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Review

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits (WiiWare) Review

The story is presented through humble cinematics. The imagery of course is akin to what you’d find on an Ancient Greek vase. Nyx, an immortal goddess leaves her utopian paradise on a quest to reunite with her lost friend Icarus. The world is a desolate wasteland at this point—no longer populated by people but rather mythical creatures such as Harpies roaming the skies and ruined Greek architecture.

I wish I could write a five hundred-word segment for all you fine people about what makes NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits such a pleasure to play but unfortunately the gameplay just isn’t that deep. Sure it’s fun. Yes, the Wii Remote is embraced lovingly. But there are only so many ways I as a reviewer can sum up what is essentially a basic platform experience, so much so in-fact that Nintendo Life quite famously dubbed the game as “pure platforming bliss”.

So, the player must take control of our winged heroine with the aim of getting from left to the furthermost right whilst avoiding enemies, overcoming obstacles, oh yeah, and utilising a little bit of divine intervention (but we’ll get to that later). All of this is achieved via walking, running, jumping, flying and gliding and as you might have guessed, this means a lot of time spent in the sky; but believe me, that’s a good thing. I’m not sure what your childhood was like, but during mine I would often play games where I’d pretend the ground was lava, or on fire or something and would have to climb over and jump over things to keep myself “safe”. NyxQuest operates to this effect.

Touching the ground for too long will ultimately result in death—not because of lava or fire but rather as a result of the harsh environment of the world. Actually in the case of NQ: KS, “death” is probably the wrong word. Nyx has a health bar which obviously depletes but once all of her health is lost she is returned to the last checkpoint in the level, and there are no limits as to how often this can happen as there are no lives. I imagine that the reason for this is either to appeal to the casual market or perhaps in order to remind us that Nyx is ultimately an immortal. I don’t know, but either way it does somewhat compromise the difficulty level itself which is a shame especially as there aren’t any difficulty levels to choose from during play.

NyxQuest commands the most innovative use of the Wii Remote of any game available on WiiWare. Basically accompanying the platformer elements of the game are puzzle elements, be it using fire or moving giant blocks/pillars. The Gods’ powers are there to aid you in your quest and all via a user-friendly point/press and pull format thanks to that magic white rectangle we love. Things become more interesting with a second player as one of you commands the powers and the other controls Nyx; communication is a necessity.

Graphically, NQ: KS is a little similar to the PS3’s Little Big Planet but with a hint of the PS2’s Ico thrown in, consisting of two-dimensional backdrops accompanied by three-dimensional foreground objects with a cell shaded Greek twist! As for the sound, there isn’t really much to say. The effects are fine, the music is very atmospheric but some voice acting during cutscenes would have been nice. Then again it is only a WiiWare title and without a major financial backing it seems unfair to expect as such from what is essentially a fantastic game.

All-in-all, Kindred Spirits is three-and-a-half hours of gentle-paced platforming fun. It could be more challenging but it couldn’t be a better example of what WiiWare has to offer! A must-buy if you have a couple of hours to kill on the weekend!

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