Review by xoPANTA
Developer: Moon Studios
Platform(s): Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 3/11/15
Ori and the Blind Forest is a dazzling 2D puzzle platformer styled game. Being that I am not a huge platformer fan I was skeptical at first; however after playing through the prologue I knew I’d become obsessed with the game in no time.
Aside from the obviously stunning visuals Ori has a captivating soundtrack by Gareth Coker. The gameplay itself is fairly simple, you have an attack, jump, special ability, and “soul link” (save/ability portal), functions. If you’re used to complex controls you can take a breather here, although some of the sequences do require a quick reflex! The game is comprised mostly of various puzzles to collect certain objects/abilities to progress through the three main parts of the story.
Now the story is unique in and of itself. Never have I ever felt like crying after ten minutes of a game for characters that don’t even have speaking roles. I’d say it’s right up there with when Simba finds Mufasa dead at the bottom of the gorge. Just heart breaking. This game is so well written that the story really hits home and makes you feel for poor little Ori all the while driving you to want to find answers. At the end of the prolog you’re going to seriously want to know what hit the fan and why, I won’t spoil it, just trust me here.
One of the last things I’ll touch on here is the fine details Moon Studios put into this game that shouldn’t be over looked. They took four years to develop and create Ori and the Blind Forest. I love how they took the time to give this game replay value. If you’re big into achievement hunting like myself you’ll notice there’s quite a few that require multiple play throughs to unlock. For example unlocking all of Ori’s abilities verses a play through where you complete the game unlocking none of them. And honestly it’s nice to see they took the time to create different art for each achievement as well. There are a few easter eggs as well worth checking out in this game too! I highly recommend you take a look at those.
Overall I’d say this game, although it had its challenging moments (and I don’t think I’ll ever get out of that tree without dying, goodbye “Immortal” achievement!), was very much fun and enjoyable. It’s a treat for your eyes and ears, while not for a second lacking in a compelling story, and good controls.
Freebies! Here are two tracks Ori’s team released to their fans for being awesome featured during the E3 trailer and launch promo that are not available on the OST!
P.S. After typing this I read a fantastic Reddit thread that the Ori team was very much active in and I stumbled across this gem… “We got our main inspirations from classics like The Lion King :)” -Phisamoe (Ori Programmer). You knew exactly what you were doing! Also I second the bring on the Ori plushies movement.