Moon Studios’ Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the finest indie games available on the Xbox One, and now it’s back and better than ever with the release of Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition. The original Ori and the Blind Forest released last year, and the title was received with universal praise, though the game did suffer from a handful of minor problems. To address these concerns and issues, the folks at Moon Studios returned to the drawing board and sought to find a way to make an amazing gaming experience an even better one. The result of their efforts is Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition.
If this is your first exposure to the title, please take a look at our original review as it will give you in-depth details about the title’s gameplay and story. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition builds on the concepts and elements of the original title, but expands on them with key changes and exciting new additions. If you are a fan of the original game, you’ll love what this new version has to offer.
To entice Ori fans to upgrade and replay the game, Moon Studios has added a new area, new bits of storyline, and new abilities. The new area, Black Root Burrows, sheds new light on the history of Naru and her motivations. Expanding on the game’s lore is a welcome and pleasant surprise, and the way it is seamlessly woven into the existing storyline is quite remarkable. The area itself is a beautiful challenge. Black Root Burrows is blanketed in darkness, and has bioluminescent sources of light that illuminate the path you must take. Be attentive to visual cues as they will assist you through this difficult area.
Completing Black Root Burrows not only provides you with new story information, it also equips Ori with two new abilities: Dash and Light Burst. Dash is required to reach the second portion of the Burrows. Dash is a useful tool when it comes to navigating through the game’s world and allows you to perform some stylish acrobatic maneuvers while in combat. It’s a very fun new addition to the game. Light Burst, meanwhile, serves a greater role in the game for those looking to achieve 100% completion as it is required to access the various locked off areas.
Despite its cheerful demeanor, Ori and the Blind Forest is a challenging platforming game. The original game launched with just a single difficulty, but the Definitive Edition has four difficulty modes to select from: Easy, Normal, Hard, and One Life. Those looking to enjoy the story and setting are advised to select Easy or Normal. However, if you completed the original game without issue, you may want to consider One Life. Just as the name implies, you are given one life. If you die, you restart at the beginning of the game. For the platforming gods among us, One Life mode will prove itself a worthy test of your skills.
One of the flaws of the first game was that previously completed areas become inaccessible, thus making collectibles and secret areas you may have missed permanently off limits. Thankfully, this issue has been addressed and rectified. In Definitive Edition, not only can players return to previously completed areas and acquire any missed collectibles, but you can now fast-travel to any Spirit Well you previously visited. This makes navigating the world much faster and creates a faster paced experience.
If you played Ori and the Blind Forest last year, this new edition offers plenty of new content to warrant a second play through. With lush visuals, an imaginative world, and charming characters, Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is the best platforming game on the Xbox One, and one of the best games in the Xbox One software catalog.
- Amazing world to explore
- Lovely visuals
- Engaging gameplay
- Exciting new content
- Platforming segments may still be too hard for the casual player
(Editor’s Note: A game code was provided by the publisher for review purposes.)