Ori and the Blind Forest Overview

How good is Ori and the blind forest?

Really good. I think I wrote about it before. All the different parts have interactions between each other that enable you to do a lot of crazy things. The Bash skill in particular is a work of inspiration, the ability to grab any enemy or projectile and boost off them, sending them the opposite way. Then they let you cancel downward momentum from it with double jumps, and keep horizontal momentum from it by releasing the control stick.

My main qualms about it are that the metroidvania structure is all segmented off into these little areas that you deal with for a while before moving onto the next one, and there’s no warps. They expect you to go back and forth across this place focusing on areas at opposite ends of the map intensely, but don’t provide fast travel. It’s more tolerable in a game like symphony or super metroid, because your objectives are all over the place, so you get lead around a lot, and you don’t need to get too focused on any individual region, but you practically exhaust areas in Ori in one go, and individual areas can be rather linear, even if the world structure as a whole is nonlinear. Then they hide ability orb caches in places you need powers from later on to access, so you gotta backtrack across the whole world for 100%.

That and there’s not much of an end segment where you can use all the powers, hell, there’s not much of a middle segment where you use all the powers. I felt like I just barely got the superjump and already the game was ending.

Oh, and the speedrun really highlights the depth of interaction between the movement mechanics and level design. Like watch older runs first, then move up to newer runs. It’s really astonishing how much the game changes between them.

There’s also some clever things like having door keys not be specific to areas, but general things you can use anywhere, so you can pass door keys from some areas to others, and I think even duplicate them under some circumstances. It’s interesting how the pace at which you gain energy cells is controlled in the early game, allowing them to use those as doors, and how it counts from the usable cells, so you can spend all your cells on a door, kill an enemy, then spend the cell you get from that. The cutscene system is interesting in the way it actually manipulates objects in the world, or sets triggers for them. And the shockwave from stomp works in the air off enemies, bash resetting jumps, charge flame reflecting projectiles. The whole savestate system that costs an energy cell and has a cooldown. Barriers that can be broken with charge flame, stomp, or enemy projectiles.

There’s a massive number of subtle touches that create depth between the components and allow for alternate solutions. The game can be fairly challenging at times too and tries new things all the time.

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