Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Lost Winds: The Winter of the Melodias

6:00 PM on 11.02.2009 // Matthew Razak

When I heard the news that a second Lost Winds game was coming out I knew I had to finally download the first game and become a big fan of it. So I did download it and I did become a big fan of it. It had its flaws though. Most of these had to do with the fact that you just wanted more thanks to the short length of the game. Luckily for me there was more in the form of the sequel, Lost Winds: The Winter of the Melodias.

Promptly after finishing the first game I "popped in" the second, which instantly negated the whole length issue of the first game. Having already negated the worst thing about another game I wondered if Winter of the Melodias would continue on its streak of greatness or the winds would blow in another direction. Read on for the full review and the hopeful continuation of my wind metaphor.

Lost Winds: Winter of Melodia (WiiWare)
Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Released: October 19, 2009
MSRP: $10.00

Let's start by confirming that while Winter of the Melodias does a great job of extending the length of the first game, it does a poor job of being a long game in itself. The game would probably take about four hours to get through if you just sat down and played, which for 1000 Wii Points ($10) isn't so bad at all. Still, when those four are some of the best platform/puzzle gaming you've seen in a long, long time the real issue with the game's short running time is not that it's too short because of some made up time you think a game should be, but that it's too short because you desperately want to play more and continue the story of young Toku and the Wind Spirit Enril.

Winter of the Melodias picks up almost exactly where the first game left off, and if you thought that Lost Winds was simply going to be a one-off simplistic storyline you were about 1,000 miles from right (which is where wrong is located). Winter of the Melodias' story not only expands on the game's universe and storyline, it also strongly hints at developer Frontier's desire to make more sequels (yes, please) and has a surprisingly emotional plot for a downloadable, four hour game.

In Winter of the Melodias Toku's mother, a great explorer, has gone missing and is eventually found to be poisoned. Toku and Enril must then depart on a journey to rescue her and figure out a cure for her condition. This takes them high into the mountains where an everlasting winter has occurred and an ancient city known as Melodia lies in wait. The story is once again told through brief "cutscenes" with text boxes above character's heads, but unlike other games where this can harm the story it actually fits in well with the game's overall feel and sidescrolling nature. It also doesn't detract from the few mother/son moments as Frontier does an amazing job of showing emotion through animation and character design. An interesting story and world are often some of the things that are missing from downloadable games and Frontier delivers here in spades.

Of course it helps that the game looks absolutely amazing. I don't know if it is the graphical style or just the fact that I'm so used to poor graphics on my Wii, but I was literally stunned when I turned the game on. Characters, worlds and even simple actions are all bright, lively and, even more importantly, unique. The graphics are crisp and every aspect of the game shines with originality, despite the fact that there had already been a game in the series. It also helps that Frontier didn't simply make the foreground look great, but focused on the background of the game as well. Rarely does a sidescrolling game's world seem truly alive thanks to it having lifeless static backgrounds, but Winter of the Melodias is vibrant on all levels of depth, with activities constantly going on in the foreground and background. It may seem like a small thing, but it makes the game feel like so much more. A particularly fantastic example of this is in the first level as a giant stone creature swings along mountain tops in the background and every so often leans into the foreground and helps Toku get past obstacles. Just some absolutely brilliant game design.

Which is what Winter of the Melodias' gameplay is as well. Of course the wind controls from the first game, which still have a bit of a learning curve to them, return, with the player making Toku jump with Enril's wind power by using the Wii Remote's pointer ability to cast gusts of wind, but there's more this time around. The game features a new wind power, which is a cyclone that allows Toku to raise himself up higher or dig a whole into certain types of ground or, even more creatively, move water from one point to another by sucking it up and creating a rain cloud (this leads to some awesome puzzles). That's the small new power though, the new one is a season changing mechanic. Toku can control the seasons (summer or winter) and thus what is going on in the level. It's kind of like the old dual world mechanic that has shown up in plenty of games, where you can do some things in one world or dimension, but not in the other. Actually, it's exactly like that. 

However, while the game mechanic might not be the most original, combining it with the completely original control scheme and the ingenious world puzzles Frontier has come up with makes for some of the best platform/puzzle gaming out there. It gets even better when they throw in a "key" in the form of an ancient robot that Toku must guide around. A very basic example of this would be having to freeze a pond over by making it winter so that the "key" could cross it since it can't swim. None of these are entirely original concepts (except the controls), but by mixing all the mechanics together the game presents some immensely creative challenges. It's like a sandwich; sure bread, meat and cheese are good apart, but the putting them together makes them even better.

The game is simply an absolute joy, and while I would have liked a few more boss battles here and there to lengthen the entire thing out, I can hardly complain about anything else. If you played the first one this is a must buy. If you haven't played the first one this is a must buy. If you don't have a Wii and you've been waiting for a must buy game then you've missed a lot of must buy games already, but here's another one. While the length is annoying, it highlights a great point: you just want more of this game.

I totally abandoned that wind metaphor...

Score: 9.0 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)




Matthew Razak, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Monday reviews aren't on Monday. It's old school, trust me. OK, so I've been and editor for a while now. I probably should fill this part in a bit more fully. I've been here a while. In most a... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Donald J Trump avatarDonald J Trump
Found this image of myself on Ted Cruz's computer, disgraceful! Further proof he isn't natural born, no true American would have a disgusting image like this! (Censored by some idiot's ugly face)
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
That moment when your dog eats one of your figures but don't notice until it's to late. 10/10 Dog. Yah fuck.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Love, Lost, Live, Lost (2014) - Yesterday was me and my girlfriend's 16th year anniversary together, so I decided to share this song. It deals with being in love, losing that person, moving on, and learning to love again. It's 9 minutes long, too :P
gajknight avatargajknight
I have done my part. Thank you Niero. Question: Does blocking someone also remove their front-page articles too?
iam16bit avatariam16bit
I've been on this site for sometime and for some reason I've never done a quickpost until now.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
So I'm hearing the UN called Japan in to discus "Banning the sale of video games or cartoons involving sexual violence against women " Which by Anita's standards = any Violence able to be done. Japan sent a 40 page long NO back to the UN in reply.
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Why did I have to read that Austin Grossman was going to be one of the writers on a cancelled Half-Life 2 episode?
Parismio avatarParismio
Dammit its 3 and i cant stop reading cute gay romance mangas.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Going to be honest; I love out-of-context anime screenshots. They're... kind of incredible.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Retweet of the year goes to President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., Shuhei Yoshida.
Voodoome avatarVoodoome
Just got home from Deadpool and ... it's not good. I liked the jabs at Green Lantern and the previous movie Deadpool, but that was about it. The rest was just painfully forced dick jokes. Wife fell asleep.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Larxinostic rule34
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Looks like I'm not gonna be able to 100% Tearaway Unfolded until Monday at the least. I'm definitely writing about it this weekend and am trying my hardest to get my screenshots off of my PS4 (especially hard as I don't do social media anymore)
Darth Wachen avatarDarth Wachen
I've never done a blog before, so I may as well try one with a review of Stranger of Sword City....well, when I get entered into that contest of course
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Shakedown Hawaii is giving me good GTA vibes. I missed the topdown GTA games when they were a thing. I have to decide what platform to get it for since it's coming to 3DS/Vita/PS4/PC (probably the Vita version for moi).
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
You think your art sucks? Here's the rule34 I made of Larx yesterday. Look at it and despair.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hey Dreamweaver? If you think your art sucks, you should have a look at my magnum opus. It's of Cloud from the popular game, Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I never thought this would happen, but here I am. all of my 700+ pokemon gone in one day. My cart stopped working and there's nothing I can do. I quit, you can't just rebuild all that. Time to find something else.
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Tom Collins is a pretty great drink, and well suited for poutine. consumption
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
It may be because I've been drinking but... We need some dung beetles from ark for the front page. Move that dung on out.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -