A great game got a little bit better!
If you are a fan of Metroidvania style games, then you have definitely checked out Ori and the Blind Forest. In our review, we gave the game an 8.5, and you can check out Skoar’s review, online. It has been over a year since Ori and the Blind Forest was launched, and I had only two problems with it – one, there was no way one could chose a difficulty option (the game was quite challenging), and two, once the game was over, there was no way to go back and explore areas you may have missed out while pursuing the story. Thankfully, not only have these two issues been taken care of in the Definitive Edition, but the developers have added new areas and abilities to Ori, which makes the proposition of revisiting this game quite tempting.
Gamers can now choose from easy, normal, hard and ‘one life’ difficulties, and this is a blessing since the game wasn’t easy by any means. Gamers who have mastered the game will definitely enjoy the one life mode, as it makes the game very challenging. The environments, which were a great substitute for a boss battle, were brutally punishing to the point where I had every move mapped to muscle memory to win. This put off a lot of my friends from giving this game a shot beyond a certain point, and even though I have finished the story, the impact was a lot lesser, owing to the frustration caused by the difficulty. This has been rectified in the Definitive Edition.
In addition to the difficulties, there are two new environments in the game accompanied by two new abilities for Ori. The two new abilities are Light Burst and Dash. Dashing, as the name suggests, lets you dash across the environment, while Light Burst gives you a new way to take down your foes. Put simply, this is a grenade that Ori can throw with the tap of a button, and hold down the button to aim. Both the abilities can be upgraded through the Skill Tree. The new environments include The Black Root Burrows (that focus on the past of Naru) and Lost Grove. Both the areas are nice additions, and offer a new finale where gamers are introduced to the new abilities. One good thing is that both the new environments – the Black Root Burrows and Lost Grove – appear early on in the game. It is not like an addition to the end of the game.
For those of you who haven’t played the game or haven’t heard of it, here is a quick recap. Moon Studios developed the game for Xbox One and PC. Put simply, if you love action-adventure games or Metroidvania-style games, then this should definitely be on your list. The game’s visuals and soundtrack are nothing short of a Pixar movie. To quote our review of the original game, “The colours dazzle, the detailing is uncanny and each element of the game is designed to enhance the undercurrent of emotional upheaval that flows throughout the game. The graphics complement the game in every way, enhancing the experience for the player. The game designers have certainly utilised the full power of the Unity engine.”
It will touch your heart immediately. The soundtrack is filled with emotions, and if you hear the soundtrack without playing the game, the emotions do not exactly hit you. I would hold back the entire details as that would spoil the game for you, but let’s just say that the soundtrack will give you goose bumps every time you hear it.
It may be a bit overwhelming at first and there is a learning curve, but once you get the hang of the controls, playing the game feels like second nature. The game has a pleasant mix of platforming, puzzle solving and actions. Enemies reappear in areas you have already visited, and there are times when this is linked to traversing or puzzle solving. There are times when you will pick your brains to solve a puzzle, only to realise that the solution was right there in front of you.
Ori and the Blind Forest – Verdict
Ori and the Blind Forest is a brilliant game that definitely deserves your attention. It is the perfect mix of story, gameplay and soundtrack to grab your attention. If for some reason you missed the game initially, the Definitive Edition is a good reason for you to check it out now. The new levels are more interesting than the new powers, and just playing the game for a second time made me realise why I loved the game so much, the first time around. Playing on an easier difficulty made the experience less frustrating, but those looking for a challenge may want to try normal before trying the ‘hard’ difficulty. The normal difficulty is quite challenging, too. If you have played Metroidvania-style games like Guacamelee!, Song of the Deep, République, Axiom Verge and more, then you will definitely enjoy Ori and the Blind Forest. However, if you are one of the running and gunning types, then this may not be the game for you.
|Developer: Moon Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platforms: Xbox One and PC
Price: Rs. 1,120
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Sameer "Psycho Mantis" Mitha
I live for gaming and technology is my muse. When I am not busy playing with gadgets or video games I delve into the world of fantasy novels.