Platform games have been wildly popular ever since the introduction of Metroid and Castlevania (commonly referred to as the Metroidvania subgenre). Ori and the Blind Forest is no exception. It’s a newer, modern-day take on the classic platform style and one of the greatest additions to this subgenre for a variety of reasons. Before you pick up your controller (or sit down at your keyboard) to play, there are a few aspects of the game you should know. Here are 10 things to know before you start playing Ori and the Blind Forest.
10 Ori is a Platformer Puzzle Game
What does this mean? For those who aren’t familiar, platformers are where your character jumps from one “platform” to another during gameplay. In older games, platform was used literally as there were various platforms at different heights the character would have to reach. In Ori’s case, that means there is a lot of terrains to explore and problem-solving to figure out how to reach those areas. It also means there is fixed movement, so you can only move Ori side to side and not in a more 3-dimensional movement space.
9 Use Your Map
Due to its platform style, it can be a little easy to get lost in the game’s beautiful setting. Thankfully, you are given a map and it helps to show where you currently are and where other important areas might be. The catch is, however, that you have to find all the map fragments and bring them to the map stone before the map becomes available. You can always check how many you’ve found by looking in the upper left corner of the screen.
8 Find the Ancestral Trees
Map fragments are important, sure, but not as important as locating the Ancestral Trees. Why? These trees are responsible for giving you your abilities and those abilities are pertinent to your game progression. As soon as you find the first one, you’ll receive directions on how to use it and will be taken through the process of selecting your skills. You’ll know when you’ve found one, as they all have the same design and are lit by a blue glow.
7 Choosing Your Skills
One of the best parts of Ori’s gameplay is the ability tree system. You’re given the opportunity to choose what skills you want Ori to have and when. The tree operates with three branches of different ability types: Utility, Efficiency, and Combat. In order to progress through a branch, the previous skill has to have been activated so you’ll want to choose your skills wisely. A good hint, though, is to remember jumping is VERY important in this game, so you may want to choose those skills as they become available.
6 Save Early, Save Often
An important philosophy that gamers live by, but in Ori and the Blind Forest’s case, you really want to follow this advice. The map for gameplay is quite large and with that map size comes a lot of room for difficulty and death. To save yourself the trouble of having to navigate through all the areas again, make sure you save either in a Spirit Well (this also restores your Life and Spirit) or by creating a Soul Link when you have enough Spirit.
5 Explore Every Area of the Map
There are a few reasons for this, the most important being the map fragments, keys, Spirit, and Life. You need all of these to continue moving forward in the game and they’re scattered all over the map’s terrain. You’ll want to be incredibly thorough with your explorations to ensure that you don’t miss anything. There are also Ability orbs hidden in various places, known as Secrets. These will immediately give you the chance to upgrade one of your skills. That, and well… Ori’s a beautiful game. You definitely want to see all of the game’s design if you can.
4 Explore Every Area of the Map… Again
You’ve gone through all parts of the area you can reach and you’re quietly celebrating that you’ve finished that area, only to look at your map and realize it’s not 100% cleared. This is purposeful, as Ori is very much a game that builds upon itself. The more you explore, the more you find places that you know you can reach; you’re just not able to yet. As you get more skills, you’ll find that when you go back to areas you’ve previously been, you can now reach those inaccessible levels.
3 One Minute Easy, the Next Frustrating
Platformers are not meant to be easy, especially considering their predecessors' difficulty level. Ori isn’t any different. There are times when the gameplay can be really easy and simple, while the next will have you wanting to throw the controller and rage quit. Just know that some aspects take practice and may require a few attempts before that section is cleared. Ori also provides different difficulty levels, so that’s a nice benefit to help as well. Just note that once you choose a lower difficulty than you’re currently on, it cannot go back up for that game save.
2 The Definitive Edition Has More Areas
These areas are so easily missed, too! Many will be playing and will suddenly find themselves in an area that doesn’t look like it belongs to the rest of the map. They’re also important areas to explore given they have abilities, life cells, and spirit cells along with their own unique story. One location is called Black Root Burrows, which is guarded by a stone statue and filled with darkness. The other, Lost Grove, is a much more beautiful and lively location found only by going through Black Root Burrows. It’s also important to make note that Lost Grove needs a higher skillset to be reached.
1 The Amazing Storyline
If there is one thing Ori does and does well, it’s telling a story. The gameplay is important, sure, but the story is equally so. You are not able to skip the cutscenes because of this, as the gameplay and story are so tightly-woven that you’ll be experiencing both together. Don’t be put off by this, however. The story of Ori is absolutely phenomenal and will take you on an emotional trip that will leave you unsure how to proceed once you finish the game. It’s a beautiful and touching story that makes this game so amazing – and also the number one reason why you should play it.