May contain mild spoilers
UPDATE: The 'Hydro Blaze' part of the game has now been reviewed - read on to find out about it.
Everyone loved last years Summer of Arcade's
hit, Hydro Thunder Hurricane
, which brought not only epic game play, awesome graphics and fun levels - but also challenging achievements and awards. However is the Windows Phone 7
sequel made up to what the first game was?
The sequel which has the overt title of Hydro Thunder Go!
which relates to the game as you are constantly boosting and on the 'go', so you can see why they have named it GO!
Starting the game up for the first time, the energetic HYRDRO THUNDERRRRR... screams out at you, immediately you get a buzz, but this time it doesn't continue to say hurricane but also doesn't say go. You can see from the main menu there are infact a few different selections you can make, the obvious being Race, then theres Time Attack, a new one titled Hydro Blaze which is locked and then your Leaderboards, Achievements, Help & Options menu.
Race puts you onto the original racing event against 10 players mode, compared to 16 players on the Xbox 360 version. There is only one course (un-surprisingly) available to play, and one boat to choose from. Later on you can choose up to 9 tracks and 12 boats, one of which is a nice easter egg, a rubber duck! When you enter the race you have to confirm to start the race - this is a handy feature although it doesn't seem like it could be useful. The achievement 'Turbo Starter' can be obtained now, but takes practice. You pull down a lever, which gives the game something new as the previous version you started and off you went. The controls feel a lot more smooth compared to the analogue stick version, the boat can be very wibbly-wobbly whereas the boat doesn't crash a lot on the WP7. In the corner of the screen, there is a small square on which you can tap and hold and you can give a boost, sometimes crashing yourself into other players which causes them to go off course - which is great fun. To reach out of bounds power ups and ramps you can swipe the screen to make a leap into the air.
There are only two types of power ups in this version, similar to the first however there are no collectibles on this one. The first and most common being a blue bottle of boost which fills a small amount of your tank of boost. The second, rarest and can normally only be obtained from jumping or from ramps is a orangey/yellow bottle of boost which brings your boost level to the max.
The objective of Time Attack is to race against ghosts to try and beat their high scores. You can race on any track in any boat. This mode brings competitive and fun as you are constantly trying to show your friends who is best!
HYDRO BLAZE (NEW)
The idea of Hydro Blaze is to score as many points as you can on a rainbow road, special and interesting track. You can have any of the four expert boats, and you are on a road (similar to the Mario Kart Wii Rainbow Road track) and you have to stay on the track without falling off. There is a series of obstacles and power ups if you stay on. This brings a bonus to the game to those that have scored a large amount of points.
GRAPHICS & AUDIO
The graphics on this game are amazing, considering it's on a small handheld device platform, and the loading time is great. The 3-D effect in the background gives the game an aquatic fresh feel, as well as the reflections of the boats in the water. The audio has the same voice as the man in the first game, narrating what you have left out of your boost, whether you have crashed or even crashed into someone else. It brings an energetic feel to have someone narrating your move - especially when he gets excited when you blow someone off the course!
The achievements in this game are reasonably easy to do. You can get 5 of them without much effort. After that it requires a mixture of luck and skill, for example 'Earn a Bronze trophy or better on all stages', you will find hard to do as some tracks are exemplary hard to get a trophy on. There are also fun achievements such as the Turbo Starter, which doesn't require much skill if you know what you're doing. The rest are mainly get X amount of coins.
Overall, this game has improved a lot since the original on Xbox 360, and is long lasting and fun. There are many enjoyable things to do, such as collect coins or try and beat friends. It is definitely worth checking out if you haven't already, or if you dont have a Windows Phone 7, why not marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/Pro...
I give this game a 8/10. There are a few different modes, levels and boats to choose from, the controls are sweet and the graphics look good.