Ori and the Blind Forest Feels Right at Home on Nintendo Switch
Against all odds, Microsoft has released Ori and the Blind Forest on Nintendo Switch and it's perhaps the best version of the game around.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have owned PlayStation home consoles pretty much the entire life. While I’ve owned a couple of Nintendo DS models and now a Switch, I’ve never owned an Xbox, mostly because I prefer PlayStation’s first-party games by a country mile. That being said, there have always been games that I’ve regretted not being able to pick up and one of those titles is 2014’s Ori and the Blind Forest. Everyone and their mother has praised the game since it released and I’ve always wanted to play it but never had an opportunity to.
Fast forward to 2019, and Microsoft surprised everyone by announcing that the critically acclaimed game would be coming to Nintendo Switch, opening the game up to a whole new audience, including myself. Naturally, I knew I had no excuse now to miss out and jumped at the chance to get my hands on it. After playing it for a while, I’m happy to say that not only do I think the game itself is absolutely amazing and beautiful, but it feels right at home on Nintendo Switch.
For those that don’t already know, Ori and the Blind Forest is a Metroidvania-style platformer that puts you in the role of a spirit named, you guessed it, Ori. I won’t spoil too much about the story for those who haven’t played it, however, during your travels you’ll come across multiple types of foes and puzzles which can be defeated and beaten using certain abilities that you’ll gain across your travels. Like most Metroidvanias, you won’t be able to go everywhere once you start the game, but you can return to old areas anytime once you have new abilities.
Before I get into how it runs and plays on Nintendo Switch, I just want to say that I adore Ori and the Blind Forest through and through. I haven’t had this type of emotional reaction to a game in probably over 6 years. I found myself bawling my eyes out within the first few minutes and that’s a reaction that few games get from me. While the story itself was something I was truly impressed by (which is told through narration and sparse voice-over), one thing that really took my breath away was how great it is on Nintendo Switch.
I was thoroughly dazzled by how smoothly everything ran and how natural this game felt not only with a Pro Controller in my hand but with the Joy-Cons as well. In my opinion, Nintendo’s Joy-Cons can be a bit hit or miss when it comes to how a game feels comfortability-wise. For example, something shooter focused like Fortnite isn’t really suited for those blocky controllers. With Ori, however, not only did I enjoy playing in handheld mode, I sometimes preferred using Joy-Cons over my Pro Controller. I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly, but Ori is one of the first games I’ve played on my Switch that I actually feel benefits from being both a portable and home console game.
On top of that, Ori and the Blind Forest looks absolutely stunning on Nintendo Switch. Just a few days ago it was just reported that the game is slightly enhanced on Nintendo Switch, and it definitely shows. All of the colors pop in both TV and handheld modes, textures look incredibly crisp, and everything runs buttery smooth. Ori on Switch is mesmerizing to look at and, in my opinion, might set the bar for how “stylized” games look on the handheld.
To put it simply, this is still a fantastic title. Ori and the Blind Forest is as good as it ever was on Nintendo Switch and may even be a step above its Xbox One/PC counterpart, due to it’s slightly enhanced framerate and the addition of being able to play portably. You’re getting a great when playing on TV mode and you’re getting an even better one when playing in handheld mode. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Ori on Nintendo Switch over the past couple of days, so if you haven’t been able to pick up the game before, please do it now.
I hope that this isn’t the end between Microsoft and Nintendo’s collaboration because I know that I would love to play the soon-to-be-released sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, on Switch. Only time will tell if that happens though.