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Game Reviewed: Tornado Outbreak
Developer: Loose Cannon Studios
Platform: Wii (also on Xbox 360 & PS3)
ESRB Rating: E10+
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Omegaton, the anti-matter hero of another universe has been exiled and trapped on the planet earth. As Zephyr, it is your job with the help and guidance of Nimbus, the captain of the Wind Warriors, to find and collect the power orbs Omegaton needs to gain his freedom.
Team up or fly solo to tear up trailer parks, farms and idyllic vacation spots, among other locales, increasing the strength and size of your twister as you collect the enemies of Omegaton, the Fire Fliers and free elemental allies. Racing against the clock, it is up to you and the Wind Warriors to wreak havoc and destruction to keep the L.O.A.D. Starr from losing your protective covering against the Sun’s radiation. Battle against the menacing Totems defending the orbs and create the perfect twister in the Vortex race, all to gain Omegaton’s freedom.
Warning: Spoiler Alert
While Zephyr learns the ropes from the great Nimbus, suspicions that not all is as it seems begin to rise, especially after Nimbus is captured by the heinous Fire Fliers. However, Zephyr’s continued diligence to finish out the mission for the sake of his mentor soon proves him to be an unwitting agent of villainy, rather than the ally of a hero. In a quick and destructive (yes, even more destructive) change of events, Zephyr unleashes the imprisoned Omegaton to begin his rampage on the Earth. With the help of the Wind Warriors and the Elementals, Zephyr faces off against the fully empowered Omegaton.
What Parents Need to Know
This game is all about razing everything to the ground. The bigger you become the faster you become, the more you are able to obliterate. While there is no evidence of any person or creature being directly harmed, you are a tornado by definition and if it is not nailed down, you can suck it up – people and animals included.
If you beat the game, there is a short, humorous disclaimer that no animals or people were harmed in the making and playing of the video game.
No bad language.
No sexual content.
While the premise of Tornado Outbreak lies mostly in the realm of science fiction, the storyline does borrow from mythical ideas; e.g. water and stone elementals (the spirits of water and earth in physical form).
Also there are the Totems, which are physical structures representing an entity watching over a particular person or group of people. Within the game, these are mostly inanimate “guardians” (like an electric fence) that keep the objective secure from the Wind Warriors and ultimately, Omegaton.
Although these elements, in form only, are intrinsic to the game, the overall message or moral can be considered to outweigh their involvement. Boiled down, the message of this game is “not all that glitters is gold.” Or a cause is not always a worthy cause.
On the Wii, the Nunchuk is mandatory and can require a lot of energy from the player. Most of the game can be played using the control stick, but certain parts, namely the Totem Battles, require the player to vigorously shake the control to inflict damage.
Also, the two-player mode requires definitive teamwork. For example, in the Vortex Race, Player One drives while Player Two defends.
Tornado Outbreak may not be a blockbuster game, but it is definitely a worthy title. The storyline, while a bit elementary, is engaging enough to make the player wonder what is next. Playability is simple enough for the appropriate age range of 10+, while kids younger than that might have some difficulty with the time limits, of which there is no way to turn them off.
Not to mention that the further you progress, the more abilities you obtain which allows for replaying levels in a sort of “hide-n-seek” fashion to find and free certain allies.
Pulling it all together, this game is fun, humorous, and engaging for kid and adult alike, especially when played side-by-side.