LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias

Winter of the Melodias places gamers yet again in the role of Toku, a young boy who uses Endril, the spirit of wind

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Frontier Developments  LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias
  • Frontier Developments  LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias
  • Frontier Developments  LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias
  • Frontier Developments  LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias

Pros

  • Wonderful use of Nunchuk and Wiimote, stunning graphics, serene environment

Cons

  • Controls can be touchy, too short, save points are too far apart

Bottom Line

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias offers a breath of fresh air from the typical "run-n-gun" offerings of many current-gen DLC titles. Terry found the WiiWare sequel to be a beautiful, inventive and charming title that, even with a few small controller quirks, is certainly worth picking up.

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WiiWare boasts just as large a library of arcade games as XBLA or PSN, but its certainly not viewed in the same light. Critically acclaimed, original downloadable Nintendo titles aren't always easy to find. But perhaps that trend is about to end.

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias (which costs 1000 Wii credits) bucks almost every shovelware WiiWare cliche. Innovative controls, solid gameplay and beautiful graphics (no, that's not a typo) make for an engaging, albeit brief, gaming experience.

As a sequel to Lost Winds, which was released on WiiWare over a year ago, Winter of the Melodias places gamers yet again in the role of Toku, a young boy who uses Endril, the spirit of wind, to do some pretty incredible things. Early in the game Toku learns that his mother is in danger and his adventure quickly begins, alongside many tricky puzzles and challenging obstacles.

Toku isn't a particularly powerful guy on his own, so mastering Winter of the Melodias's creative controls and the power of the wind are a must. Using the Nunchuk and Wiimote, gamers can use Endril to jump to hard to reach places, manipulate fire and water, create powerful vortexes and cyclones, and even control the weather. It requires a deft touch, but Toku's abilities give gamers an almost wizard-like sense of power rarely felt in the hands of a game controller.

Even more striking than the innovative controls is Winter of the Melodias's superb presentation. Soothing music and an engaging, text-based story set a peaceful mood that blends in surprisingly well with the game's platforming elements. The graphics were so stunning that I forget I was even playing a WiiWare title, and are sure to draw players in even further. No matter what environment you're in, from lush green hills to chilly snow covered mountains, gamers will be absorbed into this unique world.

Winter of the Melodias is both engrossing and imaginative, but it does have some issues that keep it from greatness. Toku's wind abilities, while powerful, can sometimes be hard to pull off. Often I'd find myself struggling to perform a manoeuvre because the overly finicky controls would force me into trial and error mode. The game's brevity (4-6 hours) and lack of frequent save points will also be a source of frustration for plenty of players.

Even with its flaws, this is an excellent title. A lovely game with charisma to spare, Winter of the Melodias shows off WiiWare's true potential.

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