Thursday, August 13, 2009

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits (Wii) Review

This is a historic moment for SuperPhillip Central. This is the very first WiiWare review on the site. Here's to many more, but first let's take a look at the recently-released NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits.

Spirited Away

Since its inception WiiWare has been the place for a lot of intriguing games that wouldn't have otherwise seen a release: Lostwinds, World of Goo, Bit.Trip.Beat, the Art Style series, Dr. Mario, Toki Tori, the list goes on, and now Over the Top Games' NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits, but is it worth your cold hard Wii Points?

The story of Kindred Spirits revolves around a woman named Nyx and her quest to find her beloved, Icarus. He journey takes her all across the parched desert sands as well as around a giant active volcano. Still-frame cut-scenes tell the tale with silent text as the dialogue. These scenes bookend the game with little in the way of narrative throughout the actual gameplay.

Frequent checkpoints mean less frustration.

Nyx is a versatile woman. She can jump up in the air a set number of times before needing to rest as well as hover across sandy stretches of desert which is so hot that touching it will take off health. The Wii remote is used in an innovative way in conjunction with the platforming gameplay much like an early WiiWare game, Lostwinds. The pointer functionality is used for a multitude of things such as pulling blocks and setting them up as platforms for Nyx to cross or reach higher platforms, holding columns up for Nyx to pass under them without worry of being crushed, catching fireballs and using them to attack enemies as well as break down wooden blocks, and pulling objects and using them as a way to cross hazards. You learn new powers as you progress through the game with a later one giving you the ability to point the Wii remote at any enemy to take them out.

A lot of times you'll be multitasking-- that is, using the Wii remote to clear obstacles and enemies while making performing careful acrobatics. Sometimes you'll be cycling between slowly crossing under falling columns while guiding a flame to a torch to open the way while others you'll be batting down oncoming projectiles while trying to proceed in the level. Needless to say, things can get hectic but in a good way. Levels are of decent length and pose a great challenge from beginning to end. The difficulty curve is superb with each level being slightly more difficult than the last.

Use the Wii remote to slide the block across the desert abyss.

NyxQuest takes but three hours to complete, but there's twenty relics hidden in oftentimes devious locations to find. There's at least one in each of the game's levels. Collecting all of the relics will give you a brand-new level, one that is of the ultimate challenge. Thankfully, there's a nifty level select feature that displays how many relics you have collected in case you forget.

Visually, the game is impressive both technologically and design-wise. My only problem is that so many of the level save for two look exactly the same with the same backgrounds, objects, and platform types. It can make the game seem a little "samey". Other than that, the game runs at a solid speed and looks beautiful with impressive lighting.

This boss requires you to direct its fireballs back at it.

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits may just be the next "must-have" WiiWare game. It incorporates very clever uses for the Wii remote's pointer functionality. it's a decent-sized adventure for the price of 1000 points, and it's a journey that you will want to take more than once. It's pure platforming bliss with a Wii twist, and it's an easy recommendation for those hankering for a great WiiWare game.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]

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