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Arcade, Playstation 2, Xbox
September 17, 2001
Midway Games (Arcade) Inland Productions (PS2, Xbox)
Arctic Thunder is a snowmobile racing game developed by Midway Games released as an arcade game as well as on Sony PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles, being a launch title for the latter. In the arcade version of the game, jets blow cold or hot winds, depending on the setting, in the player's face while he or she plays the game. This is a part of Midway's Thunder series, which also included Hydro Thunder, 4 Wheel Thunder, Offroad Thunder, and Hydro Thunder Hurricane. The Xbox version of this game is not currently compatible with the Xbox 360.
We all know what racing games are like, pick a vehicle and just race to the finish line trying to be faster than all the other players. But Arctic Thunder is just a little different, it has weapons. You will have the selection of 19 different characters to play as with all different power-ups and looks to your snowmobile and character. When starting 1 of the 12 races in Arctic Thunder you will notice a countdown on the top of your screen which is actually a countdown to your next checkpoint. Every checkpoint you will have 60 seconds to reach the next one. If failure is your option and you do not get to the next checkpoint in 60 seconds, the race will end and you'll lose the race. Throughout the race you will have the chance to pick up power-ups that can vary to being rockets on the side of your snowmobile, a grappling hook , or having turbo for 5 seconds. If you miss a power-up by any chance you will still be able to kick other players when next to them to knock them off. But its just not you grabbing the power-ups, AIs or other players are allowed to pick these up being able to destroy your snowmobile putting you in last place. You will see a health bar in the top right letting you know if you're close to death. Each map will have big ramps or drop offs where you will have the chance to show off some of your tricks, there are a total of 50 tricks you're allowed to pull off.
Not going to lie but the graphics in this game are pretty good for a game that was created around 16 years ago. For its age you will still be able to see shadows and great textures with the snow. You will also see low quality sparks fly off walls when hitting them and seeing the snow fly off your tracks when racing through the snow. When doing tricks or exploding things, the game runs extremely smooth without dropping any frames or lag. But its not all nice, the water effects in this game are pretty bad. You'll notice waterfalls and streams around some maps and you probably won't even notice its water. Many of the power-ups you'll receive will look like they didn't put enough graphical work into them like the grappling hook and sometimes explosions on some maps. But its an old game, can't really hate on it for the technology we had back in the day to what we have now.
Exactly like every racing game out there, the triggers are the main buttons you'll be using in this game with the side of power-ups and turning of course. All controls feel comfortable and are placed great allowing great gameplay. Power-ups are simply used by A, B, X, Y or the PlayStation version X, O, Triangle, Square. You will also have the chance to press combos of buttons to show off some tricks in game letting your opponents know you're not just some lame driving going for the win. Other than that the controls are great and players can get use to them pretty past. (There are also secret cheat codes where you press combinations of buttons allowing you to go invisible and many other cheats)