(WiiWare)

Game Review

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Is this Winter warmer as good as Toku’s first adventure?

LostWinds was one of WiiWare's launch titles, and is still one of the best games on the service. Now, almost a year and a half later, it has finally gotten its long-awaited sequel.

For the uninitiated, in LostWinds you took control of Toku, a young boy who found a magical crystal containing the spirit of wind, Enril. Using Enril, Toku could take advantage of the wind by manipulating it in various ways to solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Ultimately, Toku and Enril managed to rid their hometown of evil, but of course, the root of all the problems was not yet gone, leaving us waiting for the eventual sequel.

In this game, Toku is looking for his mother, Magdi, who has gone missing somewhere on the Summerfalls Mountain; a seemingly odd name, as the mountain is completely frozen over! As luck would have it, monsters have also appeared on the mountain, so the duo will have to get rid of them as well.

When you first start the game, you'll play a short prologue section as one of the titular Melodias. Right before something is about to happen, however, the progloue ends. Not much later you find out that these Melodias are now apparently a thing of the past: the only thing left of them is a ruined city on top of Summerfalls Mountain, leaving you to wonder what happened.

After this short introduction, control switches over to Toku, who almost instantly goes off in search of his mother on top of the mountain. Before he reaches the peak, the game throws a short tutorial section your way, a good thing as the first game was released over a year ago and you could easily have forgotten how to use certain moves. Each ability from the original game is still available, minus one: pay close attention to the beginning of the game and you'll see why it's gone!

The snowy environments of the mountain instantly offer new abilities and challenges - your old vortex ability, which could be used to propel objects in a given direction, can be used on falling snow to create snowballs, which in turn can be thrown or used to weigh down switches. The freezing cold is your biggest foe at the start: stay away from heat sources for too long and Toku will slowly begin to lose health to the frost. Thankfully, soon enough he gets a warm suit, meaning you no longer have to worry about it.

Not long after that, you'll begin to learn new abilities. The most important one by far is the ability to transform the mountain from a winter environment to a summer one, defrosting any lakes, removing icicles and more. Naturally, it can also be done in reverse, but you're only able to perform this switch at special shrines, as it'd be a bit too easy otherwise! There are a handful of other useful new abilities as well, but you'll have to find out about them yourself.

The game is quite a bit more story-driven this time; bit-by-bit you'll begin to unravel the mystery of the mountain and what exactly has happened to it and the Melodias, both by talking to people and finding pages of a journal written by Toku's mother. Aside from that, not much has changed, meaning you'll understand everything almost immediately and will have no trouble enjoying the game just as much as the first.

The original game has been compared to the 2D Metroid games quite frequently, and this sequel makes the comparison even easier. Frontier has made the great decision to add a map you can view at any time, so you can view exactly which rooms connect to which, and how many collectibles you're missing in each of them.

Speaking of collectibles, they actually have a use now: getting 100% in the first game did absolutely nothing, but this time, there is a "Secrets" menu you can access from the title screen, where you can unlock things by collecting all the well-hidden trinkets in the game.

The original game's graphics were great, but those here are absolutely stunning. It is without a doubt the best-looking WiiWare game yet, and you will be blown away by how good some sections look. The music is similar to that of the first game, it's mostly just atmospheric, and fits the environments well.

Conclusion

The biggest complaints about the original LostWinds were that it was too easy and therefore didn’t take long to complete. Thankfully, both of these issues have been addressed - the difficulty has been upped slightly and the game is quite a bit longer, taking about four hours to complete in its entirety. Frontier also kept in mind the saying that if something works, you shouldn't mess with it: the core gameplay is completely untouched, it's just been greatly refined. As such, if you liked the first game, you'll like this one even more. All the hype for it was completely justified.

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User Comments (54)

cheetahman91

#4

cheetahman91 said:

Might have to skip the 1st one and get this after I get Cave Story judging by the review.

JamieOStaff

#6

JamieO said:

Each Winter I build a catalogue of snow themed games and play them all at Christmas time, but Marcel's review is too good, I do not think that I should wait to start launching snowballs in a Summerfalls Mountain adventure.
The addition of a map is brilliant and 4 hours play time is good value for what is obviously a must buy WiiWare title. Frontier are a class developer/ publisher. Great reviews like this make you excited to download the game. Thanks Marcel. :)

Objection

#7

Objection said:

Exactly the review I expected. Good work (to Frontier as well), I can't wait to run through the original in preparation for the NA release of this sequel, a very exciting prospect! :)

DazzaAdmin

#9

Dazza said:

Nice review Drake, looks like you had a lot of fun with this one. I really enjoyed the first LostWinds game, so with these improvements I am sure I will love this. I'll be sure to download this soon for some fun in the snow.

Congrats Frontier, you've done it again! :-p

Xkhaoz

#10

Xkhaoz said:

I never played the first game, but I wanted to. But now, I guess I'll wait for this.

Nero

#11

Nero said:

I got this the moment it was out and yeah it took about 4 hours to complete and some more to find the additional statues I missed and I liked the switching season mechanics and there was some more puzzles this game. Map helped a lot as well. Wonderful game!

Draygone

#15

Draygone said:

Remember how launch titles like the original Lost Winds paved the way for hope of an online console with lots of inspired and well-designed games? Who would've thought that games like this would've actually been a rare breed on the service?

Twilight_Crow

#19

Twilight_Crow said:

Thanks for the nice review Drake! This game looks great, better than the first, and I love the first; definitely a must have. I wonder which I will end up buying first this or Cave Story.

SwerdMurd

#22

SwerdMurd said:

Woohoo! Frontier you guys rock--kudos on the artstyle for this game...vurry nice. One of my favorite 2.5D's, difficulty-be-damned. It's just a good atmosphere, through and through.

MayhemStaff

#24

Mayhem said:

Get thee to an NA now...! And hopefully something to enjoy across an afternoon or two...

Fleeman

#25

Fleeman said:

i don't see any reason why this game wasn't given a 10 the by the review it seems like its better then the first game in every way but still got the same score maybe the reviewer could explain why

Kid_A

#26

Kid_A said:

So what I'm wondering--as are many people here-- is, why didn't get a 10?

djshep1973

#28

djshep1973 said:

This game looks top...

I haven't played all the way through the original yet, but I certainly feel inspired to go and do so now, before downloading this sequel! Thanks for the excellent review by the way Marcel, nice one.

Objection

#31

Objection said:

I'd like to know the answers to the two mentioned questions as well:
was there anything holding this back from a 10/10?
is the ending a cliffhanger (and not a very good one) like No1 again?

Ricardo91

#32

Ricardo91 said:

Awesome! I really wanted to try the first LW, but passed it up due to it's short length (2 hours of gameplay for $10 is just a ripoff!). But since this is double the length, I'll definitely try it out.

Omega

#33

Omega said:

I don't understand why everyone is complaining that the first LostWinds is "only two hours long". That depends on how fast you run through the game. I mean relax people, are you getting paid for beating games as fast as possible or what? I have played it 7-8 hours before I finally beat it with all Melodia Idols collected. Lean back from time to time, drink a coffee and watch the beautiful graphics. Why hurrying?

Gavin_Rozee

#34

Gavin_Rozee said:

Took me 3 and a half hours with all the collectibles. Would have been less if I'd realised sooner that you had to break the walls during the final boss.

Awesome game though.

Kirk

#35

Kirk said:

I didn't like the first game that much but mostly because of the issues that they seem to have addressed in this game...

I'm not sure if I should try this or not!

DrakeStaff

#36

Drake said:

The reason I didn't give it a 10 is because, quite simply, in my opinion the first one should've gotten an 8 instead of a 9. This one is slightly better, therefore a 9 is the logical step up.

Streakk

#38

Streakk said:

I thought the first one was great, so I'll have to download this one soon for sure.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#39

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

I see what Drake is saying, but......

....for me the first game was a clear 9/10 (the same mark this site's reviewer gave it btw) and therefore this is a 10 for me as it builds on and improves the first game....IMHO...;-)

Make no mistake, this is an outstanding game, up there with world of goo and swords and soldiers.

Machu

#40

Machu said:

I played through Lostwinds again at the weekend and was reminded how beautiful it was, but how short too. I'll save downloading the sequel until I'm really desperate for an evenings entertainment.

ODOGG618

#41

ODOGG618 said:

Kid A: Why didn't it get a ten? For starters, it's only 4 hours long with zero replay value.

PUT ME TO SLEEP! You must eat a handful of pills to enjoy this game.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#42

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

That was one fracking wierd comment.

The L.Winds concept is pretty much regarded as dang good. Its a 10 for me....

MrMartinLee

#43

MrMartinLee said:

When a review says "all the hype for this game was justified," that's a pretty good sign. I'm anxious for this to come to NA!

chiefeagle02

#44

chiefeagle02 said:

Getting my Wii back sometime this week. Definitely looking forward to this one, among others I missed this summer (Contra, NyxQuest, et cetera).

VALERHU

#45

VALERHU said:

Drake, that doesnt mean it shouldnt get a 10. You just love goo to much, and think it should be the only 10.

Rawk_Hawk

#46

Rawk_Hawk said:

After playing this game and Nyx Quest it really has changed my impressions of the Wii Ware service to the point that I am excited to see what some of these talented developers like Frontier can do.

Prof

#48

Prof said:

Lost Winds is exactly the type of third party game needed by the Wii (along with World of Goo). I picked it up about a week ago, and am still amazed at the outright beauty in such a simple little game (I love the rock "giant" that carries Toku from place to place early on). One can only hope Lost Winds 3 is already in the works.

davegorack

#49

davegorack said:

Ill be geting 5000 wii ponts next week so i might buy this and the frist one. they do look like fun platformers.

ds_lover59440

#50

ds_lover59440 said:

This game is great but the only hard part is when ur in the Falls, (I AM STUCK IN THE FALLS!!!)it`s all snowy, and I keep on freezing!
And earlier 2day, I thought: "Should I have downloaded Lost Winds instead?"
I hear that people say that Lost Winds is too easy.
Is it really?
Help me decide!

Tate24

#51

Tate24 said:

am on fence with this one! played first one & this looks truly beautiful! but after 4 hours mark and few unlocks eg. character models dont think play it again! really like unlockable in games features like other modes secret characters that u play game again with! so think mite get LIT because it has sumthing 2 do after complete game... i hope lost winds 3 has more in way secrets then just character models profiles.

ps. sweet review

Yarox

#52

Yarox said:

Downloded it, played it, finished it....in.... 8 hours and 30 minutes!
I never played the first one so it was all new to me.
Conclusion: The game wasnt (for me) so short as people say it is and secondly... this game is awesome.. Get it!

grumblebuzzz

#53

grumblebuzzz said:

I didn't catch which ability doesn't return in the sequel at the beginning of the game that the review talked about. Anybody know what it is?

Supermarioman

#54

Supermarioman said:

I love how everyone said they were going to wait for Cave Story first :D I guess you will get this next week then? Also, seeing as I finally started liking the first one, I'll pick this up soon.

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