The new platform adventure game from Moon Studios!

The new platform adventure game from Moon Studios!

Where can I start with this gem? Ori and the Blind Forest is a platform adventure game that takes major cues from classic games like Super Metroid. The game revolves around Ori, a small simian-like creature that falls from the Spirit Tree in the opening scene. It is raised by a bear like creature, Naru, until some event starts to cause the forest around them to wither and die. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say that after this, Ori sets out to revive the forest.

Ori and the Blind Forest is an absolutely beautiful game, I don’t think I can gush enough about it. The art is above and beyond what we’re used to seeing in any game, and the environmental effects such as lighting and wind breathes life into this gorgeous landscape. Simply put, this game gave me eye-boners. If this game isn’t lavished with every art award in the business it will be a true shame; as a guy who is barely qualified to draw dicks on the walls of a gas station bathroom, I can’t begin to imagine the amount of skill, effort and time it took to create a game with art of this level.

Even the dark calm corners of Ori are rife with vibrant beauty.

Even the dark calm corners of Ori are rife with vibrant beauty.

The music and sound effects of the game go hand in hand with the art. All of the sound effects seem to just flow naturally out of the game, every little grunt or thud heard seems exactly as one would imagine it should be. The music flows with the pace of the game so fluidly one might not even notice the shift at first. From slow and melodic, to heart-wrenchingly dramatic, and to suspenseful boss music that will have you on your toes, the music in this game is almost as deserving of praise as the art.

Now, enough with gushing over the art and music of the game and on to the actual gameplay. The game has much in common with the Metroid games of old. It is an open world 2D sidescrolling platformer with a myriad of obstacles, enemies and some basic character progression. Character progression is modest but important; you will mostly find yourself upgrading your life, energy and abilities.

The ability tree is simple and easy to use, allowing for quick use and minimal game downtime.

The ability tree is simple and easy to use, allowing for quick use and minimal game downtime.

The controls are smooth and responsive, a critical thing in this genre that is often overlooked. You start the game with a limited number of actions you can perform, such as jumping or shooting spirit-fire, and you steadily gain the ability to perform more actions, but never to the point of being overwhelming. The difficulty of the game arises from the game itself, rather than from wrestling with bullshit controls or a character that has way too much inertia.

The difficulty in the game seems spot on. There is no auto-saving, rather, you create your own save points by creating “soul-links” in game, and these links are only made with resources that you must collect. One must make wise decisions about when and where to save. Difficulty steadily increases, as the game requires you to use Ori’s new abilities and think in different ways. One can’t simply hop, skip and jump their way to victory; there are difficult obstacles to overcome and boss sequences to outwit.

Oh shiiiiiit!

Oh shiiiiiit!

Ori and the Blind Forest is all together a beautiful game. Some may get frustrated by the trial and error aspect of it, but the game is more forgiving than some of its retro console cousins. If you enjoy platformers or adventure games, Ori is well worth the meager $20 price tag it carries. If you don’t enjoy them, harden the fuck up and buy it anyways you pansy.

Good Ole Score: 10 out of 10.

Good Ole Score: 10 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous graphics. Everything from the characters to the environment is absolutely beautiful.
  • Great music. The orchestrated soundtrack to this game is downright enrapturing.
  • Compelling story. It’s simple, brief, and successfully conveyed without lengthy cutscenes.
  • Fluid, responsive gameplay. At no point did I feel like the controls of the game were hindering me.

Meh:

  • The game didn’t exactly break new grounds here. But that’s not bad; it is a perfect love letter to the Metroidvania genre.

Cons:

  • It’s not free.