Ori and the Blind Forest

released on Mar 11, 2015

The forest of Nibel is dying. After a powerful storm sets a series of devastating events in motion, an unlikely hero must journey to find his courage and confront a dark nemesis to save his home. Ori and the Blind Forest tells the tale of a young orphan destined for heroics, through a visually stunning action-platformer crafted by Moon Studios for Xbox One and PC. Featuring hand-painted artwork, meticulously animated character performance, and a fully orchestrated score, Ori and the Blind Forest explores a deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all.

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One of the most beautiful games I've ever played. Not as good as the sequel tho.

pelo pouco que joguei, tem uma trilha sonora mt boa, art style insano e um level design legal

I wish the controls were a bit tighter but this is a really solid Metroidvania. The story is nice and melancholy and the visuals are lovely.

Ori and the Blind Forest is a 2D Metroidvania game starring Ori, a ridiculously cute glowing animal with big eyes and long ears. Heavy on style, this game has a very strong visual style to it, with excellent-looking environments and enemies and allies that fit into the style of the world very well.

Accompanied by Sein, a ball of light which represents the last spark of the Tree Spirit’s power, and whose voice is strongly reminiscent of Navi the fairy from Ocarina of Time, Ori is tasked with restoring the wind, water, and fires for the forest to revive the Spirit Tree before the woods die for good.

The narrative is woven into the gameplay, but while the narration (spoken in a nonsense language, translated to English on-screen) works well enough, only the prologue really blows you away. At twelve minutes long, it is kind of pushing it as far as intro cutscenes go, even if you can technically “interact” with the environment in meaningless ways, but it does an excellent job of setting the emotional grounds for the rest of the game, even if the character we end up bonding with isn’t the one we spend most of the game trying to save (which is rather unfortunate, given that I cared much more about them than I did about the deep-voiced Spirit Tree). Still, it made me want to see more, and while some of the later cutscenes are of reasonable quality, they’re just not as good as the story at the start of the game.

As for the gameplay itself, it works great. The controls are tight, the abilities you acquire over the course of the game are mostly used in interesting ways (with one kind of lame exception), and the gameplay brings together all your abilities in natural-feeling ways to make exploring the environment of the game-world a fun and enjoyable experience. The environment are interesting, both visually and technically, and there are a reasonable range of challenges, including offbeat gameplay elements in the first two “dungeons” in the game, with the third and final dungeon being sort of a recap dungeon that tests your ability to use your abilities to the fullest.

The overall progression in the game feels mostly natural – you get your abilities, and your new abilities allow you to visit new areas. But more, your beating the dungeons actually changes the world environment in significant ways which further your ability to explore. The first dungeon cleanses the water of the world, letting you swim around the environment, while the second produces updrafts of wind in certain areas which allow you to fly using your parachute ability. Both of these follow naturally from the themes of the dungeons, and they both feel like they have real repercussions in the game world, furthering the game’s theme of restoring the forest to life.

The enemies, too, are mostly pretty reasonable, though unfortunately the variety on them does begin to wear thin after a while. The game is about ten hours long, but you encounter all of the enemies in the game before you even reach the final dungeon – indeed, you may encounter them all before you even enter the first dungeon, if you go out of your way to explore as much as you can. While they do a pretty good job of exploiting the game mechanics, after a while they do start to feel a little repetitive rather than fresh. Still, the environments tend to be novel enough that this isn’t a huge deal.

The secrets are decently hidden – there is no guidebook necessary to find them, as you can unlock the ability to reveal them on your map, or even visually on-screen. Some of them are kind of a bit boring to get back to, involving boring backtracking to just use one new ability somewhere, but some of them are well-hidden at the end of miniature mazes, and those feel rewarding. These secrets unlock more health, energy (used for a couple of your abilities – including the ability to create save points anywhere, which can also be used to restore your health somewhat), and improved versions of your basic abilities on your skill tree. There are enough that they feel interesting to find, but not so many that they’re onerous to collect; even still, the “find all the secrets” achievement is a bit dumb, because there are some secrets which are not revealed on your mini-map from unlocking your skill tree.

This sort of minor design oversight shows up a few times in the game – one of the achievements just plain old didn’t work for no apparent reason, and none of the dungeons can be revisited in order to collect secrets you missed, which is kind of annoying if you’re a completionist type.

On the whole, Ori and the Blind Forest is a good game, but not a great one. It has some flaws, but its overall quality makes you want to forgive it for them. You generally have fun going through the game, and the platforming challenges feel fresh and challenging. At about ten hours long to get 100% completion, it isn’t so long that it wears out its welcome, but isn’t so short that you are left wanting