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Ori is pure magic

Mar 20, 2015

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Ori and the Blind ForestOri of Ori and the Blind Forest is lucky, it is just a shame that luck has been all bad.

When Ori was but a little firecracker he fell out of his home in the Spirit Tree landing unceremoniously in the forest below.

Not a good way to start your existence as a white guardian spirit.

Luckily, Ori is rescued by Naru, a furry bear-like creature, who raises Ori as her own. They share their love and lives together; until the forest is destroyed and Naru dies, leaving Ori orphaned and alone.

Ori and the Blind ForestSo much for living happily ever after, eh?

Ori begins exploring the singed ashes of the barbecued forest and that is where our true adventure begins to save the very forest itself from extinction.

At the start, Ori is a fairly weak character who can barely jump, fight or maneuver around the forest. As you explore, Ori becomes more agile, powerful and skillful learning to shoot destructive energy at enemies and jump up, climb walls like Spider-Man. Some of the powers are acquired naturally, others you can choose from a skill tree. As new areas open up so are new powers, skills which are immediately put to the test before you are truly let loose on the challenges ahead.

Ori and the Blind ForestSome of these phases can feel a bit like training levels but they never stop the momentum or take away from the fun in any way. Due to the staggered save points, you are forced to really master these abilities or you will find some parts of Ori and the Blind Forest quite difficult to get through.

Be warned though. There are not many save points so it is best that you save your game as often as you can using the "Soul Links" you collect while adventuring.

The level design itself is comparable to the very best, the king of platforming, Mario, has ever had to offer. The sections are diverse and skillfully conceived. Unlike some limiting, repetitive platformers, there is truly never a dull moment in Ori and the Blind Forest. Just when you think you have your path plotted or figured things out, the developers turn things upside down with all manner of demanding and welcome twists and turns.

Ori and the Blind ForestOn top of it all, Ori's sights and sounds are stunning. The orchestral score fits the fairy tale, fantasy feel, giving the game so much emotion throughout which is so very important since none of the characters actually speak. The settings whether bright and beautiful or dank and dark, are astoundingly picturesque and striking.

One of the most creative and captivating platformers in years, Ori and the Blind Forest is one enchanting surprise after another. With such wonderful gameplay, intense emotion, gorgeous graphics and sound, Ori really is the complete package. It is one of the best looking games on the Xbox One as well as one of the best of 2015.

Ori and the Blind Forest is available now for download from the Xbox Store for $19.99.

Ori and the Blind Forest Ori and the Blind Forest
Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Moon Studios
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

Official Site: http://www.oriblindforest.com/

Rating: 8.5 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.