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LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias (WiiWare) Review

Review for LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

One of the first releases for the WiiWare download service came from UK outfit Frontier in the form of LostWinds, an innovative take on the standard platform genre. By adding the power of wind into the mix in a clever manner, the development team were able to weave in some challenging puzzle elements. After great success around the world, even in Japan, where Square Enix published it, Frontier is back with the vastly expanded sequel, Winter of the Melodias. Is the magic still there, though?

Poor little Toku has recently discovered that his mother has gone missing whilst on a trek. Upon taking up the mantle of finding her his adventure begins, taking him and Wind Spirit Enril through iced-covered locales around Melodia City and Summer Falls. Right from the start players are faced with challenges such as learning how to use Enril's power to despatch enemies and ensure Toku does not stray far from sources of heat for too long for fear of freezing to death. Other than the task of keeping Toku warm, the early stages are pretty much the same as the first game. Players take control of Enril, the Wind Spirit, who is basically a clever twist on the usual on-screen cursor featured in most Wii titles. Alone, Toku can merely wander from side-to-side, climbing up small steps. However, as soon as the power of Enril is utilised, the world opens up considerably, allowing gamers to explore the beautifully crafted land of Mistralis.

Pressing A and moving the Wii remote sharply upwards results in a gust of wind that propels Toku into the air, with repeated wafts lifting him ever so slightly higher, until Enril's power runs out. At this point it is imperative to swirl the Wii remote around to help the little guy back down to the ground without a sharp bump and consequent loss of energy. Objects can be thrown around, switches flipped, enemies thrown into the air and slammed into the ground, plus paths can be created to transport streams of fire or water around a limited distance, all thanks to Enril's windy abilities. These are features that all helped to bring the first outing to everyone's attention and help it remain one of the best games on WiiWare service so far. Winter of the Melodias takes that strong foundation and builds upon it considerably, adding plenty of new elements to please players of the original, whilst wowing newcomers to the series.

Screenshot for LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

With the majority of abilities from the first game available from the get go this time round it has given Frontier the room to use Winter of the Melodias as a platform to try out plenty of new ideas, especially in terms of what Enril can bring to the adventure. As Toku makes his way around the world, he comes across special statues of Enril that open up moves such as cyclones (lift Toku higher or suck water out of pools, turning it into clouds that can then be blown around and re-deposited elsewhere) or being able to freeze fire-based enemies and create snowballs in snowy areas. There is even the ability to drive a cyclone down into certain types of ground and uncover new pathways further down the line. Whilst there are several puzzles dotted throughout, however, most are not taxing to the point of frustration, usually ranging from finding something to keep a switch pressed down (flinging rocks around a stage until they rest upon the switch, or forming a large snowball when possible in the Winter zones to temporarily open a door for Toku to slip through) to finding items for villagers.

Additionally, there are forty-eight idols to collect and twelve pages from Magdi's journal spread around the world, with a handy map to show not only where Toku is travelling, but highlighting how many items still need to be collecting and roughly where they are hidden. The main puzzle element, though, stems from the Spirit of Seasons, Sonte, who grants the ability to switch between the frosty settings to a far warmer climate. This brings into play the idea of not being able to pass specific sections due to, for instance, a body of water being completely frozen, yet in summer it can be swam through. On the flipside, if Toku cannot force his way through a raging waterfall, switching to winter freezes said flowing water, while snow can be turned into a ball to be flung at smashable icy walls and grant further progress. LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias may still only take about six hours to complete, but for the price of just 1,000 Nintendo Points it proves to be a massive bargain, given that Frontier has managed to take the initial concept that proved so popular and add in the various aspects discussed above without mixing in any negative points.

Screenshot for LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias on WiiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Enril's wind-related talents are perfectly suited for the Wii remote's motion control and Frontier has done a sterling job of creating new moves for this sequel.

Graphics

Easily one of the most beautiful WiiWare games on the market.

Sound

The lilting tunes playing throughout are melodic and serene, adding perfectly to the adventure.

Value

It may all be over far too soon for most people's liking, but given the cheap cost, it proves to be fantastic value for money.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias is simply a marvel to play through, with Frontier taking the high quality of the original outing and building upon that strong foundation considerably. Any complaints levelled at the first game are rectified here and it leaves you wondering just what can be improved for the eventual third title...

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05.11.2009

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Developer

Frontier Developments

Publisher

Frontier

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

I'm glad that Wiiware is getting so many original and unique (not to mention well-made) games.

I think Nintendo should continue pushing and pulling in small developers.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

David Braben has said that Nintendo is being really supportive, which is great to hear. If Nintendo is willing to help out smaller developers then it will definitely encourage higher quality games to arrive on the WiiWare service.

All the better for us then! Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Yes, axactly, jesusraz.
I'm so glad Lost Winds 2 is up to the high hopes it produced. I'm going to get it and will replay the 1st one!
beautiful review, too!

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

Fantastic review Smilie

The first game was simply brilliant, and I'm so happy to see that this is living up to expectations.

Definitely Jesusraz, I really hope that Nintendo continue to pour in the support necessary, they could garner some brilliant online IPs aswell, thus making the download service on future consoles a must, again pushing sales, they just have to play the right game.

May you be in heaven for half an hour before the devil knows you are dead.
Adrian (guest) 06.11.2009 16:06#5

Great review Cubed3 thanks. Original lostwinds was excellent so I will have no regrets buying this new one! I agree with the above in that Nintendo, if they have sense, should support them fully.

Oh how I miss Wiiware. I haven't been able to download new games because I won't be updating my Wii until the update comes in disc form.. which I guess would be included in New Super Mario Bros Wii?

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

How come you're not going to update your Wii EdEN?

Thanks for all the comments so far - keep them coming in! Be sure to share your LostWinds experiences with us and leave any questions about the game you want answering by Frontier and I'll get them sent over Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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