LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias Review
LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias box art
System: Wii (WiiWare) Review Rating Legend
Dev: Frontier Dev. 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Frontier 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 19, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The adventures of Toku and Enril continue in this second installment of the LostWinds series for WiiWare. Developer Frontier takes some of the basics from the first game to create a completely fresh experience Wii owners simply should not ignore.

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot

The game begins with a brief glimpse of a young Melodia boy who stumbles upon an artifact of great power. The scene then cuts to Toku napping atop some tree in the village of Homeset where he soon learns that his mother, Magdi, may be in grave danger. Though the gameplay and presentation speak louder than words, the story unfolds gracefully, allowing players to slowly soak up each and every savory moment of the experience.

Tracing his mother to the neighboring village of Summerfall, Toku discovers the land has been blanketed with winter's snow. Without spoiling the "why," let's just say the changes in weather play a major role in the adventure.

Like the first game, your main control over Toku is comprised of moving him with the analog stick on the Nunchuk. He can eat fruit (to heal) and interact with various other objects via the Z button, but for the most part Toku and Enril will need to work together in order to progress through the game.

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If you didn't play the first LostWinds, Enril is a wind spirit who you control by using a combination of button presses and gestures with the Wii Remote. Controlling the wind takes practice and finesse, but it never feels gimmicky. In the first game, you could propel Toku up to out-of-reach areas with two or three casts of the Gust ability (executed by pressing the A button and gesturing upward with the Wii Remote) and manipulate certain elements of the environment by using a power called Slipstream. You'll begin Winter of the Melodias with these powers already intact, so most of the real fun comes from the new abilities and environments you'll experience along the way.

Toku arrives at Summerfall ill-prepared for the biting cold, and he'll need to stay near fire lest he freeze. You'll have to light stoves at various checkpoints along the path, using the power of Enril to ignite additional torches to serve as your lifeline. It's a really fun mechanic that's only used in the very early portions of the game. By the time you reach your first, main destination, you'll acquire other means by which to negotiate the harsh cold and slippery slopes of the game world.

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot

Perhaps the main, new power you'll acquire in Melodias is Cyclone, which, as its name implies, allows you to create mini tornadoes. Like the first game, Enril's powers are used in incredibly clever ways, making the puzzles pure joy to play through. Aside from a few minor quibbles related to the final (and only real) boss in Winter of the Melodias, each large segment of the game left me with a big smile on my face.

One of the first uses you'll find for the Cyclone ability is in helping Toku to reach particularly high vistas, but before long, you'll be using the power to transfer water or drill through portions of the earth. For instance, you can cast Cyclone over a pool of water in order to form a cloud that can then be Gust to another location; casting Gust downward on the cloud will then cause it to rain, creating another pool of water. Tinkering with pools will allow you to revive plants that can propel you upward, or perhaps you'll want to change the weather, causing the water to freeze over so as to form a pathway for you to progress.

LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot

Yes, you will eventually gain the ability to change warm weather to cold and vice versa, often implementing the change several times in order to navigate a single area of the map. You can harden streams, making it possible to walk up waterfalls, or melt waterways that lead to hidden passages.

Screenshots / Images
LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias screenshot - click to enlarge

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