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PS3 Review: Tornado Outbreak

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As an extremely hardened and jaded critic (mostly of film), it is sometimes difficult for me to suspend my disbelief (which is shrouded in sarcasm and cynicism as it is) for the proper duration of time in order to emerge myself into something as unrealistic as a video game — particularly a video game that is aimed at the kiddies (I had a hard enough time liking things that were aimed at kids when I was a kid to begin with). So, when I sit down to destroy cutesy animated roadside attractions as a Wind Warrior named Zephyr in a game like Tornado Outbreak, I really have to wonder if I should just “let loose” and “chill the hell out.” Alas, it’s no use: this game does absolutely nothing for me.

Sure, I love to completely level an array of three-dimensional environments as much as the next guy. I can ride all about Liberty City in GTA IV, busting a cap in one mofo’s ass after another for hours on end. In the case of Tornado Outbreak, though, it gets very tiresome very fast.

The premise of the game (I really can’t use the word “plot” here) pits the aforementioned Zephyr against some bad guys called Fire Fliers, who have stolen some power orb thingies and are hiding them on Earth. In order to retrieve them, Zephyr must use his power to conjure up tornadoes to destroy some fire totem doohickeys and basically do the same damn thing over and over again, with less time and harder obstacles as each level progresses.

While I can understand why my kids like it (it’s very simple and easy), adults will probably feel like sending Tornado Outbreak out into the next twister that comes along. The graphics are pretty generic for a PS3 game (I could see this as a budget priced PS2 game, but not as a retail PS3 release), while the gameplay is about what you’d expect for a game where you are a tornado (there’s a Rudy Ray Moore joke hiding in there somewhere).

On the plus side, the audio portions of this game are rather nice, with voice artists Lev Liberman and Mike Vaughn providing a few of their many talents to the project. But voice/music/SFX aspects aside, Tornado Outbreak just doesn’t seem to have any force behind it for anyone over the age of 13.

Tornado Outbreak is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence. This game can also be found on: Wii, and Xbox 360.   

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
  • Pablo

    At least it looks like it has a unique artistic style.

  • http://levlib.com/vo Lev Liberman

    Hey, Luigi, glad you liked the audio! Here’s the inside story on voice acting for “Tornado Outbreak”: Mike Vaughn provides the voice of central character Zephyr. Lev Liberman portrays commander Nimbus, the Wind Warriors, and Stone Stomper. (Mike’s previous credits include the role of Spiderman in “Spiderman: Web of Shadows.” Lev is the voice of Lord Erebus the vampire in “Demigod.” AFAIK, David Hayter himself has never claimed to be involved with “Tornado Outbreak” — a blogger’s joke started the confusion.) Since you’ve been kind enough to praise our voice work, could ya please update your review to give credit where it’s due? Much appreciated, man.

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1993995/ Mike Vaughn

    Lev is too nice.

    Adam,
    Glad to see you did your research.
    Thanks for being such a thorough, accurate purveyor of information and opinion. I know checking things like IMDB and the actual credits on the game can really be tough… so thanks. I look forward to your next review of Indiana Jones starting Mark Hamill.

    -Mike

  • http://insomniacentertainment.com Luigi Bastardo

    Thank you, Lev. I’ll submit an update to my editors. Sorry if I caused any confusion.

    Thanks to you, too, Mike — had there of actually been a listing on, say the IMDb, for this game, I might have been able to give you proper credit. I’m surprised you haven’t added it to your list of accomplishments, considering you fully admit having been in “Zombie Strippers” and all.