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Review: Ori and the Blind Forest

Once in your life, you’ll witness something so unique and so beautiful you just can’t stop talking about it. This mostly happens when you find your significant other but it can also happen on other, more rare occasions. Playing Ori and the Blind Forest is such an experience. You’ve never seen nor played something like this and you’ll always wonder why it took you so long to discover this little gem. Set aside all your doubts, this Microsoft exclusive is the real deal!

This is a story of love: 

Ori and the Blind Forest takes place in a breathtaking environment and is told in the best way possible. Ori is a child of the big tree but was separated from his brothers and sisters and became an orphan. Naru, a gentle creature of the woods considered Ori as her own and raised the little creature as any good mother would do. Naru and Ori lived in the forest and without it they couldn’t survive. The forest is in pain however and nature couldn’t provide the nutrition no longer. After a while, Ori lost his second mother and became orphan once more. Without food he couldn’t survive, he needed to find safer places and make sure that the forest gets better again. The love for the forest is big and Ori want to solve the problems, putting aside his own pain.

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This is a story of unseen beauty:

As said before, this story is told in a very unique way. A mysterious voice explains the story in words no human being can understand. In order to know what’s going on, subtitles will pop-up in your game while you’re playing it. No separated cut scenes in this game, everything in the game is one great whole, nothing is separated. You feel like playing an interactive movie instead of a regular game.

 

An unseen masterpiece

 

Ori and the Blind Forest is far from a regular game, just take a look at the gorgeous art and be surprised by its beauty. The game is created by a smaller team but they took every minute of their time in order to create something unique. The result is a cinematic game that could easily be translated to a successful Hollywood blockbuster. Everything is gorgeous in the world of Ori, even the more dangerous parts of its world.

This is a story of persistence:

Don’t be mistaken by its beauty however. Just as in the real world, beauty always comes with a challenge. Ori and the Blind Forest is far from an easy game, even veteran players will bump into difficult puzzles. At the very start it’s clear that this game asks a lot of its players. During your first minutes in the game, Ori will only be able to jump, which in a world filled with thorns and enemies is rather hard to survive. The goal of the game is to collect new skills and learn new abilities.

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Even if you learn new abilities and skills, the game never becomes easy. If you want to reach the finish you’ll need to persevere and you need to simple become better at what you do.

This is a story of self-development:

Acquiring new skills is key to survive in the game. Ori is a Metroidvania game, which means you’ll need to learn certain skill before you can reach all the places you see. At first, you’ll run into a lot of places that are out of your reach. Once you learn a new skill, those places become accessible and open new opportunities to reach your goal.

Gaining new skills isn’t the only task you need to fulfill in order to grow stronger. The game doesn’t safe automatically but the player can safe any time he/she wants… If they have collected enough energy to create a Soul Link. Using a Soul Link, you can upgrade your abilities and save your progress. Creating a Soul Link isn’t always that easy because the energy is scare at first. The same energy is also needed to perform some special attacks. Choosing for a Soul Link or energy is hard at first and you’ll often end up dying far away from your last Soul Link. This can become rather frustrating at first but is part of the self-development of Ori and its player.

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This is a story of friendship: 

Aside of running around and solving environmental puzzles, fighting is also big part of the game. Ori doesn’t need to fight for himself but gets help from the little spirit called Sein. This spirit can attack the enemies while you can still control Ori, resulting in fast paced combat that never takes down the flow of the game. It’s a system you’ll need to get used to at first but it feels very natural after a while.

By defeating enemies you can also gain more health and energy point to keep you going. The fights aren’t there for no reason, defeating enemies really has its benefits. Saving your progress before facing some of the bigger enemies is recommended however.

This is a story of discovery:

The biggest part of the game however is discovering new environments and ways to reach your goal. You’ll need your map to get your orientation right and with some upgrades, the map will even show you key items in the game. Ori often needs to collects certain stones in order to open some doors. Seeing those on your map really is a lifesaver. The game always shows you your destination but it’s up to you to discover the right path to it.

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Aside if this, you’ll often need to revisit a location since you can reach new grounds if you’ve learned some new skills. Couldn’t reach the top of the hill? That won’t be a problem once you learned how to run on walls! This journey isn’t easy and it’s hard to figure out the right way to go but it’s without a doubt also the best part of the game. Discovering a world so beautiful as the one in this game isn’t a difficult task at all. Even without the forced backtracking you’d want to come back to those locations anyway.

This is YOUR story:

All in all Ori and the Blind Forest is an incredible game. The story, soundtrack and visuals are of a different level and one of the best you’ll ever see in a game. Aside of the presentation, the game itself is a perfect Metroidvania game with a rather high level of difficulty. Some gamers might give up but you really shouldn’t. This game offers more than some of the most recent full priced retail games and does this for a very small price. Don’t hesitate to start your magical adventure, you won’t regret any of your time spend in the gorgeous Blind Forest.

9/10

Thank you for reading!

One Comment
  1. chris j March 16, 2015 at 20:08

    Awesome review.

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