In 2003 Microsoft was doing everything they could to keep their the infant console afloat. One of the ways they attempted this was with exclusive titles of every genre and type, from classic names we recognized like Conker and Toe Jam & Earl, to supplying the market with original titles like Blinx and Blood Wake. Many of these titles, especially the rebirths, were major failures, but some of them were just amazing. Among those is Amped 2, originally released October 28, 2003 (NA) one week behind SSX 3. The two were pitted directly against each other in a snowy race to the top of the charts.
The original Amped launched to good scores but poor sales, leaving Amped 2 with a huge job: improve on greatness, but get noticed this time. Developer Indie Built succeeded, exceeding almost all expectations at launch, delivering (at the time) amazing graphics and decent controls. It quickly was acclaimed a must-have snowboarding game and spawned fans everywhere. It included local and LIVE multiplayer, massive drop selections and a few innovative features. Bundle up and drop into this weeks Most Wanted with us.
Back in the winter of 2001 eager gamers stood in the cold overnight in anticipation of getting their hands on Microsoft’s first console, the Xbox. They took their new console home along with their selection of about a dozen launch titles. About a month later a second wave of games were released, among them was Stormfront Studios’ Blood Wake. It was an innovative title that focused on combat on the open waters. Like many titles from that time the plot had a certain amount of cheese factor, but somehow was still incredibly satisfying. But the real gem was the water physics, something ahead of its time.
Funny thing is, without Blood Wake we wouldn’t have Hydro Thunder Hurricane. See, Stormfront housed the brains and brawn behind Vector Unit, Hurricane‘s developer. Ralf Knoesel and Matt Small both worked on Blood Wake as a programmer and artist, respectively. Knoesel designed the water simulation which became one of the building blocks for the system in Hurricane. These guys have a special place in their heart for this little gem, and there are a lot of good reasons why.