Game Review: Hydro Thunder GO

Hydro Thunder GO is a new WP7 exclusive game where you race boats through chaotic waters while catching air and boost.

Overall Score: 3/5

Even though the gameplay is extremely impressive, Hydro Thunder GO takes a major overall hit because of its disappointing visuals, which have consistent frame rate issues that severely impact the gameplay. The lasting value is just slightly better than average.

Gameplay: 3/5

The gameplay is chaotic, exciting, action-orientated, and fun! However, once that frame rate starts to slow down, the game becomes frustrating, especially when the frame rate causes you to miss a boost bottle or mess up just before the finish line. If the visuals were better, the game would definitely receive a 5/5 for gameplay. The game has an incredible mix of different levels, hidden shortcuts, and different boats to race. It also has fantastic controls and engaging gameplay elements that keep you well interested. Unfortunately, the visuals ruin the experience.

Presentation: 2/5

The sound is pretty good in the game, but the visuals are miserable. The graphics are pixelated, and more importantly, the frame rate consistantly staggers. Whenever there’s a lot going on in the screen (like two opponent boats driving next to you), the frame rate slows down significantly, which can seriously ruin a race. Also, the frame rate is never truly smooth the entire time you’re playing. It definitely feels like you’re playing at lower than 30 fps all the time. And those pixelated graphics don’t please anyone either.

Lasting Value: 3/5

It will probably take you about two hours to complete the main part of the game (that is, unlocking all of the levels and boats). After that, you can compete with your Xbox Live friends in the Time Attack races (competing for the fastest time on all the tracks) and you can play the Hydro Blaze mode, where you try to use boost as long as possible on the course without falling off. So the lasting value is quite good, but those disappointing frame rate issues may prevent you from wanting to play the game over and over again.


Title: Hydro Thunder GO
Price: $4.99
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

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