Raising Hell

Tornado Outbreak coverTornado Outbreak has one of the best premises in video game history – you command a tornado and must use it to destroy things. The more things you destroy, the bigger the Tornado gets, along with the things it can rip apart. It’s sure to be a hit this season with high ratings from most major video game review sites.

The title is one of the latest from Konami and was titled Zephyr: Rise of the Elementals in development, before being renamed. It is available for Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

The storyline has something to do with intergalactic elemental beings trying to save earth while collecting stuff for their giant overlord – I skipped past all the storyline guff in favour of the destruction bits.

The gameplay in Tornado Outbreak is pretty original. It’s unusual for modern games to offer something outside of the usual genre range and still be appealing – like Dungeon Keeper managed to do in the 90s – but Tornado Outbreak delivers.

So you direct a tornado around a variety of terrains and destroy everything in site while looking for these little fiery dudes that are hiding in some of the things you’re tasked with destroying. There is a time limit in which you have to find a specified amount of the fiery buggers, and collecting them adds more time to the clock. Later on in the game you can also free a variety of elementals that are hiding in each area.

The zones on offer for destruction in Tornado Outbreak are awesome. They include an army base, dinosaur theme park, a town that the designers couldn’t call London, but resembles the British capital in every other way, and a variety of other areas that I have fondly dreamed of destroying.

Tornado Outbreak screenshot

Once you’ve obliterated all the areas in a zone you need to create a storm by flying through a series of gates and then you do battle with things called ‘totems’ that surround a building, statue or other large structure that needs to be demolished.

Tornado Outbreak is good, clean fun and a great example of a game designed for consoles. It has awesome cartoony graphics, fun characters and rocking gameplay. If you’re looking for a console title to keep your thumbs busy with these holidays, look no further. My experience with the title is limited to the Xbox 360, however, so I can’t vouch for gameplay on the PS3 or Wii.

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