A Prelimary Review

A commissioned review for the first five hours of Ori and the Blind Forest.



Kuro, the main antagonist of Ori and the Blind Forest
Red-violet denotes enemies. Unfortunately, there's a lot of red and violet in the background too.


Sein, why do you matter?


A summonable save point that uses your spirit gauge.


After the introductory scene with Naru, I got increasingly frustrated with Ori. The game felt impeded by the Metroidvania form, and it wasn’t fun to play. However, once I started to unlock more abilities, I started to have more fun, which I guess proves the Metroidvania thesis, but I feel like it also proves my argument against it. If the ramp from being frustrated to unlocking fun abilities was shorter, I think it would have been a more enjoyable experience.

In terms of story, there’s not much to make you want to keep going. The narration of the Spirit Tree throughout is interesting, but there’s little to no characterization of Ori or Sein, the protagonists that have the most screen time. In fact, Sein just seems like a generic stand-in for Navi from Ocarina of Time. There are some good little character moments though. The scenes with Naru, obviously, but there are also scenes where you chase a bumbling monster who has stolen one of the Elements of Light that are charming and have a good payoff later on. Overall, I just would want to see more of what makes Ori fun and engaging and less of what makes it frustrating and generic.