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Ori The Collection (Nintendo Switch)

£22.495£44.99Clearance
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And that’s really the best praise you can give a sequel - it stays true to the spirit of the original, doubles down on what made it great, and gives you more stake in the world and options to navigate it. It’s completely possible to rip through them en route to the ultimate goal at the end of the tunnel – and credit to Moon Studios for making huge sections of each environment completely optional – but the rewards for taking a peek in every crevice are vast.

Each region bursts with fine detail that’s easy to overlook because Moon Studios’ aesthetic moods for each location are so consistent. Looking back I regret that, at first, I didn’t venture too far out of my starting abilities because they worked. Now you’ve got an incentive to stop and really poke around or revisit the more secluded crannies of the world. Provided it was done like this in the first place rather than two separate physicals 6 months prior. And I really appreciate these stories for that reason – there’s no such thing as a perfect ending for everyone.For example, the frigid mountainous peaks Ori must breeze past on gusts of wind are littered with crisscrossing splintered alpine timber and pointed icicles that reach out to jab and poke from frozen overhangs.

Many of these are mandatory – you’ll find a feather that lets you stoke fires to create updrafts in every playthrough of Ori and the Will of the Wisps, for example – but some are also totally voluntary.Already got these as separate physical pak so I may skipped this one but it's a nice 2-in-1 package for those who had not gotten the games yet.

And yet the new followup, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, successfully builds on that distinctive gameplay in a way that doesn’t just retread the same ground. That’s an amazing feeling, especially during the series’ excellent signature chase sequences when the stakes go through the roof and one false move means you’re crushed under a collapsing environment, buried in an avalanche or consumed by the pursuing mandibles of a mammoth spider. Play both award-winning games of Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition and Ori and the Will of the Wisps in this collection.

Building up this simple village gave me a sense of purpose and connection to the world – something to improve and care for, rather than just a series of places to leap and fight my way through until I reached the end. So, without venturing too deeply into spoiler territory, it should be no surprise for those who played Ori and the Blind Forest that Moons Studios’ knack for brewing joy and sorrow in heavy proportions is alive and well in Ori’s new tale. It may be two-dimensional, but this is a great, big, open world that’s backed by a great, big, beautiful score that shifts to echo your successes and grows frantic and immediate in moments of tension.

Instead, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is content to show that heroes can be kind of broken and still rise to the occasion, and that sometimes the ostensible bad guys have hearts, families, and their own personal tragedies, regardless of whether they choose to seek redemption. There’s more breadth, detail, choice, and diversity than ever, and it’s all done with engrossing color and light and an excellent, inspiring soundtrack. No matter how seemingly insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things, it’s another layer of investment that Moon Studios has baked into the experience, which is so appreciated given so much of Ori involves simply getting from one point to the next as fast and fluidly as possible. The claustrophobic, pitch-black tunnels of the Mouldwood Depths writhe with the bodies of thousands of insects whose chittering wings radiate a constant chorus of uncomfortable buzzing, and their sharps barbs sting if touched while Ori fumbles in the darkness. Each element is placed precisely to be used in a specific way, yet all the while I felt like a genius for being able to read the environment at a frantic pace and adapt to the next obstacle accordingly.Between the flips, dashes, and grapples of getting from point A to point B, you’re going to have to fight. Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps are fantastic games from Moon Studios, and it's still a bit of a marvel that we get to enjoy excellent ports of these games on the Switch.

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