Wooderon Games of the Year 2015: #9

Yesterday felt like a booby prize in a way. It’s a shame because there have been a ton of great games this year, but as it turns out; I haven’t played enough of them to feel confident enough to add some of them to the list. However, as I may have come to yesterdays entry with some hesitation, the list from here are all winners.

As I said before, this is all my opinion and the games I personally got the most enjoyment out of. I’m not rating these games critically, think of it more at the top games I recommend you play after the year is up. So, I’ll give a recap of the list so far and then move onto the new entry:

#10 Halo 5: Guardians

#9 Ori and the Blind Forest

Played on the Xbox One | Released 11th March | Developed by Moon Studios

This was defiantly the most beautiful game I played this year. On the surface, I could say it’s just another puzzle platformer, heavily inspired by Metroid or the later Castlevania games, but the surface of Ori and the Blind Forest is just so damn pretty the face value metaphor doesn’t stand. The game looks and sounds amazing, and is the reason I’d recommend it.

oriblind

The first 10 minutes of the game shows how Naru, a large motherly creature finds little Ori during a time of prosperity in the forest. You play the lives of Naru and Ori as they collect fruit, having to travel further from home every time as the forest seems to be dying around them. Things take a turn and as the forest dies, so does the mother and her child who she struggles to protect. That first section is heartbreaking, in no small part due to the game’s amazing score and beautiful art style. I’m just going to link a video to the first minutes here:

Ori isn’t just all style though, there is substance too. The game includes a number of novel abilities for the player once the game starts for real. The Soul Link was a system that allowed players to plant a save and respawn point anywhere they wanted, meaning dying could be a painful/painless as the player wanted it to be.

e28098ori-and-the-blind-forest_-screen-6There is also an ability that allows players to bounce off enemies and projectiles to give themselves a longer jump, redirect enemy projectiles or basically fly if there enough enemies around. It made simply traveling from one side of the map to the other a more novel experience than it would be in other games of this type, as I tried to fly around without touching the ground.

It’s a fun game, but not one I’d go back to. It’s solid but not outstanding by any means. The main reason the game finds its way onto my list is because of the game’s atmosphere. The score is amazing, to the point I heard Classic Fm playing it one evening. That, coupled with the game’s incredibly unique and beautiful art style makes the game worth playing alone.

If you see this one on offer or are interested, I’d defiantly say give it a try.

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