Yet another game on my backlog, I had never before heard of Ori and the Blind Forest until someone had requested we play it on our Youtube channel. Cary ended up taking on the responsibility of recording her playthrough of this amazing game, and as I watched her progress, I knew that this was a game I just had to try for myself someday. Eventually, I found both the first game and its sequel for sale on Amazon, and so I took no delay in snatching both up.
Ori and the Blind Forest is a Metroidvania-style platformer with gorgeous graphics and a beautiful soundtrack, topped off with a sweet story. Ori himself is a lot of fun to control, especially as you get more and more abilities, many of which are unique to this game, such as the ability to climb walls and use the bash move, which allows you to latch onto projectiles, or even enemies themselves, and use them to jump to new heights…or launch them in the opposite direction to damage enemies or break walls. While the bash move can be a lot of fun, it certainly takes some getting used to and was responsible for a lot of my woes.
In an age where many games feel too easy, Ori is refreshingly difficult, but not usually overly so. While some sections of the game can be exceedingly tough, like the Misty Woods, the absolute worst parts of the game are the chase sequences whenever you’ve restored another element. I really don’t do well in games when I have to be practically perfect for a prolonged period of time without any checkpoints. And what made these hardest for me was whenever I needed to rely on unpredictable enemy projectiles for my bash move. In such circumstances where a single mistake can get you killed, I really didn’t appreciate having to hope against hope that an enemy will send me a projectile exactly where and when I need it.
Fortunately, the rest of the game is a lot of fun, and there are two features that I really loved. One was being able to save almost anywhere you want (provided you have enough energy cells), meaning you’re largely in control over how much progress you lose if you die attempting to traverse somewhere particularly challenging. Secondly, I loved being able to upgrade Ori’s abilities using three paths of the ability tree, allowing the player to upgrade whichever category suits them most. I remember focusing on getting items shown on the map first, while stronger attacks was my last priority. And while you require ability cells in order to unlock these upgrades, the game provides plenty of these things, so there’s no need to worry about having to defeat tons of enemies just to have enough, which was a concern of mine when I first started playing. I beat the game with 100%, and I was able to obtain every upgrade on the ability tree with several ability cells to spare.
In general, Ori and the Blind Forest was an amazing game which I would highly recommend to any fan of Metroidvania-style games. Ori himself was a really fun character to play with, especially as he became increasingly agile as the game progressed. The game took me just over 12 hours to get 100%. While that’s not a bad length for a game, I feel like it could have been a bit longer like another recommendation of mine, Hollow Knight, which took me nearly 48 hours. I mean, I’m not saying Ori needed to be that long, but maybe that would explain why the game felt a bit short to me. While I have to admit that Ori made me pretty irritated from time to time during the particularly tough parts, even then, I would say my time spent with it was well worth it.
Banner image from official Nintendo eShop
This post was originally published on Virtual Bastion on September 21, 2021.