Genre: Platformer
Year: 2008
Developed by: Frontier Developments
Published by: Frontier Developments
Platforms: Wii, IOS, Windows
Feeling Like: Wiind

You know, I really can’t stand the wind. In the hierarchy of (non extreme) weather we have to deal with, it absolutely ranks at the bottom. Rain is perfect; helps crops grow, makes you appreciate being cozy indoors, and makes the best sounds on everything. As a ginger, I’m legally obligated to hate the sun, but can entertain the notion that we need it for nice beach visits and to continue living on planet Earth. Snow, or rather how quiet everything is upon it’s arrival, is a magic we don’t deserve. Slush is an unfortunate side effect, but easily manageable.

Wind, on the other hand, always sucks save for two scenarios: if you’re a sailor (and even THEN they’re always complaining about the quantity of wind, or the shift of the wind, or the direction of the wind), or if you’re in a Japanese animated television show and you’re looking dramatically into the distance and the wind makes your hair look cool. That’s it. Wind ruins everything. It makes picnics stressful. It blows stuff in your face. It makes it difficult for honeybees to fly straight. It is the arch nemesis of our friend, the umbrella. It’s erratic, random, never goes away and threatens to ruin our Saturday afternoon by ensuring the power goes out. I’m not religious, but I definitely believe in some cosmic force because losing electricity never happens from Monday to Friday during work hours, only on the weekends or evenings.

In protest, I’m showing a screenshot that features fire.

Wind can be a miscreant in games, too. You’ll suffer many deaths in Ninja Gaiden 2 thanks to precarious wind-filled platform sections. I know I wasn’t the only one to consistently sulk at how often I had to encourage the wind to change directions in Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Thankfully, LostWinds allowed me to control the wind in a short, cute and inexpensive adventure that had some good ideas and was a breeze to play (I’m so, SO sorry for that one).

WiiWare was Nintendo’s foray into the downloadable/arcade space and never got close to the Playstation Network or Xbox Live heights. It’s another example of Nintendo failing to to meet expectations, save for making a lot of incredible games. I was curious enough to try it out, but it didn’t motivate me to drop everything and try out a ton of WiiWare games. Upon doing some research, I didn’t miss much.

I digress. LostWinds utilized the Wiimote to simulate wind movements to help your guy move faster, jump higher and figure out some solvable puzzles. I liked it. Finally, I was in control of the gusts and relished at how I constantly tormented the townsfolk by whooshing past them and almost making them drop their food or packages in their hands. Splendid.

It spawned a sequel that I never played, but it was nice to see Nintendo and Frontier Developments at least put a little effort into a game that apparently was less than 50 megabytes in size. I didn’t even think that was possible now, let alone in 2008. The soundtrack is quaint, the graphics work and you could do worse than spend a few hours finally taming the wind and teaching it good manners.

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