Thursday, October 29, 2009

Game's I've Loved this Year: Part 2 - Lost Winds

I like epic games, and I like intense action games just as much as much as anyone but I also enjoy smaller more focused games. That's why I'm so happy with the appearance of services like WiiWare, Steam and Xbox Live Arcade. The fact that smaller developers can now produce smaller games with smaller teams, and still market their work in an economically viable way is one of the best things to happen to the industry in years. So I want to take this opportunity to sing the praises of Frontier Games, and their "Lost Winds" series.

The first "Lost Winds" game launched with the WiiWare service, and it is still one of the best games on the WiiWare store... along with Mega Man 9 and World of Goo. The sequel "Lost Winds: Winter of the Melodias" was just released last week, and I just finished my first play-through.

These games aren't trying to be huge epic experiences. Both games will only take 3-4 hours to finish, but you can pick them up for only $10. Both games are so well designed and paced, the hours spent playing them will seem like minutes. The art design and sound are exceptional... and it boggles the mind how Frontier managed to get them under the 40 meg WiiWare limit.

I'd describe "Lost Winds" as "relaxing Metroid", with a "Windwaker" art aesthetic. The world is small by Metroid standards, but every bit as meticulously constructed as your favorite Metroid or Castlevania map. This game design is combined with a exceptional Wii-pointer interface to control the wind and solve puzzles makes both "Lost Winds" games much more original than your standard Metroid rip-off.

I'm in awe of the work Frontier Development has done with these games, and I know I'll be buying their next game. Until then, I hope all of my readers give "Lost Winds" a try. I seriously doubt anyone will be disappointed.

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