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    Ori and the Blind Forest: Review

    When a game lends itself to a high degree of artistry, one cannot help but wonder if ideas like game dynamics have been sacrificed to make way for a greater focus placed on aesthetics. It happens from time to time a game that looks absolutely incredible, and is emotionally charged in terms of narrative, treats other important aspects as secondary. But this is not the case with Ori and the Blind Forest. Rather, this game with its rich mythology and incredible looks, is a game first and foremost.

    The player takes control of Ori, a creature that was born as part of a massive tree that forms part of the core of the balance of existence… or something like that. But when a massive storm blows the flower-like Ori away, he turns into an orphan. He is rescued and raised by the kindly Naru. Ori stays with Naru, resisting the call to return to the tree, and the forest suffers as a result. There are a few heart wrenching moments early on in the game, just before Ori decides to fulfil his destiny and save the forest by returning three stolen, life-giving elements to their rightful place.


    This launches the player into an action packed and challenging Metroidvania style platform game. Ori and the Blind Forest offers far more depth than one might expect. In the first instance, the massive interlinked levels are the kind that the player is going to need to go back and forth through. As new skills and abilities become available to Ori, the player will be able to access new areas and discover new things that will help them in their quest. Exploration and getting everything done is a good idea right from the word go once the player has completed the ten hour (or so) story, the final stage locks the save file, meaning that if you’ve left anything undone, you’re going to have to start again.

    Speaking of save files, Ori uses a simple but effective system in which the player places their own save points in the game. The player would be well advised to use the system as often as possible (it consumes power to do so, so saving every five steps just isn’t viable) because Ori’s checkpoints are few and far between. Forgetting to save may result in having to redo large sections of the game, which can be very frustrating.

    Another frustration is the fact that there is no fast-travel system. However, the dep character progression system actually has a lot of impact on the game, and revisiting areas with new movement skills will often mean access to new areas and finding new power ups and other cool stuff.

    Ori is a game that can get extremely demanding, and pitch perfect timing will often be required to get through some of the game’s more tense moments. You may find yourself replaying sections repeatedly, because the precision required is extremely high. That said, these areas will generally play out in the same way, allowing the player to learn through repetition.

    While Ori’s combat can sometimes feel a little messy, there is very little to find fault with here. Ori is as demanding as it is beautiful, though, so players should be aware that they may hit a few frustrating spots while they traverse the rich and imaginative world that the game is set in. It is a very good example of how a Metroidvania style title should play, and brings a very real sense of accomplishment with it.

    8.5/10

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