ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST: MAGIC IS BELIEVABLE IN THIS SWEET SYMPHONY OF STARS
Do you believe in magic? After playing Ori and the Blind Forest I certainly do now, the reasons behind this will all be revealed in this Game of The Month article. So get ready to embark on an amazing adventure that will make you smile and will warm your heart. Ori and the Blind Forest is like an orchestra made of stars playing the sweetest symphony right in front your eyes, you can see lots of heart in this title and a deep love and respect for the art of video games, something lacking in most AAA blockbusters. It’s a 2D platformer that will take you to a fascinating and beautifully designed world from which you won ́t want to come back from. Be ready to play this adventure from its humble beginnings all the way to the very end by the hand of Ori. Discover all the secrets inside The Blind Forest and unveil the mysteries within, a very rewarding experience awaits you and you are going to love it, I promise.
ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST’S DEVELOPMENT AT A GLANCE
I know that my introduction can seem a little bit over enthusiastic, but I can assure you it is a true reflection of all the emotions I experienced while going through Ori and the Blind Forest. Every session was very rewarding and the game just felt right. It is a very polished title, you can see she sheer amount the effort that went in to every scene, level and cinematic, the art is great and very nostalgic. The game was developed over a period of 4 years to reach its final form, which means more than a thousand and two hundred days of work by the development team of Moon Studios, a development studio founded by both professional and video gaming fans.
Let’s start with games that influenced the developers by extracting this information from their own words:
Some of the elements included in Ori are 2D platform style levels resembling these fond games, with a bit of RPG flair that allows you to upgrade the main character throughout the game. In the art department you can see creations that refer to pieces by Miyazaki and movies like “The iron Giant” (a great movie from the 90 ́s), even the Lion King is mentioned inside Ori ́s art, so any players from this era will be touched to tears.
All this makes it clear that Ori ́s developers are true gamers, their idea for creating a game by gamers for gamers, has been achieved with the knowledge and experience of working in the industry for many years. Ori and The Blind Forest is their grand masterpiece.
“At Moon Studios we all grew up playing games like Super Metroid, Zelda: A link to the past, etc. and with Ori, we wanted to recapture the magic of these games.”
The game was released last March and critics have been very positive from both the media and players, something that Moon Studios can feel very proud about. One of the elements that Moon Studios put a great deal of effort in to was storytelling, this is the main feature used to enrich the game world and deliver a fun and entertaining gaming experience.
Ori and the Blind Forest feels like a fable in which we become an important part of. This is the story of a forest spirit and its relation with the forest itself and how things are interconnected and, in the end, there is a very important lesson for us to learn.
To help Ori to understand his role in this life, and in order to help him achieve his fate we will encounter carefully crafted and memorable characters, that will lead you through the adventure by telling stories and giving you clues you need in order to complete each quest. To advance in the game and learn more about Ori and its journey, you need to travel in a 2D world full of platform style levels, each one with its own puzzles that must be solved before you can go further. Be ready to be challenged, as the game gets harder as you get deeper in to the adventure. Aside from our main character and its companions, the environment itself plays just like another character that you need to interact with, by shooting “Spirit Flames” and performing “Wall Runs”, so a great deal of dexterity is required as well as fast reflexes to save you time.
You will also need to overcome several missions and trials to restore the forest and keep it alive, allowing all creatures to have a peaceful place to live in. Ori is a forest spirit who was raised by Naru and stayed by her side until she died. After this, Ori meets Sein and from here Sein is both Ori’s guide and protector, Sein will guide our protagonist to restore the forest by gathering the light of three elements ruling the land: Warmth, Wind and Water.
ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST: THE PLOT
All of the characters have been both intelligently and emotionally conceived, so connecting with them won ́t be a problem. You will meet several different characters trough your journey, each of them with an important lesson to teach Ori.
Sein also helps by assisting Ori to fight foes, making battles more enjoyable and allowing you to play as a team, because 4 is better than 2. Later on, Ori and Sein meet Gumo (part of the Gumon clan of the wind elements) and Kuro, a majestic owl who’s own story will be revealed and is very emotive.
From here you need to play the game in order to discover all secrets behind each character and the fait of the Blind Forest. As I have said, it is a very rewarding story full of messages and lessons so you will be happy to be part or it.
As a 2D platformer, controls are easy to use, however that doesn ́t mean the game is easy. With the joystick and different buttons on the controller, we can make Ori move around the screen, mainly jumping from one space to another and defeating foes by shooting fireballs. You will also need to be very skilful to master Ori ́s moves, so don ́t get frustrated if you fail some levels, just try again.
The RPG mentioned elements are implemented by collecting heart shards, energy shards. These are used to unlock new abilities and perform upgrades. With these we can develop Ori into a more powerful character in a progressive way.
ORI AND THE BLIND FOREST: GAMEPLAY
One of the more interesting elements I found were Soul Links, these are found by gathering special resources within levels, after getting enough resources, a “Soul Link” can be created and this will serve as a check point, a very interesting feature. In addition to regular checkpoints, “Soul Links” allow you to set your own checkpoints every time you need them.
This makes game progression smoother and you won ́t be rushing to finish a level if you need to leave or to stop playing. Don ́t smile to fast however, as this element is not infinite and must be smartly used, keep in mind that these special resources might be hard to find, making them very precious. Once you have gathered enough, use your soul links wisely so you don ́t run out of them. I ́d suggest to only use them as a last resort and just when it’s really necessary.
ORI AND THE BLIN FOREST: CONCLUSION
Ori and The Blind Forest is another well achieved Unity game and I must say that I enjoyed every single minute I played. For those working on games right now, it can be very inspiring, especially in the art department, it will make you want to put the extra effort into your designs as you can see what can be achieved. Once again Unity teaches us that it is the best Video Game development software and with a good development team you will be very successful on your projects. Thanks for reading and we will meet each other in the next Unt3Dmag issue, a magazine made by Unity professionals and fans for you.