Big N Café Review- LostWinds

This is how I will be scoring games from now on. There are three possible scores for retail games, and two for WiiWare and VC games. Buy, Rent and Don’t Buy, for retail games and Buy, Don’t Buy for WiiWare and VC.

LostWinds was one of the most anticipated WiiWare launch games. It had a lot of hype, and it deserved it. LostWinds is an ambitious game, its fun, looks good and plays great. It’s another gem to add to the Wii’s library, another must-buy.

The game starts off with a young boy named Toku being awakened from his nap. As he journeys back to his village, he falls into a cave and discovers the wind spirit, Enril. Enril tells young Toku about how she stopped the evil Balasar by imprisoning him in a spirit stone. But in doing so, she accidentally sealed herself in the stone as well. Now Balasar is free and Enril has lost all her power. Thus her and Toku decide to team up and stop Balasar once and for all.

That’s the basis of the games story. It doesn’t really advance much; there is very little plot development. Of course the game only lasts 3 hours, so there isn’t much room for plot. But what there is a lot of is fun.

LostWinds is a simple platformer with a twist. It’s based around using the wind to solve puzzles and reach new areas. Pressing the A button and flicking the remote upward will make Toku jump higher, but that’s just the beginning. You acquire more abilities as go along, and the game balances them all out. Each gets used continually throughout every area, and none are ever forgotten.

While platforming is the core of the game, the puzzles are its meat. Without them, this game wouldn’t be nearly as good. They are tough and they flow very well. But some of them are simple. They range from blowing fire into a wall of wooden boards, to burning a plant to make a seed, taking it to a new location and replanting it in order to reach a platform higher up.

My complaint would probably that the platforming is a little weak. They need to up the challenge and complexity of those segments. The combat isn’t a major part of the game, but there isn’t much variety in the enemies.

Visually the game excels, the art is really good, and graphical the game is one of Wii’s prettier games. The framerate is solid, not a drop in sight. Overall the presentation is spectacular. If I were to pick at the little things, I’d say the font is a tad too small, but it doesn’t affect the game at all.

The soundtrack is up right boring. The tunes aren’t bad, there just isn’t enough. There is one song that loops continually in the overworld, it’s not annoying, but the variation needs to be there. I’m quite a stickler on music, but considering the 43mb, I can’t get down on Frontier for not creating a full fledged soundtrack.

Most people will complain about the price to length ratio of LostWinds being unbalanced and rendering the game a not buy. At a price tag of 10$ and the game lasting 3 hours, that argument is feasible. But those are 3 very fun hours. I think its worth it.

Final Verdict: Buy it

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