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My 2020 GOTY is going to be Ori and the Will of the Wisps, here's why (My last thread in the forums)

:icontheonenonlyyazzy:
TheOneNOnlyYazzy Featured By Owner Edited Sep 26, 2020   Digital Artist

WARNING: This threat will contain my personal feelings and opinions on certain aspects on gaming as a whole that will offend some people, as well as calling out certain games like Death Stranding, Uncharted, and Rockstar Games, open world, linear games, and interactive movies to get a few things off my chest. As well as comparing some other beloved games to get across the way I see things in both this game and another one of my favorite games of all time, though not many people seemed to have taken this game too kindly when compared to its classic trilogy on the PS1.

I think this is going to be my last forum post before I branch out from the gaming forums completely to focus on my art. And since this may be my last post, I wanna get every last bit of my opinions out there right here and right now.

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What more needs to be said other than the title of this thread… I love this game. I love this game through its amazing art direction, to its likable imaginary fantasy characters and creatures that makes it a fairytale, to the music which is officially my new favorite soundtrack in gaming history, to its story and tone, to the essential pure platforming, a genre I’ve been desirably missing on the Sony exclusive side for years; who were busy making all of these walking simulators, military shooters, games that don’t feel like video games in terms of variety, and open world games, genres that plagued this gen and last gen that I have grown severely ill from.

Now I’m still a fan of PlayStation… specifically the PS1 and PS2, but I will say that Sony has left me feeling rather cold inside in the last couple of years with their dimwitted decision making from 2018 that still continues in some aspects with the PS5… like the all digital console, announcing their pre-orders late, charging 70 dollars for their games, ect.

The general consensus of gaming in the last couple of years has always left me feeling disappointed, so this one of the games I’ve been looking forward towards playing.

 

Not only is this game is winning my Game of the Year, which let’s be honest; I see no other game out there left for this year to be able to match its quality gameplay (and story), but is going to end this gen as the best game I have ever played in this whole Xbox One/PS4 generation, as well as starting off the 2020’s as my Game of the Decade. My fourth favorite game of all time, with the first game just a little bit below it in fifth (which can be swapped with each other at anytime with Blind Forest, because I just love these two games near and dear that its just hard to pick a definitive favorite.)

 

Moon Studios outdid themselves at making something truly special out of these two games.

I first knew about Ori after completing Dust: An Elysian Tail, loved that game by the way. And when I first saw the first E3 trailer in 2014, a month and a half after beating Dust, I knew that the similarities between these two games are undeniable with anthropomorphic characters, 2D platforming, combat, beautiful art styles, most of their games take place mostly in forests, I just knew I had to get it. I got to play Ori and the Blind Forest for the first time in May of 2018, a lukewarm year for gaming for me, and my first ever experience was a love at first sight. I’ve spent about 4 playthroughs playing the original and the Definitive Edition, 2 for each playthrough, I just couldn’t put the controller down. I was hooked and vehemently invested in the story.

SPOILERS: I legitimately cried when Kuro lost her children to the light of the Spirit Tree. Yeah, a grown man crying over a 2D platformer. The story in this game was quite honestly one of, if not, the best stories ever to be written in any video game, in my opinion.

And the platforming. Now I wanna make it very clear that I love platformers… 3D platformers to be exact. I’m not usually a 2D sidescroller gamer, I don’t play a whole lot of them. Mainly because a whole lot of them consists of that pixelated sprite art style, the kind of aesthetics that I’m just not a fan of. For games like Dust, Ori, Rayman Legends, and Cuphead, its much different; these games are done in hand drawn, which I am 100% on board with.

So after finishing Ori and the Blind Forest, I was immediately on board with the hype of Will of the Wisps. 2019 sucked a$$ in both gaming and my personal life, and Will of the Wisps helped washed away whatever depressing pain I’ve felt from that year. I put the blame mostly on Sony and other AAA companies for wasting my time for getting people overhyped on a boring ass, meaningless walking simulator called Death Stranding, or Death Blanding as I like to call it, plus 2 other PlayStation exclusives from that year that didn’t perform well critically and financially. As I said before, 2019 will go down as one of the worst years in modern gaming, and this game has completely put that year to absolute shame.

I even went out of my way to get a collector’s edition for the Xbox One and an Xbox One S for this game and Blind Forest. The reason why I had to buy an Xbox One late last year (don’t judge me), is because I wanted a physical copy of both games because Will of the Wisps had not came out physically on PC (until it was recently announced that there would be a physical PC copy of the game by iam8bit), and my PC ran slow with Blind Forest and wanted to have a better experience with it on a console instead, and because I don’t do PC, because that’s why in case you’re wondering I haven’t reply to those PC comments in my last thread as to why I refuse to go all digital. So yes, I got the Xbox One S for the two Ori games… and Sunset Overdrive because it was made by Insomniac Games, one of my favorite developers, Cuphead, and SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom- Rehydrated, which is my second favorite game of 2020.

 

Ori and the Will of the Wisps lived up to Blind Forest… with the only thing that kinda stalled me a bit were its technical issues. The games has a great deal of framerate issues, loading, and lag. None of those things didn’t ruined my entire experience, but I can’t ignore it. What I did had a big problem with the most is the lag in the map feature. It takes five seconds for it to load while the map in the original would pop up in an instant. But again, none of those things ruined my experience because the gameplay kicked so much a$$, the combat and the platforming. (I do kinda hope that with the Switch version managed to fix a lot of those issues. And with the Xbox One version just recently getting a rerelease physical collector’s edition by iam8bit, which I’m glad because that means this game has been physically preserved, I hope they fixed those issues there, since I am considering repurchasing it to get a much of a definitive experience out of this… either that or the Switch version… Not really sure what version to get until the holidays.)

 

Unlike most games that are cinematic blockbuster experiences that focuses more on set pieces than actual gameplay that feels restricted, bland open world games with unfun walking segments that are dreadfully boring (Death Stranding), military shooters that have gotten stale, and everything else that sacrificed platformers, guess what? The platforming and combat in this game makes Ori feels more like… oh I don’t know, A VIDEO GAME? Unlike those genres which we’ve been getting for years, there was nothing about Ori that felt restricted as a linear game like Uncharted… and I know many of you are going to be pissed for me bringing up Uncharted, but it needed to be said… especially since my high view on that franchise has took a toll over the years to the point that I don’t see games being as interactive movies is the way to go anymore ever since Blind Forest changed my view on gaming in 2018.

Aside from the linear story, it’s a lot more branched out in Niwen than it is in Nibel, especially since Niwen is three times the size as Nibel, which is insane for a sidescroller that acts as a more opened world. Every activity in this game is branched out and gives the player complete control of their choice in this game while not feeling overly tacked on like the usually open world game. It gives you the choice of wanting to do these side quests that would lead you to filling your map with vital markers to getting around the huge world of Niwen as well as earning experience. You have the choice to return to whatever location you previously visited to collect items by using your warp ability that you needed to buy off of Opher earlier on. So this game gives you choice and gives you complete control of your locations without the game forcing you to go through this location in this game once, and you have to move on just for the sake of the plot. I bought up Uncharted because while that game does have some branches in its linearity history like collecting treasure, its not a branched out as Ori 2 on how it handles its world. Its like comparing a thinly tall tree with some branches to a wide, giant leafy bush tree with a multiple extension of branches. And speaking of the world of Will of the Wisps… and Blind Forest…

The world in both Blind Forest and Will of the Wisps are small, confined, easy to traverse through, flows well, and fun to explore with platforming involved, and are indeed more memorable than any shameful open world game I have ever played (LOOKING AT YOU, ROCKSTAR!)

In terms of cutscenes and cinematic segments in this game, the set pieces were pleasing to engage over while not over glorifying the gameplay with set piece after set piece, along with stupid easy QTE’s or generic cutscene simulators.

 

Basically from all of the AAA games that were good at of what they did, in my opinion, I believed that Ori has the full package. With it’s story and tone that makes its atmosphere feel akin to a story driven game, the way it properly handled its cutscenes and set piece to make it feel like a Pixar movie without the “movie” aspect to get in the way of the gameplay, how well it handled its world’s structure miles better than any wasted AAA open world game I ever played, the skills of a metroidvania with newly added features and puzzles that have never been seen in any medroidvania ever created… according to some I’ve heard, Zelda-esque RPG combat; sprinkled on top with platforming, my favorite recipe in gaming, and this sidescroller has it all. A small game that feels big and deep; I love when games do something like that… making the most out of something small, and grow it to become something never seen before, compared to all of the other bigger titles. In other words, in my opinion, Ori has completely bested out of those genres, it’s got it all to be a true legendary title… almost on the same tier as Spyro 3, another game that it managed to hang with all of the other genres it took inspiration from its Tony Hawk’s skateboarding, to Super Mario 64’s 3D platforming, to the Agent 9 and Spike’s ‘Doom’ shooters with that alien field to it, that’s why Spyro 3 is my favorite video game of all time (even though most of you won’t agree with the minigames), and Ori and the Will of the Wisps is up there in my top five.

 

Speaking of Spyro: Year of the Dragon… for the longest time, I thought that my favorite soundtrack was this game due to how much nostalgia I have for the music. Now, that has been dethroned by Ori and the Will of the Wisps. 60 songs, over 3 hours of head bopping music. I wouldn’t be lying to you if I told you that this game’s soundtrack has given me chills, especially the last one. The first game’s soundtrack was innocent with a dash of seriousness and pure majesty. Gareth Coker managed to take what make the first game’s soundtrack delicate and resounding and took this score onto a much grander scale while still maintain that charm while adding newer emotions to this score. Fear, nervousness, action, sadness, calmness, feeling like your standing on the edge of a mountain; this soundtrack has variety in atmosphere and emotion. What helps this sountrack is the fact that this game has stepped out of the innocence of the first game to make this game feels more compelling towards realism in a fantasy game. I kid you not when I say that Ori and the Will of the Wisps, when the story, as segments featuring Shriek, gets down and dirty, this game can get downright creepy… especially with the decay, Mouldwood, and how Shriek came to be. And I love this game’s tone because of it. I haven’t felt any sort of subtlety from a platformer’s tonality in a very long time, as you’re well aware by now that most platformers that came out in this gen alone are always juvenile, cheery-eye, and the kind of lighthearted nature in this games that are made specifically for the younger audience. Ori and the Will of the Wisps tonality isn’t like that. They way this game is constructed, composed, and written is truly something that an adult such as myself can appreciate. This game managed to balance its tone perfectly; its tone keeping it miles below from reaching the same scale of the Last of Us, while maintaining it above any lighthearted platform like Skylar & Plux.

I mean did you see how Shriek is created in the game? All ash and bones. Creepy owl like that is capable enough to rival with Clockwek from the Sly Cooper series. And speaking of which…

 

Another thing that I love about this game is its art style. For the first time in a long time, I feel that Ori and the Will of the Wisps might’ve gotten the perfect mix down in 2D and 3D. There are points by illusion that this game would sometimes fool you in think that some objects in the foreground and background is 2D when in actuality, they’re 3D. The characters are self -explanatory. The aesthetics of this game reminds of Sly Cooper using this kind of art style… only Sly Cooper is a cel shaded comicbook style game, while Ori is more akin to a medieval play mixed in with an oil painting. One thing that they do have in common that made me fond of this game are the puppet/muppet aesthetic within these characters. As we all know, the PS2 Sly games act more as muppets within the characters while the characters in Ori act as the kind of lively, emotionally pact puppets that you see in a theatre… I mean from what I heard, somebody called Ori a sock puppet. Don’t take anything I believe people, its just how I strangely see things.

 

Also, that ending… I’m not going to spoil it because I want you guys to experience this game yourself. But man, that ending really got me choked up. All I can tell you from that ending is that it will teach you perfectly poetic meaning of the circle of life if you play both games back to back.

 

Anyways. I wanted to post this up because the Switch version has just came out not long ago. When this game came out on Xbox One and PC, this game was met with a 90 on Metacritic, the Switch version right now, which could change at some point, stands at a 94. If that doesn’t tell you that Ori deserves Game of the Year, I don’t know what to tell you.

Yet, THIS GAME IS ALREADY BEING SLEPT ON JUST LIKE THE FIRST ONE! WTF!! And yes, most of that has to due with the failure of the Xbox One, I get that. But Ori 1 & 2 are officially on Switch that might perform well, if not, even better than the Xbox One, especially the first one, so there is no excuse for you people ignoring it; especially you indie gamers. What I mean slept on, I’m not just talking about sales, I’m talking about not being talked about on the same level of a Celeste, Hollow Knight, Cuphead, Super Meat Boy, or any other popular indie game out there.

 

To all indie gamers, if you love platformers, if you love beautiful side scrollers, if you love a good story, and if you love to play a game that will kick your ass and haven’t picked up Ori and the Blind Forest or Will of the Wisps, well then what the heck have you been doing? If you don’t wanna get the game on Xbox One, the games are now available on Switch, so there is no excuse.

And yes, I know about the collector’s edition being pricy and limited time only, which I can understand it being unaffordable to many, but the game is out now digitally… plus a standalone physical redistribution, less pricy, is expected to come out this Holiday, which I’ll be getting just so I can have a better experience with the game running smoothly.

With that being said, if you love indie games, buy this game, and show the support for this game so we can convince the gaming industry to give us more original shit like this! Because this game is unique, I want more unique video games like this! I’m sick of same old boring shit! Do not sleep on this game!

 

Those are my final thoughts on this forum, and my thoughts on Ori 2. That’s why I think this game needs to be talked a lot more, and many should acknowledge its brilliance. This game is going to win my Game of the Year, no doubt.

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Devious Comments (Add yours)

:iconyangxiaofan457:
YangXiaoFan457 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2020  Hobbyist General Artist
You haven't offended me, this is your personal opinion on a game that you like. I think it is good that you are showing passion.

I've never played the game but it does look beautiful. :)
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:icontheonenonlyyazzy:
TheOneNOnlyYazzy Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2020   Digital Artist
If you do get a chance to play it; from what I heard, I think the Switch version might be the better bet.
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2020  Hobbyist General Artist
I loved the first game so much, and I was afraid this one wouldn't live up to it, but I'm so happy to say I was wrong. This game is amazing. The art is breathtaking, the soundtrack of gorgeous (as a music slut, this hits even harder for me), and the gameplay is just so much fun. It's challenging, but not maddening, and once you figure it out, you feel almost unstoppable. A great sequel to an already great game.
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:icontheonenonlyyazzy:
TheOneNOnlyYazzy Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2020   Digital Artist
And I do hope for a Definitive Edition just like with Blind Forest. Added levels and a One Life Mode. Probably not gonna happen.
There was the Gorlek Mines and that one Tropical Area that you meet Twillen from the 2018 E3 trailer. Those got scrapped because Thomas Mahler said those levels arenít as fun as it looks.
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