March 16, 2015

Ori and the Blind Forest

Lasting First Impressions

Ori and the Blind Forest was a game I knew I had to play when it debuted at an Xbox press conference sometime last year.  It is also the first game developed and released by Moon Studios, a collection of former AAA developers.  The experience of those who formed the studio is evident in this game, one of pure beauty and imagination that ultimately feels like playing a hand painted cartoon.  Ori and the Blind Forest stars Ori, a Forest Spirit who, during a particularly violent storm, is cast far away from his home. He grows up cared for by Naru and lives happily until the forest suddenly begins decaying.  When Naru grows ill, Ori must leave his adopted home and venture out to become the hero he was meant to be and bring life back to the forest.

Ori Screen (6)

Ori and the Blind Forest is a ‘Metroidvania’ style platformer with RPG elements thrown in for fun.  As the story progresses, players will run, jump and shoot their way through distinctly unique environments collecting power in order to unlock new abilities.  With each new ability comes new challenges and the game continues to grow and constantly gives the player new puzzles and new threats to overcome.

Visually, Ori and the Blind Forest is stunning.  Moon Studios has hand crafted all the environments in the game making them like playing through an art museum.  The graphics are colourful and vibrant and really bring life to this game.  Accompanying the beautiful art is an orchestral score that is just as beautiful and emotional.  From the sorrowful prologue to the most action packed sequence. the music is as much of a ride as the game itself.

Ori Screen (3)

Don’t let the beautiful graphics and enchanting soundtrack fool you, however; Ori and the Blind Forest is a tough platformer.  In the nearly 2 and a half hours I’ve put into this game. I have died over 90 times.  It may not be as tough or hardcore as something like Super Meat Boy, but there will be times you will want to throw the controller though the screen out of frustration.  The Moon Studios team set out to create a love letter to classic platformers and they have succeeded in doing just that.  In recent years, many developers have gone back to the glory days of 16-bit graphics for their nostalgia-filled desire to pay homage to old school gaming, but Ori achieves the same results with modern, beautiful visuals, and a captivating musical score.

While it may be frustratingly tough at times, Ori and the Blind Forest most definitely keeps me coming back for more.  It is a wonderfully crafted game that truly pays homage to old school platformers while still making being a modern, beautiful, game.


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About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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