Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition - Recensione
One of the most beautiful and inspired platforms of this generation also debuts on Switch (and finally, I would say!) Thanks to the collaboration between Nintendo and the house of Redmond, which after Minecraft and Cuphead has decided to bring the jewel of Moon Studios. The good news is that even on Switch, Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition it is confirmed a small pearl that every fan of the genre should try at least once in his life.
Bring the forest back to its former glory
As the young Ori, the player must protect the Nibel forest from a dark and dark enemy, who has slowly dried up his magical essence. By acquiring new powers, Ori can become stronger and stronger and make his way through the forest until he finally confronts his nemesis. In doing so, the protagonist will discover more anecdotes about the maternal figure who welcomed and fed him, obtaining new elemental skills by exploring some remote points of the scenario, all experiencing moments of great emotional impact and tension.
Compared to the original game that we reviewed at the time on Xbox One, the Definitive Edition of Ori and the Blind Forest goes to add a couple of new features to the gameplay and enrich the game map (already considerable in itself) with new areas to explore which not only allow to extend the longevity of the adventure, but also have the merit of offering the player some more details on the narrative sector, revealing the past of Naru through two additional and decidedly inspired scenarios. The same exploration, which lives on a continuous backtracking like any self-respecting metroidvania, has been facilitated by the introduction of some new mechanics that allow rapid travel from one area to another.
A more accessible experience
These are novelties that PC and Xbox One users have already had the opportunity to experience at the launch of the Definitive Edition , and which are obviously included in the Switch version. In addition to two unpublished skills for Ori (Rapidity and Explosion of light), the main novelty passes from a new rapid travel system that also acts as a rescue of progress: one of the peculiarities of Ori and the Blind Forest is in fact the need to "create "the manual save points to avoid restarting from the automatic checkpoints, deliberately managed sparingly by the software house to create a state of tension in the player.
Considering that special energy resources are needed to save progress (used during combat to perform special attacks), this new feature makes exploring the game world less frustrating. The Definitive Edition introduces the so-called Spirit Wells, in which it is possible to save without consuming resources and move from an already unlocked area to another. A feature certainly appreciated for those who want a less demanding experience, to which is also added a new level of difficulty for beginners, thanks to which you can focus on the story without making particular effort in the battles (in themselves not too demanding, overcome the first hours of the game) and in the platform stages.
For the rest, there are no particular innovations in the Switch version of Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition , which "limits" itself to adapting to the hybrid nature of the console a widely tested game structure, which proves frustrating on some occasions and knows how to put a strain on the player's patience, but that is never difficult to the point of being prohibitive (even if the game experience at the highest level of difficulty, another novelty of this version, is not suitable for everyone!). And it is precisely the adaptation to the dual soul of Switch that makes this version so inspired.
Entertainment from every perspective
On the one hand there is the classic game to which we have been accustomed to on PC and Xbox One, with its fairytale landscapes, its colors and breathtaking views, which despite some difference in terms of cleaning and native resolution can also be appreciated in mode TV; on the other, with Switch used as a pure portable console, the view narrows, the shot gets closer, but what moves on the screen, strong of the 60 fps (almost always granite, with occasional exceptions) of this version, remains spectacular and always leaves us speechless. If there is a criticism that I feel like moving, it is linked to the control system: in part for the use of the analog stick, which in some cases seemed to me to be very unresponsive to the stresses, not a bad flaw for a gameplay which makes precision and speed of movement its strong point. On the other, I found the grip uncomfortable using the two Joy-Con in the side slides of Switch, while I did not find any problems inserting them in the Grip, both in Tabletop mode and with the console inserted on the dock. Almost certainly, Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is one of those games that benefits from the use of the D-Pad present in Switch Lite, which makes the movements in the most delicate areas more precise (and there are many, trust me! ).
For the rest, I would advise you to purchase the game also to enjoy its amazing soundtrack, which on Switch is reconfirmed (if it were still needed) intense, majestic, fundamental in its ability to instil mixed feelings in the player, to inspire fear, to give hope, to put pressure in moments when escape is the only thing that matters. The proverbial icing on the cake of a sublime audiovisual sector.
I played the Definitive Edition of Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch, initially testing the game in TV mode on a Samsung UE8000 after a quick test of the Xbox One version, so as to compare its performance on both platforms. After that I concentrated on the portable mode, experiencing some difficulties in the use of Joy-Con in the lateral slides of Switch and preferring to use the Grip to guide Ori on his long journey. No controllers were destroyed or abused during the test.