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Ori and the blind forest Review

Rating: 5.00/5 (1 Vote)

I’ve always said in an ever changing gaming world that platformers, such as Ori and the Blind Forest, don’t get the love and attention that they deserve.  These days it’s all about the screeching of burning rubber round an expansive world or roaming the across cities as police officers chasing criminals.  But sometimes platformers upstage the big guns we’ve seen in the past Child of Light have great reviews so can Ori make a splash in the big budget market.


The main story begins with the spirit tree; the life of the surrounding forest, in a storm Ori is blown away from the spirit Tree and lost in the blind forest where he meets Naru who takes cares of him.  Things take a turn for the worst and Naru and Ori are separated (dem feels) and Ori is left to fend for himself in the forest which is withering and dying.  As Ori progresses through he meets Sein, a life force from the spirit tree who comes to the aide of Ori and protects him.

The light of the spirit tree must be restored and this is done so by retrieving it from the 3 different locations all representing an element.  Water, Wind and Warmth.  As you play through the forest becomes more aggressive as you delve deeper in and enemies lurk with vibrant colour, gaining difficulty as you carry on through the level. 

Ori and the blind forest is a very clever game, with its beauty it can distract you from some of the perils that lay in waiting, it’s clever use of landscapes and abilities combine to make this an unseeingly challenging game.   With levels structured a certain way Ori can frustrate you but also gives that real sense of achievement especially in the later levels.

These abilities including triple jump and wall jump to name some of the earlier unlocks, add depth and technique to a game which is lacking early on.  This in turn makes for a greater challenge and I find my notes dominated by the intelligence of the levels and foes which stand in your way.  The game twists and turns around a pretty centralised map, making you go back to explore areas without your new skills, you wouldn’t have been able to reach.

The story is pretty good I have to say as far as platformers are concerned and is up there with the best, you’re not lost in the story nor do you forget about what the real picture is all about.  With interesting characters like Gumo the underlying pretence of the game is as vibrant and subtle as the game itself. 

Unlocking the abilities comes as naturally as jumping in Ori, you can ability points towards a bar which can be used to spend on certain skills such as the aforementioned triple jump.  Saving is easy and should be used tactically throughout the game, its alternative name is soul links, and your health is dictated by gaining life buds, which come in handy in the later levels if you have to take a hit.

Using the abilities works a treat and the controls are smooth as you can get them, with a combination of jump, stomp and dash, Ori glides seamlessly through the air as you pull yourself up cliff faces with intense action.  Accompanying this is a rather nifty save function.  Normally in games you get to save whenever you like or at a checkpoint.  Not this game.  In Ori and the blind forest the save becomes your own weapon against the environment, knowing when to save is key as you have to earn the next save by progressing.  I wish more games would adopt this style in the future, it’s very well worked and thought out.

Back in the story and the boss battles you encounter are a fight against the environment once again.  Take the first level which requires Ori to move with pace and accuracy through the Ginso tree in order not to drown, this requires the ultimate skill and precision, if not lots of lives.  It really shows off the slickness and the true depth this game has to offer without losing any of the challenge.  This particular part had me swearing for a good hour and was good fun throughout even if it was frustrating as hell.

Graphically it’s a marvel as I said before, its beauty knows no bounds whether that be land, air or sea.  For this style to achieve this amount of depth graphically its nothing short of a masterpiece visually.  And the way the voice acting works only adds to the experience and although there are no lines in Ori (spoken in English) it all works together brilliantly.

Overall it has to be said that, Ori and the blind forest is surprising.  Not because of the vibrancy which gives it this warm fuzzy glow and then you actually find it’s more a Venus fly trap than bright red rose.   The way Moon studios using the environment added in with the wealth of abilities to use on Ori, the game just works on so many levels.  It will have you back for more every time.  Hands down one of the best platformers I’ve played in a long, long time.


Thanks to Microsoft and XCN for allowing me to review Ori and the Blind Forest.

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