Ori and the Blind Forest is a visually stunning game. It was rated as one of the most beautiful games on Xbox One last year, and for good reason.
It also has a powerful story. There’s more emotion packed into the prologue of this game than in the entirety of some AAA games. The storytelling is beautiful in its simplicity, with only a few lines of text to go along with the visuals. That doesn’t prevent them from producing a full effect, though.
The original version of the game was pretty challenging on its lowest difficulty setting, so the Definitive Edition has added an easy mode. However, we couldn’t figure out exactly what made easy mode easier. I tried valiantly for several hours and over 100 deaths, but didn’t really make much more progress than I had in the original game. As someone who isn’t very good at platformers, Ori is just too challenging for me. I have neither the speed nor reflexes required to get through the sections of the game that require precise timing – and there are many of those. I also lack infinite patience, so I got hubby to help me with the puzzles, with him eventually taking over as the platforming got more and more challenging. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t play through the game myself, but Ori is still a great game to watch.
The Definitve Edition adds some new areas which feature some cool darkness puzzles that add new challenges. In these areas, you’ll also gain two new abilities, dash and light burst, both of which help make some puzzles a little bit easier. You’ll learn about Naru’s past here, which helps flesh out her rather mysterious character. The new areas fit seamlessly into the existing levels, and make good use of the new fast travel system that makes collectible hunting less of a slog.
Another added feature is a one life only difficulty level for true masochists. There’s some nice behind-the-scenes videos as well, so you can see how Ori came to life and became the amazing game it is now.
I can’t review this game without mentioning the sound. The sound effects are excellent, but it’s the music that really makes this title stand out for me. Gareth Coker’s score is beautiful and haunting, and adds so much emotion to the game, and the new music for the Definitive Edition is no exception. He’s even made the new music available as pay-what-you-want. I actually bought the original soundtrack before ever playing the game, and it remains one of my favourite game soundtracks in my collection.
If you want to read Jarred’s review of the game when it first came out, you can read it here. As it stands Ori is one of those games that just has to be played, especially if you are into platformers. It is just that good that it deserves “must play” status, and if you missed out before, the Definitive Edition adds enough to make it really worth grabbing now.