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My incomplete not-1000-word-review of Ori and the Blind Forest (I hope this will do, dude, @xist)


#1

Disclaimer: This was written in one short sitting, didn’t even reread it, and I only have 2h of playtime, so don’t take it too seriously either pls. It’s just that I had to do at least something once Xist called me out, rofl. (It’s only like 400 words though, but meh.)

How does one review a game that is universally acclaimed as being a masterpiece? Perhaps by asking the question whether it is a masterpiece to begin with. There is no doubt about the fact that it is an audiovisual masterpiece yes, but a game consists of more than images and sounds.

As soon as you launch this game, you are taken aghast by the beautiful vistas and the hand-drawn illustrations, presented in a color palette that constitutes a feast for the eyes. There is no doubt that this game looks stunning, and one cannot but be impressed by this feature. Likewise is the audio aspect of the game. The soundtrack is simply put no less than amazing, having been recorded by a top-tier orchestra at the Nashville Music Recording Studios.

Once you actually start playing though, you start having questions as well, who is narrating (sometimes it seems there is more than one narrator too), what exactly is happening, and what does it all mean (is it all meant to be a metaphor about climate change or pollution in general)?

Some of the gameplay-related design choices, however, are perhaps a little clumsy or make less sense. Whereas fellow modern Metroidvanias like Guacamelee, Sundered, Salt and Sanctuary, and Hollow Knight had a strong focus on skill-based combat, Moon Studios decided to give their character a fighting ability that basically can be likened to having a noob tube with auto-aim, allowing the player to simply bash a single button, whereupon Ori proceeds to automatically hit whichever enemy (or enemies later on) is close-by, effectively destroying them without having to focus on anything but avoiding getting hit by them. This is a far cry from the hectic, super fast and precise nail-fighting which many a player had become accustomed to while conquering the world of Hollow Knight.

Another aspect of the gameplay which is questionable is the wall jump, not the fact that you can wall jump, but the way in which it was implemented. It is rather clumsy and unsteady, resulting in different outcomes. Sometimes you would run up the wall for a bit, while at other times you are able to make little jumps only, which leads to frustrating moments when you need absolute precision in order to avoid taking damage by nearby spikes or make a difficult jump.


#2

I believe the narrator is the tree.

The combat is simple and easy because it’s not a game about combat. Fighting enemies is not really the meat of the game, the movement mechanics, which will be greatly expanded upon as you progress, is what it’s all really about.

I’m not sure what you mean about the wall jump, it’s some time since I played the game but I can not recall having a problem with it or finding it off in any way. Are you playing with a gamepad or kb/m?


#3

gamepad y, i think the narrator is the creature that took care of Ori at the beginning and then died, but like i said, could be that it’s them at some times and i guess maybe the tree at others

I play with an xbox 360 controller. What i mean is that sometimes u hit spikes on the walls simply because it is not very precise in its handling, but maybe that’s on me? though i think it’s on the handling, lol, i don’t seem to have this problem in other games like meatboy, for example, where it is very clear that it’s my own fault when i hit a saw in the wall or something similar

also: this (incomplete and not even finished) piece was merely written in reaction to @xist’s call out; it is not motivated by anything else, lol, not even conviction, and some points were perhaps merely made cuz points need to be made in need of some content, lol


#4

I am disappoint in your non Britishness.

Good job, would read again. :slight_smile: