xyzzysqrl: (Play with me.)
[personal profile] xyzzysqrl
As many of you following me here on the webbernet are aware, I consume somewhere in excess of ten games a year. In a stack that big, it's a little hard to stand out and be remembered. I can safely say however that Ori and the Blind Forest is not only going to be remembered but is a shoe-in for my Best Of list at year's end. When I turn around and look back on 2017 and wonder what was any good about it, Ori is going to be there shining bold and bright, one of the best experiences I've had gamewise in a long, long time.

Ori stands on a platform of three concepts, tripod style, and it does all of them to near perfectly.

1: Fantastic music and visuals. I realize "Every frame a painting" is a cliche but they did indeed hand-paint basically everything in this game and it shows. Meanwhile the soundtrack is good enough that it nearly demands I go back and buy it for the same price I paid for the game. I won't even be upset.

2: A demanding platformer experience. Ori is a sort of fusion between a Metroid and a Super Meat Boy, which is a comparison I resisted using until I heard the actual developers make it in the behind the scenes reel. It is difficult and demands knowledge of the controls, plus precise movement and a mastery of every little trick the game gives you. However it's also fair: You can checkpoint almost any time you're sitting on flat ground, and the game autosaves at the very start of particularly tricky sequences. I died something like 384 times by the end -- I said "something like" because I don't think that tally saved the massive number of deaths I had during the ending chase sequence.

3: Making me cry like a punched infant. For most games, I cry maybe once or twice if it's particularly emotional. I'm an emotional sissy, I have no qualms about crying if a game does something impactful.

With Ori I was crying basically every single cutscene and also during certain soundtrack moments. This was an emotionally-cathartic wringer of a game for me. I feel drained but oddly refreshed.

I needed a game like Ori and the Blind Forest in my life. The baseline impression for me nowadays is that Video Games Are Good, but a game like this shows what a truly EXCEPTIONAL game can be. There's going to be a sequel and I am already lined up to get punched in the feelings some more. Please, come join me.

Date: 2017-06-18 01:48 pm (UTC)
kjorteo: Teary Bulbasaur portrait from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. (Bulbasaur: Teary)
From: [personal profile] kjorteo
I bought this game and the soundtrack near-sight unseen (the Steam trailer was close enough to an evaluation for both) just based on your word and the fact that the former was on sale and I didn't want to miss out. It sounds like it's going to be a shoo-in for at least a few of my end-of-year awards too, and I haven't even played it yet. At this point anything is in line behind... well, a lot of things, but we've been talking about this a lot on IM and the sheer strength of your recommendation compels me to have this one cut in line a bit.

Thank you for the face from this icon which I'm sure you will be making me make a lot.

Date: 2017-08-12 11:14 pm (UTC)
kjorteo: Scan from an old Super Mario Bros. comic,, of King Koopa explaining something to his son with an 8U facial expression. (Koopa: 8U)
From: [personal profile] kjorteo
Note from future self to past self:

1) Yeah turns out you end up playing this a lot sooner than you were anticipating. Sqrl made you let that one cut in line. Good thing she did though; it's really good and totally worth it.

2) Competition for the year end awards is a bit tougher than expected but it's definitely at least nominated for a few and honorable mention on a few others. It could go on to win a couple, though, we'll see.

3) Getting the soundtrack edition was absolutely the right call. I applaud your foresight.

4) Yes, you end up making the Crying Bulbasaur face a lot.

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