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As much as I enjoy iOS gaming, I have to admit that a vast majority of games on the platform feel rather slight. Many have novel mechanics or neat art styles, but do little more than help fill the two minute gaps when the person we're hanging out with goes to the bathroom.
There are few that I find comparable to the sort of fully-fledged experience you get on a console, and LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias is one of those exceptions. This shouldn't come as a surprise, being a port of a WiiWare game, but the new mobile version is a splendid translation of an already excellent title.
LostWinds 2 is a semi-linear 2D Metroidvania-style adventure, with a hint of Okami's gesture-based environment manipulation set in a lovely storybook world. I fear the "2" in the title will scare off newcomers, and that would be a shame as it's not necessary to have played the original LostWinds to appreciate this one. You'll miss a crumb or two of backstory, but all you need to know is that a young boy, Toku, has befriended a wind spirit, Enril. Aside from this very basic premise, LostWinds 2 is an entirely self-contained tale.
Critically revered WiiWare platformer LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias arrives on the App Store some time tonight, priced at £2.49/$3.99.
The second part of Frontier Development's LostWinds platforming series is on its way to iOS, the UK developer has announced.
Kinectimals developer Frontier Developments will launch mobile versions of enchanting platform adventure Wii game LostWinds this year.
Frontier boss David Braben told Eurogamer at the Develop conference today that LostWinds will launch on iPad, iPhone and Android mobiles.
It is the original games "to start with" ported across to iOS and Android, Braben said.
PS3 hackers who cling to misguided 'I own the console so I can do what I like' arguments are hurting game developers and buyers and publishers - the lot.
Fans of delightful WiiWare platformer LostWinds rejoice – there's more on the way, developer Frontier has revealed.
I played through the sequel to LostWinds while coming down with a cold - firmly wedged into an armchair, wearing my best Sherlock Holmes dressing gown, and gently lurking within that meandering, slightly introspective fug brought on by too much Lemsip. It turned out to be the perfect state in which to appreciate Frontier's latest blustery charmer, but enjoyment of the game is by no means limited to whether you're feeling a peaky. LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias is a lovely game, building on the strengths of the original, yet finding time to respond to most of the lingering gripes. If this is the kind of thing WiiWare can do, let's have some more of it, frankly.
The most regular criticism levelled at Toku's first adventure was that it was too short: a nice position for Frontier to be in, with its tacit acceptance that the core of the experience was pretty solid. It's a complaint LostWinds 2 has taken to heart, and the first sign that this is a weightier chunk of whimsy comes with the plot. Toku's mother Magdi has gone missing in the midst of an archaeological expedition, and the quest to find her will take the young boy and his chirpy wind spirit companion to the curiously named Summerfalls Village, a frozen outpost menaced by mysterious snow monsters, nestled on the edge of the ancient ruins of Melodia City. As the frightening fate of the Melodias themselves becomes increasingly clear, the mission becomes a race against time, and that, in turn, brings Toku into conflict with an old foe.
By necessity, then, it's a bigger adventure, and - an admission that many players found navigating the original title's snug world something of a challenge at times - one of the first new features Winter of the Melodias introduces is a map. That by itself shouldn't feel like a huge change, but it allows the game a potential for sophistication that otherwise wouldn't have been possible. It's an opportunity Frontier runs with, creating a complex network of environments where each level is often a single ingenious puzzle, whether you're patiently coaxing a flickering flame across a maze of torches or struggling to awaken ancient machines.
Nintendo will add Frontier's LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias to WiiWare tomorrow. The sequel will cost 1000 Wii Points (approx. £7/€10).
LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias returns with the same cartoon platform charm, but adds changeable seasons, swimming and cyclone powers to the mix. "This is nothing if not a safe bet," concluded Eurogamer's Oli Welsh, rounding-up the imminent WiiWare hopefuls.
Also out tomorrow on WiiWare will be Happy Holidays Halloween, a themed card-making, er, game that costs 500 Wii Points (approx. £3.50/€5).
Last month, Nintendo held an event in London to showcase the line-up of near-future releases for its twin downloadable gaming catalogues, WiiWare and DSiWare. The context was exactly as you'd expect: a plush venue with spectacular views of the capital; a marketing presentation with words of reassurance for retail, and an undertone of envy for Apple's success with the App Store; a smattering of news, a few names showing faces (David Braben, Kenji Eno, Dave Grossman) and a star turn from a slick sequel, LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias.
The first shots of the sequel.
Frontier has finally let the cat of the bag and revealed a sequel to LostWinds, subtitled Winter of the Melodias.
New features in the WiiWare follow-up include Toku's ability to instantly switch seasons from summer to winter - a bit like England. He can also control mighty tornadoes that smash through rocks or suck water through their spouts, and has learned to swim.
In addition, Frontier has thrown in a new in-game map and hint system, according to N-Europe's summary of Edge's reveal.