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LostWinds Review May 16, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Review, Wii.
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LostWinds

If it wasn’t for Nintendo taking almost three-and-a-half years for fix the storage problem that shouldn’t have even been there in the first place, I would have bought this at launch. But still, this was the perfect game to launch WiiWare. It’s a platformer who’s structure reminds me of a Metroid game in that you will be returning previously impassable areas using newly aquired skills, although the world map isn’t as expansive as the aforementioned game.

The story of LostWinds is very reminiscent of Okami in that, playing as a young boy called Toku, you must vanquish the land from an evil elemental spirit and return it to normal. You will be accompanied Enrill, the wind spirit, and this is where the control method comes in. You control Toku with the nunchuck and Enrill with the Wii remote. Using the remote, you can “draw” paths to control the direction of the wind, which in turn allows Toku to do things such as jumping higher by drawing a line upwards, or slowing down a fall by waving it from side-to-side below him. As you progress through the game you will gain new upgrades such as the ability to draw a specific path for the wind to blow, and a cape for  Toku allowing him to glide upwards.

There are plenty of puzzles throughout the game in which you have to use all of your powers to your advantage and can basically be split into three catagories. Lighting torches by using the wind to create a path of flames, moving boulders to press switches, and planting seeds then blowing water over them to grow to create a plant that acts as a cannon. These puzzles aren’t exactly taxing, but most are rather clever and add to the game’s overall quality.

Graphically, this isn’t just one of the best looking games on WiiWare, but on the Wii full stop. With vibrant colours, beautiful backgrounds and unique character design, these all help to give the game it’s own personality. Overall, the presentation is fantastic and, to the untrained eye, this could quite easily be mistaken for a full retail release.

My only gripe with the game is probably its length. It takes around three or four hours to complete, but for 1000 Wii Points it’s certainly worth the quality. Lost Winds is without a doubt one of the best games available on WiiWare, and probably ranks amongst the best downloadable games I’ve played on any system. The intuitive use of the Wii remote is something that will hopefully influence other developers, and it will be interesting to see how they improve on this in the inevitable sequel.

9/10

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