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New, New, New

Written By mista sense on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 11:10 AM

Nintendo's WiiWare launch yesterday is a bit easy to overlook, isn't it? I see it as a potentially significant thing, though. One of the things I find really exciting is that companies like Square Enix can think outside their usual parameters and develop ways to do more with smaller file sizes. If others can follow suit, my hope is that WiiWare becomes a new breeding ground for experimentation and innovation, like its siblings on XBLA and PSN have been (to some extent).

Speaking of innovation, please don't miss Lost Winds. Seriously.

It reminds me more of Knytt and Braid than anything I've ever played on a home console, the way that both of those feel like a natural evolution (and a subtle revolution) on the platformer, while incorporating art and music in a really polished, elegant way. In particular, you'll see that Lost Winds has the same seamless progression from high, open skies above ground to mysterious, deep underground spaces as Knytt does. And the way the narrative leads the player gradually and fluidly into the gameplay is exactly the kind of thing I've heard Jon Blow give lectures about.

So yeah. Don't back-shelf WiiWare just because you're not excited about FFCC: My Life As A King - which, by the way, I have not tried yet, but colleagues I trust tell me it's good, too. The way Lost Winds has shown up as a console downloadable with all of the simple elegance for which we usually turn to our indies feels like a really important event to me.

To put it plain, it's good. Buy it!

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