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Lost Winds: Winter Of The Melodias Review (Wii)

Posted by Dean Case On October - 18 - 2009

Lost Winds 2 was a game that I was curious about for a little while, I had no idea that the first game existed, and I barely ever play on my Wii. So when I heard that this was coming out I went onto the Wii shop channel, had to update my console, had to reset my console because the update wasn’t working, had to update the console again, then finally download Lost Winds 2.

My first thoughts were that the game looks a lot like Little Big Planet on the Playstation, with a pseudo 3D environment and a 2D playing area, which is pulled off well throughout the game, and the 3D backgrounds can often be interacted with and look beautiful, vibrant and colourful, the winter levels look cold and harsh and the summer looks warm and lovely, which is the perfect contrast. The colours really make this game stand out from everything and mean that enemies don’t blend into the background, which is incredibly important in platformers so you don’t get a cheap hit out of nowhere from seemingly nothing. It’s just unfortunate that the game can’t be showed in full HD, but that’s more of a hardware issue than anything.

The colour of a generic FPS compared to the vibrancy of Lost Winds 2

The thing that really affected the game for me was the controls, to make your character, Toku (a small boy who has the power of the wind spirit) jump across gaps, you have to hold down the A button on the wiimote, draw a line in the direction, and let go at the end, sounds simple right? Well it’s not, double jumping can be a right pain in the arse sometimes, and even though the game goes into slow motion whilst holding down A, if Toku drops slightly below the height needed to make a jump if he is boosted, often he will not grab onto the edge of a platform and just plummet into the ground or water below, leaving you in a flurry of “FFS!”s. Another problem I had was getting the wind line to go exactly across Toku, as a slight miss will not give him a boost, this can lead to some more unnecessary annoyances (especially after jumping a series of platforms, to fall all the way down again really got me going.) One more issue is the fact that when Toku is in mid air he will obviously begin to drop, meaning that you will have to boost him again, but the time it take to get the cursor back to the point on the screen where it needs to be can be vital to whether or not you will make the jump. The final issue is the unfortunate but occasional unresponsiveness of the controls, at some points in the game you will have to make snowballs by rotating wind in a circle around falling snow, this sometimes takes more than one try, and it’s the small things like this that can make you angry. Often due to the controls I left my session of lost winds with a stone face and an urge to break something, and for such a brilliant game with a fantastic experience waiting to be found, its a shame that my lack of coordination didn’t help. I really do think that the controls were a personal thing, as I have pretty much no hand eye coordination at all, and about an hour or two into the game the controls will suddenly just clicked for me, but iafter leaving for a few minutes i lost my focus and ended up back at square one. A jump button would really improve the game for me, and even though it may take away some of the novelty, the wind powers would definitely still have to be used for longer jumps or gaps, it could also be an option whether to turn it on or off, however, as i previously said, controls are personal, and me making these comments shouldnt deter you form buying this game jsut for its beautiful story and amazing features.

As soon as I had spent a few minutes with the game I was hooked on the storyline even though I hadn’t played the first game, and as I got further and further in, the game seemed to draw me in and the story has some truly amazing twists and turns and characters that will make you want to come back and play the game over and over again. And despite there is no voice acting, the dialogue boxes are clear and easy to read and aren’t skipped through automatically so the player doesn’t miss anything, another thing about the dialogue boxes is that they don’t have a huge amount of text in them. The story of Lost Winds, really will blow you away (no pun intended). Lost Winds 2 really is worth buying purely for the storyline, and once the controls have grown to be a part of you, you won’t regret buying the game, whether or not the game follows on from the original, I don’t know, but what I have noticed is that playing the first game wasn’t essential for storyline, unlike for example, the Metal Gear series.

The gameplay is pretty simple, although hard to categorise, if I tried I would say it was a platformer mixed with a strategy game, each enemy provides a puzzle, with each one having their own weaknesses and different ways to beat them, other puzzles include; having to open various doors with switches in different areas, having to light multiple torches from one fire, collecting a certain amount of an object into one basket, putting out fires and using the elements to help you through the journey. However the platforming elements caused hell for me at some points due to my lack of hand eye coordination probably doesn’t add to it at all.

Despite the amount of frustration that I went through playing this seemingly relaxing game, I enjoyed the storyline .characters,and overall beautiful graphics, but the controls just really were too tricky for me, and maybe ranting and acting a little over the top with them wasn’t the best thing to do. So to finish up this review I recommend buying the game, but if you haven’t played the first one and don’t have too much hand eye coordination, then don’t expect an easy break, but this is personal, and if they don’t bother you, the game is pretty perfect, with a cherry on top.

9/10

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