Ori and the Blind Forest game review in the extended version - a graphic feast, a brilliant platformer

Author: Przemysław Zamęcki
Date: 2016-05-06 15:25:00
The review was based on the PC version.

Just over a year ago, Moon Studios surprised us with a successful game called Ori and the Blind Forest . This charming platformer with a white creature in the lead role can be considered a typical representative of the metroidvania species . The genre, which has returned to favor in the "turkey" offensive of recent years, but its roots should be sought in much earlier times, when the most popular equipment in the player's living room was the eight-bit Nintendo NES console and its modern competitors, and the imagination was ignited by subsequent parts of the Metroid series and Castlevania . As you can easily guess, the name of the genre comes from the combination of the titles of these two works. Our main task was to explore the vast world of interconnected corridors, which were successively accessed after unlocking the appropriate skills and items. Individual locations were usually guarded by more difficult opponents, i.e. bosses. From modern games created in this style, you can indicate the Dark Souls series, which draws from this genre to the fullest. Ori, however, is a more classic representative of it, a two-dimensional platformer that stands out from other similar titles with its beautiful graphics stylized on productions from the Japanese animated film company Ghibli. A year ago, I spent a dozen unforgettable hours with this item, and meanwhile the creators again urge me to visit the great forest in the so-called the definitive edition. Ori and the Blind Forest is a difficult, sometimes even frustrating game - so is it worth taking the trouble to play it again?

In the game, we take control of a cute creature that is something like a forest spirit. The forest that is slowly dying as a result of the evil bird Kuru, becoming the habitat of nasty monsters. So we start our journey to - by gaining the right amount of money on the way - restore balance and punish the nasty bird. The story turns out to be simple and infantile, but it is not the main burden of the game that rests on it. It is only an addition to other attractions, which are not lacking during the game. In addition, the authors managed to enrich this simple story with an appropriate narration devoid of any dialogues with a large dose of emotions. The more sensitive from the very beginning can count on a real tearjerker, which, however, is quickly replaced by the constant action, but thanks to the new scenes included in the Definitive Edition , showing the deepened relationships between the characters, there is no shortage of emotions and later, so it's better not to put the handkerchief away.

The game is beautiful. There is no point in discussing the quality of the visuals. Pictures do not reflect all the beauty, Ori must be seen in motion, and then I guarantee that you will fall in love with the work of Moon studio right away. But most importantly, behind the audiovisual splendor (by the way, I will mention that the accompanying soundtrack is absolutely brilliant and even after many hours of listening you have no right to get bored - great applause for the British composer Gareth Coker) is the well-thought-out and very pleasant gameplay mechanics. As the main character learns more and more crazy evolutions as he explores new locations, the responsiveness of controls is very important for players. There is probably nothing worse than the lack of precision when making jumps. In this respect, Ori belongs to the forefront of platform games. Provided, however, that you use the rain. Playing with a mouse and keyboard in the PC version borders on masochism.

Great controls go hand in hand with the development of the character's skills. The most important ones, thanks to which Ori gains new moves, are gained as the game progresses - usually before moving to a new location where arcade puzzles require you to use them. Without the possibility of performing a given maneuver, such places are blocked and cannot be visited. Double jump, jumping on a vertical wall, bouncing off projectiles are just some of the available tricks. The definitive edition added two new character traits: dash, i.e. the ability to move forward a few meters in the blink of an eye, and the ability to activate lanterns hanging in different places , which unlocks passages to the next part of the location. A great idea of the creators was to place secrets on previously known maps, which we gain access to only after learning these new movements.

Less important developments are unlocked thanks to the acquired skill points. They come to us as a result of defeating opponents and finding secrets that are not missing in the game. These are usually various "facilitators" of the game: an increasingly powerful attack, displaying characteristic points on the map or attracting orbs falling out of the attackers. Constant progress in expanding the character's capabilities means that we never feel bored. The gameplay is intense, but not chaotic. If we screwed up something, there is no point in blaming the game for it, because it usually turns out to be the fault of the rush. The Ori's precision of control encourages you to smoothly move through the entire fragments of the board, almost in one breath, which, however, often ends in a choking. And it should be remembered that the number of save points, which we can determine ourselves and almost anywhere, depends on the number of energy cells.

The definitive edition, apart from new character skills and the addition of difficulty levels, also introduces two additional locations: Black Root Burrows and The Light Burst - both very atmospheric and contrasting to each other. In the first one, at the beginning we move in almost total darkness, while the second one is very colorful and bathed in sunlight. Their unquestionable advantage is that they slightly extend the game, which was not the shortest before. You can spend ten to twelve hours with the game, maybe even a little more. In the new version, traveling to distant places has become easier thanks to the introduction of fountains, which are special points of transport between us. We not only move faster, but also avoid the previous (and not very popular) backtracking. DE also has behind-the-scenes materials and a gallery of concept sketches, previously absent.