I played through Ori and the Blind Forest about a year ago, took 26 hours to do it, and did so on purpose. I took time to master every skill, shooting from owl to owl to owl in the air to grind out ability points and get better at a skill I knew I hadn’t figured out yet. It was like Super Meat Boy all over again, so I started playing that too. Turned on by the platformer precision I went on to put 76 new hours into some of SMB’s less friendly achievements.
When Ori’s definitive edition released I wasn’t ready to dive back in. After the first hour into it I knew why, Ori and the Blind Forest is a super heavy game. The music is drama full, story, heavy. Everything that comes together to make this game amazing also makes it hard to come back to. I remember after 26 hours of the original, the title screen music had a significant impact on me. To be clear, I am not complaining, the early Metroid games had the same effect on me, but I recognize those games as reasons I still play today, and still have active save files on my 3DS that I play in little chunks often. All this is to say, know that you are in for an experience, the game will do something unavoidable to you if you put time into it. It will leave a mark.
With a heavy texture, also comes some of the finest physics of any game I’ve played. Ori isn’t like Super Meat Boy, but is inspired by Super Meat Boy. SMB is full of sharp edges and stark contrasting color, even the music is precise like a chainsaw. Meat Boy flys like a sniper rifle, Ori is like an HD Monet port that looks and handles like x-art and Disney got together to carress our feelers, emotionally, physically, conceptually. Ori is graceful, and seems to sink into and grab a hold of the world. On a finer level you can make Ori gorgeous, transitioning over obstacles with the rhythm of his bouncing and the way the flora moves with him (word is, “Ori” is normally a boys name).
Again, I am taking my time. Heavy as it is it didn’t take long to shift gears back into the story. About an hour in I found an addition to the map, by the time I found it I had forgotten new content had been added. The impatient part of me expected more up front and I had resolved myself to just let it happen when I stumbled on Black Root Burrows. I was suprised to have recognized the change, the map was more familiar to me than I realized.
My love for this game is obvious, I’m re-rolling after taking my time with the original. This time around I think I’m going to add a touch of strategy to the wrecking ball tactics that fueled my first play through. The controls are so in time with the environment it didn’t take any time to sync back up, finding the wall climb and the charge burst trees, it all feels so natural.