It's hard not to compare Tornado Outbreak to Katamari Damacy. In both games, you take control of a destructive entity to become bigger and more powerful as you wreck more and more objects. The difference here is that rather than roll around as a sticky ball, you wreak havoc as a growing tornado, flinging all sorts of objects into the air instead of collecting them. Like the Katamari games, this one can supply some good-natured fun, but it feels altogether too mild to hook you. A stronger visual style and a zestier story would have provided some much-needed personality, but as it stands, Tornado Outbreak isn't much more than simply cute.
6232240>It's always nice when a game congratulates you on a job well done.>None
The premise is simple: As Zephyr, the wind warrior, you maneuver a cyclone around various levels, destroying vegetation, Ferris wheels, tanks, and double-decker buses along the way. You start out as a teensy twister, flinging around rocks and grass, but the more you smash, the stronger you become. Eventually, you graduate from barrels and fences to billboards and skyscrapers. You'll earn the ability to hop onto larger objects to help break them up more quickly, as well as dash, which comes in handy when you're trying to avoid sunlight. You see, to wind warriors, the sun's rays are extremely dangerous and levels fence you in with glowing walls of harmful light.
You aren't disrupting the homes and lives of countless virtual citizens simply for the sake of wanton destruction (not that there's anything wrong with that). Your main goal is to locate and collect as many flaming critters known as fire flyers in each level as you can. There are 100 flyers in each run, and while you only need to smash up 50 to progress, finding more will improve your score. The caveat: You only have so much time in which to accomplish your objective. However, you can add seconds to the clock by gathering fire flyers into your tornado and then releasing them. The more you release at one time, the more time you have to scour the level, though you can't pull the creatures into your vortex indiscriminately. Activating the "suck" mechanic causes the whirlwind to gradually slow to a stop and forces you to release any flyers you've accumulated. This method of adding time to the clock is a cool mechanic, and managing your time wisely enough to collect all 100 critters feels rewarding. However, when the clock is ticking down and you must return to the level's end point (a device called the L.O.A.D. STARR), you'll long for some kind of minimap or obvious waypoint to help you find your way to your destination. A map would also help alleviate the frustration of not being able to immediately tell which parts of the level you can access and which you can't, given that the walls of sunlight hedging you in aren't always noticeable until you're relatively close to them.