Without a doubt, LostWinds is like finding a diamond-encrusted Hummer in your box of corn flakes. Sure, the WiiWare launch line-up hasn't been as boring as corn flakes, but there are some titles we could do without. And, LostWinds is so good, we're wondering if there'll be anything besides Alien Crush that can stand up to it this year on Nintendo's download service.



The game starts with you waking up the main character, Toku, and thrusting him into a nearby cave. Once inside, Toku discovers a Spirit Stone holding a secret. Once you pick up the stone, it starts talking to you and reveals that there is a threat looming over the world (when isn't there?). From here on out, you'll be doing some light exploration and platforming on a quest to save your home.

But, what about the meat and potatoes of the game? What about controlling Toku and using the Gust ability? Well, it's pretty fun, to be honest, but has its flaws. See, by pressing the A button, you'll slow everything down, and should you draw a line on the screen while holding that A button down, you'll direct a gust of wind there. This is how you make Toku leap across chasms and reach otherwise unreachable areas in the game.

There's a problem, though, that comes up fairly often. Sometimes, Toku just won't react to a gust of wind being directed at him. It's noticeable more when you try to take him straight up into the air then flinging a gust of wind at him horizontally, but it's an issue that comes up enough as to warrant frustration. This is really the only flaw in the game that I could find.

It isn't all platforming, however. You'll encounter several NPCs in the game and explore large environments. Here, the game almost exactly feels like The Legend of Zelda, showing the title's inspiration comes somewhat from Nintendo's long line of games. That isn't a bad thing, though, as the game never feels like it's a carbon copy of the exploits found in those titles.

And, as you explore these large environments, you'll be taken back by the sheer beauty of LostWinds' game world. Whether it's the rustling foliage that responds to your cursor or the bright light shining over a mountain during the morning, this game is a visual feast through and through. I honestly had to stop and stare at several locations in the game, just to take it all in.



Basically, LostWinds needs to be downloaded. There's no getting around how valuable an experience this is. LostWinds serves as both an example of how smaller developers can use WiiWare to present viable titles to an otherwise unreachable audience and proves that in this new age of downloads and micropayments, Nintendo is not be counted out. We're hopeful that more titles with the high level of quality in LostWinds make its way onto Nintendo's download service in the future. Until then, we'll be playing LostWinds.

Final Score: 9/10

With the recent launch of the WiiWare service on the Nintendo Wii, we've been busy getting our time in with some of the titles available for download. Be sure to check out our reviews of Defend Your Castle and Pop, as well as our early impressions of My Life as a King. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our Reviews category for more as it goes live on the site and stay tuned to the WiiWare category for more on Nintendo's new download service.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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