Wii Ware launched yesterday, and I couldn't wait to get home to download a copy of LostWinds. LostWinds is a 2.5D side-scrolling platformer where you control a little guy named Toku with the nunchuck, and the wind spirit Enril with Wii remote. Toku will automatically jump off of ledges and climb up things, like Zelda games, but will need the aid of Enril to boost him along. By pressing the A button and flicking a gust of air under Toku you can give him an extra boost and get him across longer passages.
The game looks fantastic. When Bionic Commando Rearmed was announced for PS3 and 360 I thought that something similar could be done on the Wii. Granted LostWinds' graphical quality isn't up to par with that game, it is still probably some of the best 3D graphics for a sidescroller that the Wii can produce. The world is bright and colorful with great attention to detail. When not aiding Toku you can move the wind spirit around to just blow a breeze through the trees or the nearby plants, all react in different ways. You will also use the wind to solve puzzles in order to progress Toku through the game. There may be a plant that needs watering in order for Toku to hop into it and have it shoot him up to a ledge. Draw a path from a nearby waterfall to the plant and water droplets will follow the gust and get the job done. Similar puzzles use fire to burn down vine filled passages.
The music in LostWinds is another great addition to the game. In the background you will hear the leaves rustling under the sound of native american flutes and other ambient noises. It is all very relaxing and makes the world that much more beautiful.
For $10 LostWinds is a fantastic game. I am only an hour into it but have heard that there is only two more to go. For such a fantastic looking game I would have liked to see it a little longer. God of War for the PSP is only a 5 hour game and I paid $40 for that, so this is still a good deal. Despite it's short length, LostWinds is certainly more fun, and has a lot more effort put into it than a lot of 3rd party Wii games out there today. I can't wait to go home and finish the game tonight. A sequel has also already been announced by Frontier Development. This looks like another franchise I'll keep on my radar.