Frontier’s Lost Winds ultimately represents what Wiiware is all about. Simple games that utilize the Wii’s unique control scheme. It’s what Nintendo wants, and what Wii gamers want. Lost Winds takes all resources available and packs it into one finely built game that should stand as a blueprint for future developers.
You play as a small, young villager named Toku. His homeland is suddenly threatened by Balasar, an evil element bent on destruction. In response, Toku is granted the wind element, Enril to save the land. Enril (onscreen cursor) allows you to manipulate the wind inside the world in order to give Toku the ability to glide, jump, and complete puzzles. This is the overall main gameplay mechanic incorporated throughout the entire course of the game. I’m glad to say it works perfectly. Very similar to the stylus drawing gameplay used in Kirby Canvas Curse for the DS. Simply hold the A button, and draw the wind streams on the screen.
Some instances have you blowing water from a stream onto a dry plant, or swiping an air stream through a lit torch to burn down an object blocking your path. Defeating enemies is quite pleasing via drawing an updraft to hold them in mid-air then quickly slamming them into the ground by swiping a downdraft into them.
The audio/visual presentation in Lost Winds is astounding. This little title looks loads better than over half of the Wii disk-based titles. The art direction draws celshading elements from Wind Waker which gives the title a calm, peaceful look to it. Music in Lost Winds contains subtle Japanese sounds that offer icing onto the already beautiful presentation.
The one minor downfall would be the overall length of the story. You can fly through the title in about 3 hours without too much trouble. Replay value is there, but not enough to start a new file once the credits roll. However, in a time when gamers are beginning to lose their free time (me), Lost Winds offers a perfect pick up and play adventure that can fit into anyone’s schedule.
I really hope both Wii, and Wiiware developers take a good look at Lost Winds. So much can be done with this new service. I applaud Frontier for this title and await the newly announced sequel.
Lost Winds is available for 1000 Wii points.
-Great IR gameplay mechanic
-A bit short