So as promised, I’m back with my first impressions of Ori and the Blind Forest. It’s a fairly recent game, released in 2015 for Xbox One and PC. Now, I don’t have a PC and it runs like shit on my laptop so I’ll need to resolve that at some point, but I can say that even with the framerate being so dire, the game itself looks absolutely beautiful. I feel like I totally owe it a better PC haha. I bought the Definitive Edition which was released a year later, and includes a few extras such as fast travel and an Easy Mode (the mode can be changed at any time.)
The opening sequence is truly mesmerising, and I felt totally emotionally invested by the time it was over. It tells the story of the Spirit Tree; one night a terrible storm knocks a spirit fragment, ‘Ori’ from the tree and Ori becomes lost in the forest. But Ori is picked up by a friendly looking blob with a smiley face… I think it’s called ‘Naru.’ The friendly blob has a belly that jiggles up and down and is ridiculously cute! Ori soon becomes best of friends with the blob, collecting fruit together in the summer and having fun. One night, the spirit tree calls to you, but the blob bundles you up and hides you away – maybe the blob doesn’t want to let Ori go ❤ But as time passes… food starts to run out. The blob gives you the last piece of fruit… and by the end… the blob doesn’t make it…
By this point I was already distraught because I felt like I’d become friends with the blob but then they were cruelly taken away ;_; I cry forever. WHY WOULD YOU TAKE MY BLOB FRIEND </3
After that, Ori is then left to fend for himself… and despite his efforts… he doesn’t make it either T_T my heart fell out at this point.
However ALL IS NOT LOST! It seems the spirit tree is able to revive you and you can then begin wandering the forests to find your way home. ❤ Okay good because I might not have made it myself if Ori was dead too.
The whole prologue is extremely engaging, and it’s not just the visuals that make it so, the music and sound effects are wonderful as well. Even if you have no desire to play the game I think it would be worth just watching this by itself.
Anyway – enough raving about the intro, that’s just the first 10 minutes!
The game itself is a platformer, and has everything you would expect from one; the ability to jump and avoid obstacles plus the standard perils you would see (spikes!). You are able to save but not just whenever you feel like it, you need to collect things in order to build enough energy to make a save point. Controlling Ori feels nice enough, you can hold A to jump higher and to begin with the mechanics are pretty simple.
Once you get a little way in, you meet a sprite that gives you the power to attack enemies by bashing a button – it’s very straight forward and pretty satisfying, as the little orb attacks by itself and you don’t really need to do much to defeat an enemy. It also allows you to squash some obstacles that were blocking your way previously too, so you can go further than you could before.
One of the things I didn’t like about Ori is that it introduces a bunch of stuff to you very quickly and doesn’t really give you any time to settle; there were ability points, keystones, life orbs, spirit energy… some other stuff I can’t remember because there was so much in the space of 30 minutes. They are simple mechanics on the face of it but when they are introduced in such a short space of time it did feel a bit overwhelming, which is strange for a platformer because they are normally great at this.
Ori has an ability tree, and I am usually not at all fond of them, but I don’t mind this one so much because it’s not hugely complicated, and only has 3 linear branches so easy enough to get to grips with. You can collect ability points by killing enemies with your blue orb friend and grabbing the mini orbs that float out of them.
Nothing about the gameplay so far has made me really say ‘wow!’ to be honest – I’m not a huge fan of platformers in general and so far Ori hasn’t done anything that really sets it apart from the rest in terms of it’s mechanics yet. I’ve only played about an hour though so I’m sure there will be a lot more to come later that might spice it up a bit!
Overall, of course I love the visuals, but I need to play a little more to really understand what it’s thrown at me at the moment.
I’ll be back when I’m a bit further in ^-^
Thanks for reading! ❤