32 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 7.9 hrs on record (6.9 hrs at review time)
Posted: Jan 7, 2019 @ 10:42am

Follow our curator page: IndieGems if you like and want to see more reviews like this one.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a seemingly calm action platformer with metroidvania elements, accompanied by stunning visuals, wordless yet strongly emotional storytelling, and acoustic treats that make the player lose oneself from time to time, yet brought back to reality through episodic platforming series that significantly challenge the player in do-or-die situations. This is a game that can be enjoyed from a perspective of a platformer-loving serious player to living the wonders as a mere bystander. Dramatic shifts in difficulty from time to time are likely to cause some frustrations, but the game is set up to allow for quick resets after failures that even transitions between game lives seem effortless and smooth. Should you dive into this world, you should be prepared to lose yourself as well as the many deaths that will ensue. With that caveat, I would still strongly recommend this game for anyone who is interested, because there is too much good in this work. I would only tell you to stay away if tight platforming with some major timing requirements are not your cup of tea.

Gameplay
The game is built on much exploration and discovery, with additional places that can be explored after obtaining your skills. However, the game has been relatively linear so far, and a lot of additional exploration is not necessary to the essential story of the game.

In its core, the game is built on a foundation of action and puzzle platforming with intermittent easier and more difficult sections. This is rather deceptive in its own way, because I went in wanting to stay alive and never die--accomplish this for a decent amount of time, before my game was riddled with accidental deaths left and right. And I am only playing on normal difficulty. There is a difficulty called "One Life," which sounds positively unpleasant to me. But perhaps this challenge will be good for someone who really wants to pursue it. The challenge is real, though not as difficult as some other games out there, but I am glad that the challenge option is there.

The game pretty much allows you to save at any point where you are not actively engaged in combat, as long as you have sufficient energy to do so. This is a really good mechanic and does not require the player to constantly backtrack to specific safe points. There are also fast travel options at designated locations at various parts of the map. In addition, any failure to stay alive will render you right back at the previous save location without any fuss or any requirement for additional clicks. The transition and flow feel smooth, even in death.

Controls
I am playing with a controller, with good results. Movement is responsive; jumps are tight.

Graphics
The game is absolutely stunning. All you have to do is go to the store page and look at the screenshots. I have also taken a few of my own. Here are a few examples of what I have seen from the game:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1606242597

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1606242798

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1610305807

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1610306392

Music
Here's one of those standardized test analogies:
The above screenshots are to art as this game's OST is to music.

In other words, I am tempted to buy the soundtrack, though I can just listen from YouTube.

Audience
While any person can probably find some enjoyment from this game, the real target audience is clearly those who are really into 2D platforming. Not so much for the casual player, in my opinion.

Pricing
Totally agreeable, though I had the great fortune for a friend to gift it recently as a Christmas present.

Positives
+Art
+Music
+Storytelling
+Good length with some serious challenges
+Optional exploration paths and upgrades (necessary upgrades you will get no matter what; there's an achievement for beating the game without the use of an ability point--good challenge for some, though cruel and unusual punishment for me)
+New upgrades and abilities that are a part of the storyline contribute directly to following platforming puzzles, thus none of the essential parts of the game down to the gameplay are to be neglected if one were to wish to complete the game
+Tight controls and works well with controller (keyboard not tested)
+Easy to lose oneself in this game completely

Negatives
-Dramatic difficulty transitions are a bit difficult to deal with some seriously punishing segments that may potentially endanger the livelihood of many controllers
-Even with the multiple fast-travel sites, the map is big enough to require some significant slow and tedious backtracking at times
-Tried running game in 4K resolution, game seems to default to 2K instead (minor beef)

Conclusion
Ori and the Blind Forest is a cinematic masterpiece. For the price of two movie tickets, you and your date can sit back and enjoy an evening, (or two, or three, or more) behind your shiny new monitor/TV, and live through a story filled with wonders and puzzles, where living and dying are blended into simple transitions, and where the artwork and the musical score will simply enrapture you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny Award
< >
6 Comments
Ҩᴜᴇᴇɴ © Feb 2, 2019 @ 7:00am 
I think you tried too hard with the wording.
But I can't help but completely agree.
I hate Ori and the Blinding Tree as much as I love it.
dk Jan 7, 2019 @ 2:23pm 
Ori and Hollow Knight are 2 top metroidvanias on Steam. Really really good.
Try getting Unhinged achievement. It's a lot of fun.
YQMaoski Jan 7, 2019 @ 12:43pm 
Well, I listen to it anyway from YT, so it's quite all right. And thank you!
delenn13 Jan 7, 2019 @ 12:33pm 
Great review! :cozybethesda:You could download the OST from You Tube.
YQMaoski Jan 7, 2019 @ 12:01pm 
Thanks! :-)
onLooSe Jan 7, 2019 @ 11:24am 
Great review like always!