Tuesday, March 30, 2010

H2O Overdrive and Terminator Salvation Impressions

Back when I went to New York City for the Tron: Legacy trailer I had a chance to play two of Raw Thrills newest games, Terminator Salvation and H20 Overdrive. I had wanted to post this the week I played it, but ended up getting sick and never did it. So since 2600 is still without internet access, I thought I would share my thoughts of the two games. First up, lets look at H20 Overdrive.

H20 Overdrive is the spiritual sequel to Midway's Hydro Thunder. Since the game's announcement I was looking forward to finally getting my hands on and trying the game out to see if it lives up to the hype and I was pleasantly surprised. Just like in many of the new arcade racers, you can input a code in to keep track of your progress with a number keypad. Since I'm not planning on going back to that theater in the future, I didn't bother but it's cool to see that added in to keep players coming back.

If you've played Hydro Thunder, then you'll know how to play H20 right away. You get a steering wheel, a turbo button and your throttle lever. Just like in HT you can preform a trick jump by slamming the throttle down then going up, I was never good at doing this myself, so I couldn't really pull it off. I tried three different boats and they all controlled well.

The tracks in the game are really cool, none of the tracks from HT are in the game, but they feel a lot like them with tracks that have a city underwater and even monsters floating around trying to block your path. You can hit ramps to collect power ups to increase your turbo meeter and collect an attack that can cause huge damage to any other boats in your way.

The game looks and sounds amazing. The standard cab uses a 42'' LCD display so the game is right up in your face, even when you put the seat back. (Raw Thrills is making a smaller, cheaper model this year) The game looks just as good as any PS3 or 360 game I've played in high def. The water effects look great and all the boats look cool and have their own unique look. I couldn't really remember the music because the sound effects in the game boom from the speakers. From the boats going by, explosions from your attacks and the announcer still shouts "3...2...1...GO GO GO!!!" when you start a race.

I really wish I had more time to spend with this game. It really brought me back to when HT came out in the local arcade and my friends and I would play the hell out of it. I'm also looking forward to the new Xbox Live Arcade Game of Hydro Thunder Hurricane that was just announced this past weekend at PAXEast. I'm not sure who Vector Unit is, but I hope they can recapture everything that made Hydro Thunder and H20 Overdrive great. Just so you know, these are two totally different games, so we'll see which one will be the better of the two.

Next up is Terminator Salvation. (Big thanks to Adam from Arcade Heroes for the pic) I didn't even know that this game was finished. From what I was reading I thought it wasn't going to be done for a couple of months, but there it was right next to the H20 Overdrive and Guitar Hero Arcade game. It wasn't hard to miss with the red glowing eyes from the Terminator Endoskeleton starring you down.

As the name implies the game is based off the last installment in the Terminator series. I haven't seen it yet, so I can't really tell you if it follows the story like Terminator 2. You get a pretty well done opening cinematic with Terminators mowing down people and a voice over of John Conner telling all about judgment day, the sound wasn't turned up that loud so I couldn't tell if it was Christian Bale or a sound a like actor doing the intro.

Just like T2 before it, this game is hard as hell and even though I think I'm decent at light gun shooters I was only able to make it through half of the first stage on a single credit. There's tons of Terminators on the ground and Hunter Killers in the air trying to kill you and all you have is a machine gun and a few grenades that can take out a small area of enemies on the ground. You can also pick up power ups. Shotguns and Mini Guns can be found throughout the game as well as more grenades.

When the game starts you're left out in the open swarmed by T-800's trying to kill you. You can play just like T2 and blow their heads off and take them down quicker but even though their slow moving it's still hard to get a head shot on them. Sometimes Hunter Killers will swoop in and shoot missiles at you that you have to shoot as fast as you can or take damage. I do wish they didn't throw so many enemies at you at the start of the game so you could see more of it on a credit. But then again, this is an arcade game, so they want you to keep pumping quarters in to see more of it, so if I wasn't out of singles for the change machine, I would have played more of it to see what the rest of the game had to offer.

The game looks damn good for an arcade game, a little bit better then an average 360 title but then again a huge LCD screen will make anything look good. The Terminator theme march is blasts as you mow down waves of enemies and when you shoot down Hunter Killers you're treated to an awesome mini cinematic of it smashing into a building.

The gun on the game is very unique. At first I thought it was going to be a knock off gun that Sega has been using with Ghost Squad and Rambo. But this gun has a really cool feature to it. Just like in every other light gun shooter you can shoot off the screen to reload, but the gun in Salvation has a cool feature. The magazine clip on the bottom of the gun is a button you can slam it in to reload. It's pretty cool because instead of jerking the gun to either side or down to reload you can just smack the magazine to refill you clip.

I was really pleased with both games. It's great to see that Raw Thrills is putting out good arcade games. I didn't care for Target Terror when that came out, so I was really looking forward for them to start making some great arcade only games that people will want to come back and play.

Thanks for reading my impressions and be sure to check back in on Wednesday for the final part of Sarge's NAOMI saga.

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