Platforms: Xbox One, Windows 10
Reviewed On: Xbox On
Developer: Moon Studios
Release Date: 11 March 2016
RELATED: PlayStation VR Dated and Priced
It has been a year since the original Ori and the Blind Forest released on Xbox One, and the Definitive Edition makes for a welcoming package of a gorgeous masterpiece. The Definitive Edition is basically the original game, with a few added tweaks, and a couple of new environments to explore.
Ori and The Blind Forest tells the tale of Ori, who after falling out the Great Spirit Tree, finds himself in the welcoming presence of Naru, a forest creature. Events unfold which causes the forest to decay and the magic to die. Ori now sets out on an adventure to try to revive the forest by finding all the great elements that reside deep within. The game has a combination of platforming, and a great combat system which sees Ori take on the cursed creatures which have spawned in result to the disaster. You gain XP and level up, unlocking new skills for Ori, and as you explore deeper into the game, you will learn new abilities which will help you get through the challenging areas.
Moon Studio listened closely to fans and improved on many of the rather lackluster features found in the original. There is now a fast travel option, which is great as the original was mostly made up of backtracking the large world to find collectables. The two new environments are more than just random areas with puzzles and items to collect, rather these two areas focus on shedding some light on Ori’s friend and adoptive mother-figure, Naru. The locations never feel like a waste of time, and the game has such a gripping tale, that you will find yourself engrossed by their stunning environments and heartwarming narrative.
The new environments are also found pretty early on in the game, so that players who have played the game prior to the Definitive Edition, will be able to explore them early on. In addition to the new areas, there are also new abilities that are unlocked during these visits to them. Ori now has a dash ability which helps during exploration and combat, and a grenade-like attack called a Light Burst. As the combat is pretty tough, the new abilities make for a welcoming addition to the early hours of the game, and will prevent players from giving up too soon.
The game now includes a solid behind-the-scenes experience, way back to when the game was in its early stages. Videos and artwork are nice to sit through, especially when you complete the game. Developer diaries and art all take you back to that specific point in the game as your explore these additional features.
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition could have been another cash in, but rather it manages to bring life back into a game which made such an impact on the world. Playing it for the fourth time, it still gave me goosebumps and teary eyes. Its characters, locations, soundtrack and story is one of a kind, and you would be missing out if you did not give this one a try.