This game often gets compared to the Katamari series of games but since I have never played any of them, I cannot make a fair comparison or even highlight some features that Tornado Outbreak may borrow from the series. The premise of Tornado Outbreak is pretty straightforward....as a tornado, destroy as much stuff in your enviornment to grow bigger to destroy even more stuff while collecting "X" amount of items.
The general format of the gameplay is that, you must capture a minimum of 50 fire flyers (the bad guys) from each of the 3 zones of every level within a time limit, compete in a wind race to build a whilwind big enough to lastly enter into the boss battle. The real challenge comes in the varying layouts of each level. Fire flyers must be captured by sucking them from under the building or object that they are hiding under....which can be done by either destroying their hiding spot or being in clost proximity long enough to suck them from under it. Certain hiding spots won't appear/activate until your tornado reaches a certain size. So the challenge comes in in a level that spaces certain types of hiding spaces out, growing big enough to capture enough of the fire flyers in them, all within the time limit. The wind races really aren't that hard...the object is to zip through as many of blue orb portals as possible and to defend yourself against the orange orb portals. Every time you either miss a blue orb portal or collide with an orange one, you slow down and can possible stop (causing you to have to restart the wind race). The challenge comes in the placement of the blue orb portals after one another, the frequency of the orange orb portals, and the increase in speed you're going in. Lastly, "the boss battles" which really aren't much of ones. The bosses (with the exception of the final boss) come in the form of Fire Totems which each side of must be put out by repeatedly tapping "X". The challenge here is in the form of reaching the totem. Naturally, our central character has a weakness to sunlight (which btw serves as a barrier around each level), so in route to the Totem, you must dodge several sunlight based obstalces before eaching each Totem in the boss battle (the number varies based on game progression). You allowed to take damage 5 times before having to restart from the beginning of field you are trying to cross. Personally, I found that the game was a little too forgiving in the boss battles...losing doesn't reset the battle, just your position. So if you're fighting 4 Totems in all in a boss battle and have taken out 2 at the time your health was fully depleted, you'll still just have 2 left to take down regardless of losing.
My main and only issue with Tornado Outbreak's gameplay is it's overall lack of variety. There really isn't any variety in mission types, in the overall gameplay format, in bosses, and in the overall abilities of the central character. Over time, his appearance begins to change through the acquistion of certain times but they essentially are all cosmetic changes. You only have 2 abilities and only one is unlockable (the other you're always capable of doing). Neither ability really makes that big of a difference in completing your overall goal and is pretty much just good for collecting certain things that again really aren't all that rewarding at all.
The game's plot is as straightforward and simple as the gameplay. You play as Zephyr an apprentice wind sprite who sets out on a mission with his mentor and his army to restore a cosmic hero from another dimension to full power. This hero's enemies, the Fire Flyers have depowered him by taking the 6 orbs and hid them in various places on Earth (USA, England, & Japan). It basically ends up where Zephyr and his wind army must travel to the various locations in these countries and destory everything in their path in order to recover each orb (which obtained at the end of each boss fight). The only issue that I have with Tornado Outbreaks story is it's predictability...regardless of the twist towards the end, there are all sorts of clues as to what is really going on.
- Good ole' mindless destruction at its best
- Very fun and charming overall
- Surprisingly good voice acting
- High replay value. It's good to just pick up and play
- Can be fun to play along with a friend
- Good artistic value during the cutscenes
- The in-game visuals could have been a lot better
- No online multiplayer support (usually not a big deal for me but it would have been a nice touch for this game)
- Lack of mission variety
- Lack of any real helpful skills or power ups
- Unrewarding collectables
- Lack of Boss variety
In all, Tornado Outbreak is a very fun and charming game despite its redundancy. If you're a trophy whor...I mean hunter, the platinum on this game is no easy feat and can be down right frustrating to get!