Friday, May 1, 2015

Little forgiveness

It my haste to play the big, AAA games I missed several download only titles that were more deserving of my attention. Time and money were the hangup. There is still not enough of either but there is also nothing big coming out until The Witcher 3 in a little more than two weeks. Plenty of time for the little ones.

Ori and the Blind Forest looks very similar to Ubisoft titles like Rayman Legends and Child of Light. This is heady company for a 2D game by a developer with no other games under their belt. They did have Microsoft's help, hence the exclusivity, but still, after a few hours I can tell it is a good freshmen effort.

But a freshmen effort it is, because bugs and an odd save system.

To be honest, it'a bug, but it is stilling someone that should have been caught. Pushing a block is performed by holding RT and then walking towards it. Both Ori and the block must be on level ground; if one or the other does not line up then Ori wont actually grab the block. I very nearly gave up on the game an hour in because I could not get a block over a tiny bump in its path. This was made especially frustrating by the fact that I had done it successfully ten minutes earlier, prior to dying and losing a ton of progress, More on that in a bit.

I saved, loaded, restarted the game, everything that accumulated decades of gaming experience told me should fix it. If there was a disc I would have taken it out and blown on it. Just as I was about to surrender and play something else it suddenly worked for no reason.

Breath deep and let it go but I really hope there aren't any more  like it.

This would never have happened if I realized that there are no checkpoints. The player is responsible for creating his or her own save points, and while this can be done anywhere it does require energy that can only be picked up from specific plants. It's an odd combination of the typewriters from the old Resident Evils and the Souls games' nonsense.

One reset was enough so I paid closer attention to the energy plants and spawned a save point every time I ran across one. An easy fix but again, not something that should have made it out into the world. This one is intentional, I just don't agree with it.

That being said, the game is a beautiful take on Metroid-vania, different enough from the last one I played (Apotheon) to keep me interested. Apotheon focused on combat while Ori focuses on movement, a good choice given how the game looks and how cute Ori is.

She couldn't be intimidating if she tried. The first boss is beaten by being nice to it.

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