Developer: Moon Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
Code Provided: Yes
As soon as Cuphead got revealed for the Nintendo Switch back in March, I have been hoping that Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest would follow. The primary reason being that I’d never gotten the chance to play Ori and the Blind Forest, although it had been on my radar for quite some time. Luckily it did, and boy did it deliver. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is absolutely phenomenal on Nintendo’s hybrid console. With gorgeous visuals and an incredible story to tell, this is a game you have to try out.
Story / Gameplay
The story of Ori and the Blind Forest follows the Spirit Tree’s narration. During a terrible storm, a guardian spirit, Ori, falls from The Spirit Tree, and ends up being taken in by Naru. Naru takes care of Ori, until something horrible happens. Naru dies of starvation as a result of the forest dying. Ori is then tasked with restoring the forest after meeting Sein, the small blue orb who helps guide Ori along the way. This story is beautifully crafted and very touching.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition has some fantastic gameplay elements with some surprisingly intricate puzzles. First, I’d like to talk about Soul Links. These are an element that allows the player to save from basically anywhere, as well as adjust or update their skill tree. They are pretty easy to obtain, so the more often you use them the better. The map is one of the other many high points for the game. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition has a vast world to explore, and it really allows for the player to get very invested in this world. There were points where I couldn’t put the game down, as I wanted to continue exploring all that Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition had to offer. As you progress throughout the game, you will unlock many new abilities for Ori to use, such as double jumping. These abilities add new aspects to the game which make it much more exciting and throw in new twists for the players to experience. Maybe you can go back to that puzzle from a while ago and complete it now! As mentioned previously, Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition does offer a skill tree, where players can upgrade and unlock various things such as attacks and new abilities.
The game offers a few modes for players to try out, all of which will affect the difficulty of Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition by quite a bit. Normal Mode, Easy Mode, Hard Mode, and One-Life mode are all available from the get-go.
Surprisingly, this charming platformer is considerably difficult. There are some pretty tough challenges across the map, and they do add another level to the game for the player. As someone who does tend to play quite a bit of platformers, none of these challenges were too difficult, however, I can see some of these being quite tricky for these inexperienced with the genre.
Visuals / Performance
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition has unbelievably gorgeous visuals, crafted in every single part of the game. Everywhere you look is extremely detailed, and the development team did a phenomenal job. Take a look at an in-game screenshot below.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition‘s world is amazing and beautiful. In this section underground, you can see just how much detail has been put in. The background seems endless, and you can see all kinds of gorgeous wildlife (or roots in this case) behind you. This kind of attention to detail is really unheard of for most 2-D platformers. The game really makes you feel like you’re traveling through a forest, and it’s a good feeling to have.
Now let’s get into performance, an area where I’m sure some of you are interested in. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition runs like butter. The game runs so smooth. For my review, I played about half the game in handheld mode and half in docked mode. In handheld mode, the game runs at 720p60, while in docked, the game runs at 1080p60. The game has zero frame dips whatsoever, and has a very consistent resolution no matter the play style (Handheld or Docked). Moon Studios did a fantastic job bringing this game over to the Nintendo Switch.
While I’m on the topic of visuals, I would like to mention the cutscenes in the game. Although there are very few of them, the ones we did get are absolutely phenomenal and look beautiful on the Nintendo Switch.
To touch on the soundtrack just a bit, Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition boasts a phenomenal soundtrack, expressing all sorts of emotion through the music. The music helps set the tone, and is truly a joy to listen to.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is truly a joy to have on the Nintendo Switch. From its moving story to impressive visuals, Ori and the Blind Forest will absolutely deliver and bring the player hours of fun and joy.