A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tornado Outbreak's hyper-kinetic action allows kids to revel in the fun of destroying property. Kids take on the role of a destructive windstorm and tear up one town after another. They will throw people and animals to unseen fates as well. The hero of the game is an outer space Wind Warrior, who [SPOILER ALERT] has been deceived into believing the destruction he causes is all in the name of a good cause. Through most of the game, he thinks he must tear up buildings and farms in order to unearth the evil Fire Flyers that are hiding there and plan to destroy the Earth. He discovers in the end that he was being manipulated and fights back against the true evil ones. The heroes moral dilemma can actually be quite thought-provoking.
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What's it about?
In TORNADO OUTBREAK, intergalactic Wind Warriors are enlisted to become tornados on Earth and tear up landscapes in order to find lost power orbs and the evil Fire Flyers who hid them. The eager young commander of the squad has misgivings about the destruction he is causing (\"The humans didn't ask for this,\" he says), and wants to help rebuild the Earth once their elemental war is over. Still, he carries out his orders, [SPOILER ALERT] only to discover that he was being deceived all along and was actually carrying out the plans of the evildoers. He fights back for ultimate victory.
Is it any good?
Tornado Outbreak, while not as creatively original as the Katamari games, has similiarly addictive gameplay. On each mission, you start off as a small dust devil, and as you suck up larger and larger items, your size increases until you're able to destroy barns, monuments, and even skyscrapers. It's guilty fun. There's a time element, as well as a rule about Wind Warriors' vulnerability to sunlight, which requires you to only travel within shaded areas and adds another level of challenge. The story is probably more complex than you'd need for gameplay that is essentially, "How much stuff can you break in the time limit?" But it's got the kinds of plot twists and character depth that you'd never expect from such a game, which succeeds in making the whole experience far more interesting.
Talk to your kids about ...
The concept of collateral damage is brought to the foreground by some of the cutscenes in the game. The hero feels remorse for the people he hurts, but also believes it was all done in the name of the greater good. This opens up various moral dilemmas for families to discuss, including the "I was just following orders" defense. It's heavy stuff, but, the game brings it up.
Families can also talk about the depiction of trailer parks and impoverished towns in the game. Can these stereotypes be hurtful?
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