The Wind Beneath My Wings

27 May

Wanting a break from Phoenix Wright: Trials & Tribulations, I gave in and purchased Lost Winds from WiiWare. After learning that Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King was more of a sim than an RPG, Lost Winds caught my attention. It’s by far, the best looking and most interesting title so far. I just spent an hour with the game, and I have to say I’m thoroughly impressed.

For starters, the visuals are, in a word, charming. The world is full of colorful, lush vegetation. The villagers don a style that looks like a mix between Peruvian and Chinese. The music adds to the charm. It rarely strays from this ambient Asian theme, but it fits so well that I often found myself loving the game even while I was backtracking.

The controls are excellent. You control the hero with the nunchuck and a wind spirit with the Wiimote. The hero is rather helpless on his own, only capable of running around, grabbing items, and leaping from ledges. With the help of the wind spirit, the hero can be thrown about on gusts of wind. He can also create slipstreams to draw fire or water to various objects. Enemies are rare, but you can toss them about with wind and defeat them by hurling them against the ground.

Controlling two separate characters is where Lost Winds displays its innovation. At one point, I found myself leading the hero down a series of cliffs while hurling a rock across the air to activate a switch. Controlling two characters at once gave me this new feeling that I rarely get while playing video games. It’s the feeling you get when you experience something really new.

I decided to save and quit just as I learned what I think will serve as majority of the gameplay. From what I’ve heard, this game is pretty short so I’ll try to pace myself to savor the fun. Expect a full review in the coming weeks.

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