This lad's got a bright future

As part of our Game of the Year Awards, Nintendo Life is inviting you to choose one game as your Reader’s Game of the Year. You can vote for anything released on a Nintendo platform in 2009, be it WiiWare, DSiWare, Wii or DS, but you only get one vote, so use it wisely!

To remind you of some of the stellar titles we’ve seen in 2009, we’ll be writing a series of articles recommending some games that you may have forgotten about in the traditional Christmas rush. Today Mr Jamie Giggs reminds us why Mistralis is the setting for such a wonderful game.

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias is the platforming sequel to the brilliant LostWinds, a popular WiiWare launch title. With the first game receiving such critical acclaim, the sequel had a lot to live up to but it managed to succeed, creating a far more rounded sequel. The puzzles are back, bigger and better than ever, and the gorgeous graphics return and flourish once flourish, but the gameplay is the real star here.

Jolly green giant

You once again take control of Toku, the main protagonist of the series, using the power of Enril to guide you across the beautifully detailed land. Along your travels you’ll come across some wonderfully warm and creative characters, one of the best being Magmok, the stupendously-sized stone guardian from the first game. Once again he aids our hero at the start of the game, creating a fantastic opening which sets the plot in motion, a simple summary being that Toku must find his mother, Magdi. The game boasts some instinctive pointer control which makes you feel like you really are commanding the winds, as well as some fantastic music; the main themes a real winner.

The attention to detail found in LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias is simply amazing, especially for a sub-40MB WiiWare title! Frontier has really captured the essence of winter, making it a great one to play on those long nights and there's surely nothing cooler than transforming winter to summer. Pretty much everything in the environment moves according to your wind abilities, especially useful when trying to find Oswald, Atticus’s lost bird friend. You'll also be guiding fires to set alight new destinations, making snowballs weigh down switches and creating tornadoes to suck up water pools, this game has it all.

You may remember the first game being a little short, despite the optional statues you could collect to extend the game's lifespan. Well, this time around collecting these gets you 3D character profiles which can be viewed under "Secrets" in the title screen, a very nice addition indeed. Finding them all isn’t the hardest of things, nevertheless it's a challenge worth doing thanks to the new incentive. There are also messages from Magdi scattered around the game telling her side of the story, which once again helps to flesh out the game's plot.

Melodias completely deserves the 9/10 rating we bestowed upon it - the production values are outstanding and it sets the bar high for other developers new to the format. Hopefully we’ll see a successful future retail series develop as a result; imagine the possibilities at Frontier’s disposal then!

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias is a fantastic sequel, it not only blows most WiiWare games out of the water, but also fully fledged Wii disc games, which is no mean feat. Simply put, if you have some spare Wii Points stored on the shop: buy this game. It really does deserve your attention and it’s absolutely worth every penny.

If you think LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias deserves your vote as Game of the Year, make sure we know about it! Use the Contact Us form, message it to us on Twitter or leave a voicemail on our Skype line at the username NintendoLife. We'll have more games lined up for your consideration in the near future, so keep coming back to see which games we think deserve your vote as Nintendo Life Reader's Game of the Year!