Tornado Outbreak Review
Tornado Outbreak box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Loose Cannon 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Konami 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 28, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

After you've completed the zone areas, you'll then need to form a vortex. This amounts to little more than steering Zephyr through an on-rails race, and it's probably the weakest aspect of the game. Control feels clumsy, but luckily, these sequences are brief.

Tornado Outbreak screenshot

Once your vortex is fully established, however, it's time to take on the totems. Though the premise is the same each time you face the totems, the approach is varied up nicely. You'll once again have to avoid sunlight, as well as molten projectiles being lobbed your way. Upon reaching a totem, you'll then waggle the Wii Remote to attack a certain portion of the totem before a gate closes in on your troupe of Wind Warriors. Waggling feels like a completely unnecessary addition, and the lack of any rumble feedback means it isn't very fun, either.

There is a co-op option for two players, and though it can be mildly amusing, it doesn't actually make the gameplay any easier. In fact, co-op makes completing zones more difficult, since you'll have to share your consumption of objects with another player, causing you to level up more slowly. When you and your buddy are in close proximity, the camera is a single-screen view, though it will automatically change to split-screen when you move further apart from each other. It's jarring to say the least, but you can set the camera for a constant-split-screen configuration in the options menu.

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In terms of visuals, Tornado Outbreak once again shoots itself in the foot. It's certainly no looker from a technical standpoint, but the various themes are fun to explore. The real problem, however, is that most levels are dark to the point of making it impossible to see many of the objects within a given zone, and you'll end up wasting precious time wandering about aimlessly. The framerate holds up fairly well, though, and the animated cutscenes are attractive.

On the audio front, all of the dialogue is voiced competently, and the music, though unoriginal, fits the gameplay like a glove. As your tornado grows in size, the music intensifies. Once the zone timer begins to count down the final minute, things really get hectic. The sounds of cobbles clanking and bushes being uprooted sound great, and on the whole, the sound effects and music do a bang-up job of lending excitement to the experience.

Tornado Outbreak has a solid foundation built around a compelling gameplay idea. After all, Katamari Damacy offered an inventive and addictive formula that has yet to be fully explored. Adding the destructive nature of tornadoes to the equation is definitely something we're ready to get onboard with. Unfortunately, Konami doesn't quite hit the mark here, though they're off to a good start. The level of challenge is brutal, but a lot of that is due to poor design. Additionally, the lack of variety, anemic collection of unlockables, and a short story mode make this a better candidate for the WiiWare platform.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
The look and style of the game are enjoyable, though the fidelity isn't great. The lighting is simply too dark most times, making an already challenging game impossibly difficult.
3.8
Control
Controlling Zephyr feels intuitive and fun. The waggle could have been entertaining with a bit of rumble feedback, but it ends up falling flat.
4.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice work is well delivered, though the dialogue is over the top in its seriousness. Music and sound effects add a nice bit of excitement to the adventure.
3.0

Play Value
The presentation is solid, though it also feels pretty light. Were the game not so difficult, most players would zip through it in only a handful of hours. With a few tweaks, Tornado Outbreak would make an excellent WiiWare title.

3.2
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Diverse action packed gameplay gets both casual and hardcore gamers tearing through towns!
  • Tear through 11 high definition, beautifully stylized levels.
  • Double the destruction by playing cooperatively with a friend in multiplayer mode.


  • Screenshots / Images
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