|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Skonec Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ignition Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 24, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Most of the frustration comes from the trial-and-error of looking for particular items or characters that make up the challenge. In the first few levels, you'll have to look for various parts for your tornado machine such as batteries to power it. Later you will have to locate members of your Cosmic Cleaners crew. There is no rhyme or reason as to where these items or characters are located, since they are usually hidden inside a building or other such structure which precludes you from spotting them on the map. A time limit of four to five minutes is imposed making it more stressful. But that's not all. In order to pick up these characters located in buildings, you will have to build your tornado up to at least a level four to pick these structures up.
But wait, there's more. An annoying character that is regarded as an insane superhero arrives on the scene to threaten your progress. The only way to get rid of him is to stun him with a series of lightning bolts. First you have to be in the fourth level. Then you have to find lightning power-up boxes so you can throw a bolt at him, but you'll have to locate several power-ups and throw several bolts before you stun him. This misadventure eats precious time from your challenge. It's really more of a distraction than anything, and it seriously impedes the fun factor. I know it's designed as an added challenge but it really does get you angry, especially when you have to replay the level over again. That's when the Arcade mode saves the day.
All you have to do in Arcade mode is grab more than half of the stuff in a particular level within a certain time. It's a lot less pressure and ultimately more fun. Even though this is a rip-off of Katamari, there's no denying that it's a unique and pleasurable gameplay experience. But the biggest annoyance is the control scheme. To keep the tornado running, you have to continue to outline the circle on the bottom of the screen while pressing the D-pad to move it in a particular direction. Then there's the option of blowing into the microphone to give it a burst of speed. It's a lesson in synchronized coordination. It would be a lot better if the tornado didn't have to be sustained with the stylus. It would also be better if the time limits were abolished, or at least we were given the option to employ them or not.
Tornado is cartoonish and colorful. It's eye-catching and benefits from some catchy pop tunes. The levels are rendered in 3D and display good graphics and animations of a variety of items being sucked up including trees, cars, houses, hotels, giant apes, skyscrapers, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, and ultimately entire cities. There is the odd hiccup in the framerate smoothness but nothing too bad.
Overall, Tornado is a good game marred by some intentional annoyances. It's a wonder why the developer chose to include them in the first place. Rent this one first.
CCC Senior Writer