There is no question whatsoever that ’15 was a great year for the gaming world as it related to high profile video game releases. There were a variety of big titles from various genres that were released back in ’15 including Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Batman: Arkham Knight, Dying Light, Fallout 4, Super Mario Maker, Mortal Kombat X and many more. One of the few games from ’15 that was brand new was Ori and the Blind Forest which was published by Microsoft Studios and developed by Moon Studios. Ori and the Blind Forest was made using the Unity engine and it was considered to be a platform-adventure/metroidvania game. When you look at Ori and the Blind Forest the first thing that instantly stands out is the art design because it looked so mystical and surreal. The visuals for Ori and the Blind Forest looked better than anything you would probably see in a Disney or Pixar movie today and had the ability to keep players emotionally connected it. The story of the game his somewhat tragic as a creature named Naru adopts a guardian spirit named Ori who fell from a tree in the fictional forest of Nibel. Towards the beginning of the game Naru dies after starving to death following the storm that took place in Nibel which left Ori alone in the forest.
Along the way Ori comes in contact with a small guiding orb named Sein who aids her on the quest to restore the forest following the destruction of the storm that took place during the beginning of the game. In order to restore the forest Ori was required the three main elements Nibel which was responsible for bring balance to the forest which included: Warmth, Waters and Winds. The numerous upgrades players could acquire within the game along with the skill tree was something that also stood out in Ori and the Blind Forest because it added a layer of complexity; which is something that too many people probably were not expecting in a video game that looked like it was designed for children. Not only were critics impressed by Ori and the Blind Forest but the game also managed to receive a direct sequel in ’17 known as Ori and the Will of the Wisps which also very popular as well. Ori and the Blind Forest was not only an impressive blend between two genres but its also considered one of the most unique video games that Xbox Game Studios has ever produced within the past decade.