Arctic Thunder (Xbox)

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Product Information
Swap rolling masses of water for a frozen tundra, exchange powerboats for snowmobiles, and you have Midway's follow-up to Hydro Thunder. A port of the 2000 arcade game, Arctic Thunder for the Xbox offers six additional courses, new modes of play, and the ability to increase a rider's individual attributes. As in the original, players must stave off computer opponents using a variety of power-ups in an attempt to reach each checkpoint on their way to crossing the finish line.

The ten featured power-ups consist of super boosts, health, grappling hooks, invisibility, atomic snowballs, proximity missiles, snow bombs, super attacks, rooster tails, and shields. Riding on stunt ramps automatically makes your rider perform a trick, causing more power-ups to appear on the course. Players without an active power-up can attempt to knock their competitors off their vehicles with a flurry of kicks or punches. Each fantasy course ranges in theme from Atlantis to Washington, DC.

Five modes of play include Race, Points, Battle, Training, and Arcade. Race Mode has players trying to win gold medals by placing first on each track. Arcade Mode is played with six characters on the six courses featured in the coin-op game, while Training lets players practice any of the unlocked courses without worrying about competition. Battle Mode supports up to four players in a fight within enclosed arenas. The object is to eliminate the competition within the specified round time or by reaching the kill count.

Points Mode awards points for picking up power-ups, performing stunts, attacking rivals, and finishing the course within the top three positions. These points can then be saved and used to unlock new characters, vehicle upgrades, courses, and battle arenas in the Upgrade Shop. All of this data can be saved to the hard drive or taken to a friend's house with the optional Memory Unit. Other options include three difficulty levels, a choice of split-screen views (horizontal or vertical), and three controller configurations.