Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest will draw you in with its visuals and keep you glued to the screen with tight controls, enemy variation and overall gameplay that earned the developer numerous awards and almost unanimous 9/10s across the board. That being said, it's not for everyone.
Upon launching in March the only negative comment that could be said was the game had some technical issues that caused the game to crash. This is something I myself experienced when trying to play the game on Xbox One recently. After the first half dozen times it performed flawlessly but be prepared for it to do the same to you, even now six months down the track.
That slight hitch aside I think the game looks stunning and the opening cutscene followed by some interactive storytelling achieves what few other games have in a way that feels right. The enemies are varied enough to keep you on your toes and the save system where you can put a checkpoint anywhere will have you breathing a sigh of relief and kicking yourself alternately throughout the game.
People's memories tend to add a shine to some games that just wasn't there the first time they played it. Nostalgia has that effect and can make you remember something that looks and plays so much better than it ever was. How you remember those games is how Ori and the Blind Forest actually is in the present day, which is a huge accomplishment to the team at Moon Studios.
Much like in the recent resurgence of adventure games however, I'm discovering that I don't really want more platformers. This is a completely personal preference and if you're looking for a great platformer then you've found it. Ori and the Blind forest would easily be in the top few games of the genre. It's just not for me.
Clearly I'm in the minority because the game has performed astonishingly well since release, gaining an 88 on Metacritic across both platforms that it's currently on and having over 9,000 reviews on Steam, 96% of which rate the game positively. You only have to look at the fact that Ori was profitable within a week to see how well it has done.
A few updates have rolled out since release including adding a new save slot backup system, improving overall performance and fixing numerous bugs and rare instances. The game was also featured during Games Done Quick, and the overall success of Ori and the Blind Forest has led to Moon Studios' Game Director Thomas Mahler announcing that Ori and the Blind Forest would be getting a definitive edition for Xbox One and PC later this year which could potentially have new areas, game mechanics and abilities.
On a NeoGAF post shortly after the game released, Thomas Mahler had the following to say:
"I think we crafted a big world with memorable characters and there's a lot of potential for us to go in and keep working on that tale. I've read both sides now - people that loved the story and people that really only cared for the gameplay and dismissed the story. But there was actually quite a lot of lore we created that didn't really make it into Blind Forest. I do really like that we kept the story focused on that triangle-relationship between Ori, Naru, and Kuro.
I love that our characters have quite a lot of depth and that even our antagonist isn't just out to take over the world, but has a good reason for her actions. But it'd be interesting to take it a step further and open up the world a bit more, to give people further insight into how Nibel works, the characters in it, etc.
I'd love for us and Microsoft to do a little bit more with the IP. Ultimately, I think it'd be amazing if some movie studio would acquire the film rights and produce a film based on Ori. I think the story we crafted would suit itself really well for that medium as well."
Ori and the Blind Forest is available in your region now for both Xbox One and PC. You can expect to pay roughly $20USD at full retail price or you can grab a Steam key from G2A for as low as $14.50USD right now.