I had ten dollars the other night, and so I decided to send my credit card information to Mario himself, who broke a few coin blocks and magically sent me a new game through the air from the great Nintendo unknown. I am still getting used to this WiiWare thing. It is a great honor to live in a time when we can buy full games without having to leave the house, so all of the fatties out there can celebrate not having to drive to EB and interact with someone who is a nerd (that gets paid and is probably an assface) in order to get a fun game. If future titles on WiiWare are up to the standards of Lost Winds, then I think that this downloading service might end up being quite an interesting addition to our little waggly system. Except for the people that already ran out of space on the hard drive because they couldn’t live without Donkey Kong Jr. Math.
Anyway, I found out that Lost Winds (from game designer Frontier Developments) is a game that is about a little boy who you molest using gusts of wind in some sort of Inca/Asian hybrid village full of magic and wonder. It starts off in the same way that every single video game about adventure starts out, with the main character (“Toku,”) kind of waking up and stumbling on some sort of crazy backstory-telling spirit figure who forces you to go adventuring for him before you can say “no, no, this sounds dangerous and pointless.” This spirit, “Enril,” controls the wind, which means that you, “the player,” control the wind. This is the biggest draw for Lost Winds – you can use the pointer on screen and point and draw, Okami style, little lines the cause winds to push Taco around. This is cool, as it means for the first time that when you are annoyed with how slow the player character moves (you control Toku, too, with the nunchuk), you can just say “fucking SPEED UP” and then woosh him forward. Woosh, woosh, woosh.
The game adds in special little effects and powerups as you go along, which allows you to solve puzzles in the various dungeon-ey areas, (like a mine!) and collect important pieces of a very old man’s memory. So the game is a little bit about Alzheimers as well. There are enemies, which you kill with wind, so all of you with Linka fetishes (including me because damn if her accent wasn’t a turn on) have an outlet. Seriously though, you’ve seen this type of game before. In fact, the whole game design isn’t super fresh – it wasn’t the first time I had molested a young boy with wind in a faraway land. In Lost Winds, though, things are two-dimensional, which gives the boy one less dimension to run from me makes the game rely on more platforming elements. It’s got a little bit of a Mario feel to it insofar as you constantly come across areas that are a little too high to reach, and you have to go about playing with the wind to cause fire to burn a plant to get a seed, which you plant somewhere else and water to make a helicopter leaf to fly to safety. In video game world, this is known as Old Hat, but with the addition of the wii remote and some clever ways of using it to control the wind, it is an amusing diversion.
The game also has a co-op mode, where a second person can control the wind as well, which is actually a lot more fun than obnoxious. I had a friend over and we made our way through it without me wanting to strangle him, even though as he also controls the wind he could impede Toku’s progress at any point, so don’t play with any jackasses. All in all, it’s less useful co-op than a game like Halo, but more useful co-op than Super Mario Galaxy. Honestly, that was bull.
One of the bigger draws of the game and probably the best part about it (and it is why I left this to the end) is that it’s quite beautiful and overall is a very calm game. The whole Lost Winds experience is non-threatening, the background landscapes are pretty, non-player characters giggle and react when you use the wind near them, and if you like bloom lighting effects well then this game is Boner City, Population: Your Pants. The music is serene and unassuming, and even ramps up with some drums when enemies approach, which I find helpful. It’s about as tame as they come, not very difficult, and I liked it. It’s ten bucks! You can buy it without ever having to talk to anyone! Oh, and it’s only like three hours, but with the promise of sequels. I guess that’s how Wii Ware games work though, and again, if future installments provide this quality of inexpensive, simple fun, then I am on board for the series. Choo-choo! So, and I’ve been waiting to do this:
Mr. Face say this game **good**. Mr. Face never wrong!