you are missing the old good coin-op days, this could be a nice choice.
  41. 90
    It's the tracks themselves that are the star.
  42. Official Xbox Magazine
    Hydro Thunder: Hurricane revitalizes the rumbling core of the 11-year-old coin-op, serving up a winning combination of arcade accessibility, tense maneuvering, and cartoonish maritime mayhem. [Oct 2010, p.84]
  43. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is absolutely what we hoped it would be - a colourful, anarchic arcade racer. Your mileage will vary depending on how gripped you are by score chasing, but the multiplayer should keep you busy - not least because you can bring three split-screen friends online with you. For a measly tenner, Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a steal.
  44. 80
    Hydro Thunder Hurricane is an extremely accessible and entertaining arcade racing game. You're not likely to find a better game involving speedboats than this one.
  45. The game's updated look is a HUGE improvement over the original, as everything has been overhauled while still maintaining and even improving the environmental changes that occur on each new lap of a track.
  46. It's the oddball moments, as when a Nordic ship pulls up behind you and begins ramming your boat for no apparent reason, that give Hurricane the irreverent momentum that makes it worthy of a download.
  47. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is marred primarily by its own high standards, and as a result it feels less like an XBLA title than a cut down full release; it's a full game struggling under the shackles of the downloadable medium.
  48. Vector Unit has certainly succeeded in its mandate of "big games in small packages" with Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and for that alone it's hard not to recommend. Despite its shortcomings Hydro Thunder Hurricane is ultimately a fun game to play and a worthy XBLA purchase.
  49. 85
    A wisely made game, and an example of how a racing arcade should be.
  50. 1200 Microsoft Points might be seen as a lot by some people, but there's really a lot of content here, all wrapped up in some of the slickest presentation seen in an arcade-style XBLA release.
  51. With a solid technical background and good multiplayer, Hydro Thunder Hurricane shows the capabilities of the Xbox Live Arcade.
  52. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Only those who'll pick up on its knowing secret collection voiceover need apply. [Issue#63, p.101]
  53. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Ponderous and lightweight racing atop near-vaporous water. Go and have a bath instead. [Oct 2010, p.121]
  54. With the inclusion of online and local multiplayer, the replay value is definitely here as you'll always be learning new hidden paths and an unlimited amount of human opponents over Xbox Live.
  55. 70
    Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a very decent arcade game but will only hold you in its grasp for a few hours. It's a fun game and a great tribute to the original game that appeared on the SEGA DreamCast.
  56. 93
    Everything I loved about Hydro Thunder has returned with Hurricane and more. The fun and addicting gameplay, the huge selection of boats and courses, and the speed all make for a great day of racing. Throw in some new single player and multiplayer modes, Hydro Thunder Hurricane will keep you racing until your fingers fall off.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 76
  2. Negative: 7 out of 76
  1. Apr 2, 2011
    Oh man this game brings back memories. Me and my friends used to play this and SEGA Bass Fishing all day, every day back on the Dreamcast.Oh man this game brings back memories. Me and my friends used to play this and SEGA Bass Fishing all day, every day back on the Dreamcast. Well, not this exactly, the original, but this is so close its not even funny. Except this one's way better. The core gameplay remains the same. You drive drifty speedboats through over-the-top courses complete with dragons and giant Norse gods with swinging axes and what not. You fill up boost meters, draft rivals, and pull off huge jumps. There are several modes like race, ring master (where you drive through ring gates as fast as possible), gauntlet and championship. You get bronze, silver, and gold medals based on your finish and are placed on leaderboards. There is also multiplayer which pretty much explains itself. There are also boats, skins, levels and other things to collect. The graphics here won't blow you away because this is essentially the Dreamcast game, although now visuals have been given a little HD polish and there are spray effects and better lighting. Not that the original looked bad, its just more than a decade old and needed a touch up. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a lot of fun and worth every bit of the 1200 point asking price. Full Review »
  2. DaveD
    Jul 31, 2010
    Arcade racing bliss! To play it, is to love it. An accomplished update to the infamous racing classic. Well done, Vetor unit.
  3. Apr 28, 2011
    Beautiful, the one word that describes this game best. Exciting arcade racing that doesnt take realism into account so much, which allows theBeautiful, the one word that describes this game best. Exciting arcade racing that doesnt take realism into account so much, which allows the game to be enjoyable and do things more serious racers don't. This game is brilliant, the arcade feel, the multiplayer the complete package one of the best racing games on xbox live, another dreamcast remake that lives should be seen as an instant xbox live arcade classic. Full Review »