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iPhone  header logo

LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Atmospheric pleasure

Product: LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias | Developer: In-house | Publisher: Frontier Developments | Format: iPhone | Genre: Platform, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias iPhone, thumbnail 1
The original LostWinds, an enchanting little WiiWare adventure game, was knocked up by Frontier Developments in a matter of months - and it showed. It was inventive and a treat to explore, but it was painfully short and it ran out of new ideas quite quickly.

This sequel is bigger in just about every way. Some things are the same, sure: you control the wind to buoy pintsize protagonist Toku across gaps, trap gloopy enemies in vortexes, and guide columns of fire between torches.

But Toku gets lots of new toys to play with, like the cyclone, which can drill down into the dirt and hoist pools of water up into a cloud so that you can move liquid about the environment. You can also turn snowflakes into snowballs, and encase enemies in ice.

Winter wonderland

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Later in the game you can swap between two seasons. In summer you can swim through lakes, but waterfalls seal off caves. In winter those rivers are now blocks of ice, but you can shatter frozen waterfalls to get past.

Frontier juggles all these different ideas to offer an impressive variety of smart and imaginative puzzles. They're well-constructed, and so you feel rather brainy when you figure out the solutions - like the brainteasers in Zelda and Metroid.

Previously, we complained about LostWind's disappointing controls. Thankfully, they were fixed in a patch, and the fixed controls are present in the sequel. Time helpfully slows down when you manipulate the wind, and a virtual D-pad is an optional extra. There are still some frustrations, but the controls are generally successful.

Summer solstice

Like before, LostWinds offers a whimsical, fairytale-like world to explore, packed with places to discover and, this time, an actual story to follow. The frigid mountain range of Melodius looks even better than the cherry blossom grove of its predecessor, and it's a truly wonderful place to spend a few hours.

If LostWinds felt a bit too breezy, Winter of the Melodias is a much more complete package. It's bigger and longer and has many more ideas, and all without losing what worked best: the elegance of the controls and the serenity of the world.

 
LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 10 May 2012
Winter of the Melodias adds some fiendishly clever new ideas to LostWinds, without spoiling that sense of quiet discovery and childlike wonder
 
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Joined:
May 2012
Post count:
3
B0tStick | 00:32 - 15 June 2012
@klouud Hi! Wanted to tell you I tried playing on a 4S and the game is way better with framerate being far less of an issue. Much more enjoyable than before.

I'd recommend to people they play it on that instead of an iPad3, at least until there is a patch.
Joined:
Dec 2008
Post count:
1338
klouud | 00:56 - 11 May 2012
It is possible that most of your issues stem from the fact that you are using an iPad. I know that reports of crappy performance on the new iPad for NOVA 3 have been pouring in while the iPhone 4S plays it silky smooth. So it is somewhat safe to assume that the game(s) are not optimized for the iPad(s) and require some sort of patch.

I assume that the current version is the latest installment. Correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe the devs will continue the series on iOS and start porting over to Wii Ware. That would be pretty cool.

All I can say is that I am pretty ADD when it comes to gaming and it takes a real gem to catch and hold my attention. LostWinds 1-2 have done just that.

Overall I have been very impressed and satisfied with iOS gaming and I love the fact that we have access to such polished gaming on our mobiles - because the only free time I have is on the bus to and from school. So console games are pretty much left to long weekends and breaks.
Joined:
May 2012
Post count:
3
B0tStick | 21:36 - 10 May 2012
@klouud I feel like the fluidity and grace of playing the WiiWare version is lost in the translation to iPad. With the Wii version the dual controls felt more like you were in control and connected to what was happening in the world.
Where as playing on an iPad ( maybe i'm playing "wrong") but i feel like its a war of attrition where my job is to keep swiping on the screen frantically trying to get the character to reach the ledge i want, rather than being able to enjoy the experience. The forced slow down ( default option which is how i assume the developers expect you to play ) adds to the feeling of playing in a thick soup.

With the little toku fellow I often find him accidentally running in one direction when i'm trying to gust him in another ( because the auto run has triggered when i didn't want it too ). In those instances the dynamic between me and the character has changed from from being sympathetic and wanting to help, to being annoyed at him for being dumb. Its weird because in the WiiWare version i was always more annoyed at my ability as Enril for not having enough wind power than for Toku being un controllable.

You are totally right though the graphics have been improved in many ways ( less so in others if you compare screen shots and videos), but the quality improvement has come at the sacrifice of framerate i think which in turn for me sacrifices the play experience.

The game is definitely a marked improvement over the first game, but i don't feel like playing this on an iPad is a better experience to playing it on a Wii. Sure it's good for an "iPad game", but is that really the point? this should be the definitive version not a second place stand in.

You can totally see all the right ideas are there, but its ( for me ) just not as enjoyable on the iPad. I almost think i would have preferred if they had taken the time to re-balance the levels to be more suited to playing on an iPad rather than focusing on the special effects. Or even better built a brand new Lost Winds game for the iPad as a continuation or new spinoff of series.
Joined:
Dec 2008
Post count:
1338
klouud | 19:40 - 10 May 2012
@B0tStick - are we playing the same game? I have experienced none of the things you complained about. This game is in many ways superior to the Wii Ware game because multiple improvements were made to the graphics, shadowing, and lighting.

And I don't understand why people don't like the touch controls... I love the default setup.

easily the best plat former on iOS.
Joined:
May 2012
Post count:
1
Hatto26 | 18:58 - 10 May 2012
Don't forget Starbucks are giving away the original Lost Winds this week in store
Joined:
Dec 2008
Post count:
1338
klouud | 16:10 - 10 May 2012
Loved the first one and instantly bought the second. I messed around with the game this morning on the bus and am very pleased thus far. I hope they continue the series.
Joined:
May 2012
Post count:
3
B0tStick | 15:17 - 10 May 2012
I loved the original Lost Winds on WiiWare and was excited to pick up this version. Underneath is a clearly a great game waiting to come out but it feels too much like a weird port ( like what a lot of other devs seem to do with their games ) rather than the world being designed to be played on an iPad.

There doesn't seem to be any mentions in the review of the poor framerate ( even on ipad3 ), muddy slow-motion controls, frustrating platforming, oddly framed puzzles and clunky time wasting scenarios which alone should stop the game deserving of a 9! All I can assume is the rating has a bias that reflects visuals alone, which are indeed AAA excellent.

I can't help but feel the old WiiWare version is still the best way to play this game. It's a shame really, the Lost Winds series is full of such great ideas which i'd love to see expanded on in this or other games, but the execution at the moment is leaving me with an empty feeling.

So Close.
6.9 / 10
 
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