Review by SuperVidGamer

"Fun, flighty, and frugally friendly"

LostWinds is a Wiiware launch game and has a reasonable price point of 1,000 Wii points ($10). While a brief adventure, taking me only two and a half hours to beat and three hours to find all of the relics (more on that later), LostWinds is an enjoyable platformer in what appears to be an ancient Japanese setting.

Story:
You play as a young boy named Toku, who is awakened by a wind spirit, Enril, and led to a shard of a fractured jewel that houses his power. As the player you and Toku are then treated to a brief background for how Enril came to be trapped within the jewel in the first place and about a malevolent being named Balasar who is now at large and must be stopped lest calamitous deeds be performed. Balasar will have to wait for now because Enril is far from restored to his former glory and requires Toku to help him find the remaining shards that hold his sealed power. not the most original story, but it gets the job done and sets you up for what's really important, the gameplay.

Gameplay:
This game is played using the Wiimote/Nunchuk control style and in general, Toku is played with the nunchuk and Enril is controlled by the Wiimote. Toku is not especially agile and only really moves left or right as directed by th analog stick, and will perform various tasks (grab, drop,talk, eat, etc.) as prompted with the Z button. Also, he gains the use of a special item partway through the game that is controlled by holding down Z. Enril, however, is the driving force of the game, While Toku seems incapable of Jumping vertically or scaling cliffs, Enril appears as a cursor on-screen and by holding A or B on the Wiimote (depending on the action you're trying to perform), you can use his mastery of the wind to help guide Toku through villages, caves, mines, and sunny outdoors in search of powerups, collectible idols, and other game advancing items. The controls feel intuitive and more importantly, fun. Even though LostWinds can at times fall into the standard platforming rut of being difficult to control, blowing Toku around, smashing things with boulders, and dashing enemies into the ground or walls to destroy them is a blast. Furthermore, a liberal spattering of puzzles incorporating water, fire, boulders, mushrooms, and doors range from obvious yet satisfying to imaginatively challenging but solvable are included and placed evenly throughout the game. The enemies are not often hard, but are fun to face and only minimally get in the way of the game's more predominant exploratory nature. The simple gameplay frees you as the player to enjoy the serene music and crisp calming graphics.

Graphics:
Lost Winds is a pretty game. The graphics are easy on the eyes and the interactive backgrounds are a nice touch. Although you won't see much diversity in terrain, each of the locations on the Metroid style open map are uniquely done and are satisfyingly detailed. Fire and water effects are well done and in general everything has a feel similar to Okami in the graphical sense. The graphics ultimately tie in very well with the music.

Music and Sound Effects:
Serene when exploring, somewhat more upbeat when enemies are present, the music fits the mood of the game, and while you won't be humming it when you finish, the music sounds good with the game and helps draw you in. the sound effects range from appropriate to comical and never seem out of place.

Final Word:
A fun game overall, and a wonderful new experience, that I, at least, intend to play through again. LostWinds is well worth $10 and despite several reports of game ending glitches, even if you stumble across one, you likely won't be too put off to replay from your last save point, or even from the start of the game because it is a fun experience that any Wii owner who likes platformers should try out.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/16/08


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