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LostWinds Review

The wind of change is blowing strong

It's official: LostWinds will change your life. It's a bold statement this early in the review but it's true. It might not last very long but while it does you will be utterly charmed and equally enthralled. You're curious now, aren't you? Read on...

LostWinds is one of the first WiiWare games to become available on Nintendo's new online shop. It costs a mere 1,000 points (approx £7.50) and takes less than a minute to download. It can't be that great, right? Wrong.

From the moment you start LostWinds up it's obvious that this is no budget game. From the pleasing art style to the dreamy music and lovely sound effects this is very much a proper game.

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Bright And Breezy

Frontier's debut Nintendo game sees you taking control of a small boy named Toku and his friend, a Wind Spirit called Enril. The evil Balasar is awakening and will ravage the land unless you can do something about it. So far, so 'heard it all before' but it's the gameplay that really sets this game apart.

The adventure is, essentially, a 2D side-scrolling platformer set in a gorgeous magical land. The Nunchuk is used to move left and right (analogue stick) and to interact with items (Z button). It's the Wii Remote that gives you access to the game's big selling point - the power of the wind. Wherever you point, Enril will blow. At first this is limited to sending gusts of wind through the trees and your surroundings but you soon learn that it forms the basis for everything.

Hold A and strike a line through Toku and he'll be lifted in that direction. The strength and direction of the gust is all down to you. You soon learn to perform multiple gusts, essentially allowing you to double and triple jump through the air. You can also take out enemies with the power of the wind, whether that's with a strong gust or by blowing them into walls.

That's just the beginning though. About an hour in you'll discover that you can also control the elements. Flames can be carried in the wind in order to burn down barriers and water is be satisfyingly showered over seeds in order to make them grow. You can even suspend and spin musical blocks in the air so that they emanate a certain frequency and open doorways. It screams Zelda but that's exactly what is so good about it.

Stop, Look, Listen

Graphically and aurally, LostWinds is an absolute joy. Particle effects such as flames and water have been lovingly created and while the graphics won't blow you away (no pun intended) on a technical level they perfectly suit the game's art style. And the folk-like soundtrack is the perfect remedy after a long day behind a desk.

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LostWinds' only problem then, is that it lasts a criminally short amount of time. After three or four hours you'll beat a boss character and that is it. There you are, itching to start the next chapter, when actually the game is over.

Now don't get us wrong - there are plenty of full price games out there that are of a similar length but LostWinds sucks you in so completely that you're going to be very disappointed when it ends so prematurely. We're sure new chapters of the game are on the way and at approximately three hours each we'll be more than happy if four episodes (which should cost around £30) eventually come our way but, right now, we simply don't know if that's the case.

Ultimately though, LostWinds is a fantastic achievement that has set the standard for all future WiiWare titles. It's a little piece of heaven that you really must experience, but you should be aware that the magic is over all too quickly.

Comments

33 comments so far...
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  1. sahoskins1 Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 09:46

    very nice game indeed. this puts many expensive disk games to shame, with a bit of luck im hoping that wiiware games like this will cause developers of disk games to improve their quality due to the impressiveness of the competition

  2. Icarus_Kid Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 09:59

    *goesoff to buy lostwinds*

  3. Slayso Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 10:07

    Everybody, listen, this is what the Wii needs. Buy it. Please.

  4. Gordon Ramsey Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 10:23

    Short and sweet is what I say. :D

  5. Hylian_Red Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 11:04

    Not that is really matters but I think the game derserves a 90% or maybe just under.

    It's a pleasure to play, it really is. Once your into it, it's wierd to think that your actually playing a downloadable game.

    Not much else to say about it, just a really pleasent experience and I hope the second game isn't too far off?

  6. Anonymous Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 11:55

    90% on the dot ( its one of the first games come on its brilliant)

    and dont worry about the shortness theres a sequal or sequalsssss.... wahahahahahahahahahaha :walks off lafin like u dont know wat just happend:

  7. Moshann Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 13:16

    I'm more an RPG person than a platformer but this is a really lovely game - the graphics are wonderful and put many full price games to shame. I haven't played much of it yet (too busy with FFCC: MLAAK) but am very impressed with what I've seen so far. The length of the game seems reasonable to me considering the price of it (it will probably take me twice as long to finish it anyway). If we continue to get games of this quality I shall end up buying more WiiWare than "proper" games!

  8. Spoon-man Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 17:33

    Everybody, listen, this is what the Wii needs. Buy it. Please.

    Totally agree: this game is awesome and so if your Wii is, or can easily be able to connect, online and you have a few spare quid / Wii Points lying aroun, then you have no excuse not to buy this work of genius.

  9. princesspeachy Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 17:34

    Awesome game. And for under a tenner, it's more than worth it. GO AND BUY IT.

    Please. :)

  10. GlobboTwilight Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 17:57

    When I first read about it I was like
    'I'll get Pokemon Farm, but what else? Oohhh I dont know...'

    Now I'm like
    'OMG LostWinds, LOL, Animales de la Muerte...OH THE DECISIONS!!!'

  11. mun007 Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 18:57

    So far I've done about an hour's worth of gameplay on LostWinds and it's a great experience. Graphically this game is really amazing, and cheap too! It may not last long enough but definitely worth your Wii Points. Buy it now.

  12. ploiper Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 21:14

    this is an absolute delight to play, the wii needs more games like this. heres hopeing we see a lot more of this in the future

  13. mcr fan92 Tuesday 20th May 2008 at 22:41

    im stuck on wether to buy lostwinds or ffcc, help me decide people! i can't afford both at the moment

  14. superdudemiles Wednesday 21st May 2008 at 11:09

    Proberly the best wiiware game. FACT. Its sooo gooood that if it was longer and actually released in shops i would buy it. The graphics are stunning, the gameplay is so amazingly wonderful, its the kind of innovative game that really makes the most of the wii.

  15. martin1 Wednesday 21st May 2008 at 14:27

    just how short do you mean? coz i'm not sure i'll get it if its to short!

  16. Emms1035 Wednesday 21st May 2008 at 17:37

    Aww, it's adorable! I've been playing it for about two hours now and I've just fallen in love with it. The music is so cute and the graphics are so pretty that I could just go on here randomly just to see it and hear it.

  17. Digikid Wednesday 21st May 2008 at 18:09

    Its those little details that make the game really charming. Buy it, it is worth it but it is quite short but not very. It is still very satisfying

  18. Anonymous Wednesday 21st May 2008 at 19:37

    Great little game.
    Looks brilliant, plays very intuitively and seems to have good depth under what could have been an ultimately shallow idea.

    All in all its great. I also got FFCC from Wiiware but have been playing this because I just can't get over how refreshing it is.

    Roll on the sequel that has already been confirmed.

  19. johndfernley Thursday 22nd May 2008 at 07:02

    WANT! im off to get it - 3 hours is a bit short but its enough

  20. johndfernley Thursday 22nd May 2008 at 07:04

    im stuck on wether to buy lostwinds or ffcc, help me decide people! i can't afford both at the moment

    lostwinds

  21. johndfernley Thursday 22nd May 2008 at 07:05

    just how short do you mean? coz i'm not sure i'll get it if its to short!

    'bout 3 hours long

  22. master dingley Saturday 24th May 2008 at 19:04

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO :(

    I just realised, I went into town to buy wii points, ended up spending my money on the mighty boosh DVDs XD

    really want this game, but I only have 700 points :(

  23. legendofzelda Monday 26th May 2008 at 19:55

    for anyone worrying about it being too short, its so damned good that you wont care how long it is :P :P

  24. shadow663 Tuesday 27th May 2008 at 10:46

    I bought this and it did only take me roughly 3 hours to complete. Its a shame it was so short because i really enjoyed it. it had a nice, almost LOZ quality to it that was wicked.
    i cant wait for the sequel. as long as it stays true to the first one and maybe longer than 3 hours ill be happy

  25. plugy79 Tuesday 27th May 2008 at 12:10

    I read the article on this game in ONM so made sure I downloaded it ASAP - I love it; it's a beautiful game and has such a simple concept.

    I can't speak more highly of it - thank you Frontier :D

  26. Bleachyleachy Wednesday 28th May 2008 at 20:59

    In the latest ONM, I read the feature where they interviewed some of the developers of a bunch of wii ware games. I thought the guy from frontier was being right up himself, nobody else even mentioned their games specifically, but he was all like, "Lostwinds is great" "Buyz0r it now!" "It's better than Final fantasy!"
    (May have exaggerated slightly)
    Kinda put me off the guy. But then i bought Lostwinds anyway.

    And I now understand why he was so proud.
    It's an amazing game.
    Good work frontier. Good work.

  27. Muir Friday 30th May 2008 at 22:30

    This is another game that I am in love with!! And just so you know (incase you didnt) your wind power can have effects on others as well. (I got a right giggle out of some of the things you can do to others in the game lol) And the music...I want a OST!! I could just turn the game on and listen to the music without playing it :P

  28. steve w Thursday 5th Jun 2008 at 20:21

    Everybody, listen, this is what the Wii needs. Buy it. Please.

    I did and what a load of crap it is to rubbish controls shallow game play and very poor layout.
    3 out of 10

  29. Hunter3992 Saturday 7th Jun 2008 at 19:28

    Three hours doesn't seem that bad until you buy it, sit down and play it, and by the time you get you the credits are going. Heart braking is a good way to put it because it was a really fun game.

  30. G_R7 Monday 9th Jun 2008 at 01:23

    OK, part 2 better be coming soon as I enjoy this part far, far too much!

  31. dragon2s6 Wednesday 11th Jun 2008 at 20:56

    A truely great game. GET IT.

    So short though...

    I didn't even know I was fighting the final boss until I had already done it...

    So sad...

  32. WiiWill Sunday 13th Jul 2008 at 16:16

    i got it this morning and it is official this game is beautiful
    i love it so much
    i wish it game out as a real wii game.
    It would be next to twilight princess in my favourite list

  33. LEGEND MARIOID Wednesday 15th Oct 2008 at 16:13

    This is a more appropriate score than the 83% you gave in the mag issue. I know its only 2%, but it puts it into the 85-89% bracket.

    By the way this is one of the best platformers on the Wii, wiiware or otherwise!

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