GSY Video PC Xbox One

It's hardly forgivable, but we failed to provide you with any footage of the sublime Ori and the Will of the Wisps upon release as we were too busy surviving demons in Nioh 2 back when Moon Studios' game came out. We showed the game live in French, but time was running too short for us to do the same in English and so here we are today, feeling so miserable about it. As a compensation, how about some high quality footage of the game on PC with a 130% resolution scaling as it was running in native 4K? Because HDR is still not supported on PC, we've also added the incredibly beautiful introduction of the game on Xbox One X showcasing the benefit of such technology. This sequel is truly gorgeous and as subjective as it may be, we feel this is probably the best exclusive to be found on Xbox One to date, despite the technical issues it has suffered since launch. The game was updated 2 days ago so most of them should be fixed by now.

Sdarts
Sdarts
Commented on 2020-04-14 15:19:50
Hey, Drift.

While I understand how Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a very good game, it has a lot of bad design choices, unbalanced combat system, and terrible notch system, among a few other things that stop it from being a great game imho.

While opinions are always subjective and you stated it so in the description, there's a lot of issues with Will of the Wisps that I just couldn't ignore and really broght down the experience for me. I've seen many people feel the same about Ori and the Will of the Wisps and how they much prefer Ori and the Blind Forest. So my take is that opinions will vary wildly depending of each person's experience.

And before anyone even thinks of saying I don't love Ori, I seriously doubt anyone here and maybe even everyone here combined has more love for "Ori and the Blind Forest" than me. Which addimitedly may be why I had so much hype for Will of the Wisps, though I still feel I kept it fairly in check, and that may have contributted to my disappointment with many aspects of the game.

Anyway, here's a sort of review. I played Ori and the Blind Forest prior to Ori and the Will of the Wisps' release and played Will of the Wisps on the day it launched till completion in that same week. I still prefer Ori and the Blind Forest because the story in the Blind Forest is far more impactful and emotional - I only showed the cutscenes later to my family and was explaining them in detail and that already made me very emotional, Moon Studios really nailed that aspect in the first game. Where in Will of the Wisps the story left a lot to be desired.

The Blind Forest's simplistic combat system allowed for some in-depth tactics and forced you to think outside the box many more times than in Will of the Wisps, where I played 3/4 of the game with probably the worst combat ability and only used 3-5 tactics to deal with enemies. This was in the hardest difficulty.  So while Will of the Wisps has a far more evolved combat, it never truly shines and the additional options become useless since they're never truly needed.

Aside from many technical issues, Will of the Wisps also suffers very heavily from lack of untuitiveness and a lot of unnecessary obtuseness. For example, the essential to progression skill that destroys the ground is hidden behind a specific skill that you need to buy and this is never conveyed to the player. I spent many hours searching for the Ability Trees thinking it was an ability that you got from them - like in the Blind Forest - and was at 75%-80% of the game and had to look it up once I was stuck.

When I found out that I could have gotten it at the very beginning and accessed a lot of secret areas and gotten a lot more powerful way earlier, that pissed me off a lot. But the worst of all is that since this skill is not visible and is hidden behind one of the 6 combat skills that you get to buy, any player has a 5/6 chance of not findng it out unless they end up buying all of the combat skills - and even then, it's an upgrade that doesn't state that explicitly, so the chances of it being missed until a lot later are very, very high.

As for getting all the combat skills, it's absolutely not necessary as I've played for 3/4 of the game with only 1 combat skill. Also, if someone gets the Hammer/Mallet combat skill, which is the best combat skill by far, it discourages the player of buying any other combat skill, meaning the chances that a player will buy that essential combat skill to destroy floors early or even mid-game is very unlikely.

The Hammer/Mallet combat skill also trivializes combat even at the Hardest difficulty. And that's at the base level, once it gets upgraded, it becomes OP as hell and you can basically spam it over and over without using any energy. While the most likely weakest combat ability uses energy and does almost no damage against enemies. So the whole combat system is very unbalanced and doesn't incentivize experimentation nor different tactics.

Then there's the notch system that it copied straight from Hollow Knight. Though while in Hollow Knight it made sense, in Will of the Wisps it does the game a disservice by tying essential abilities like "wall hang" and "triple jump" behind this notch system. The part that really sucks is not so much that they are tied to this noth system, but that every time you are in a bind and want to change from Exploration abilities to combat abilities, you have to deactivate each notch one at a time and then activate each of the other abilities you want to use.

After a while, it gets really annoying, so much that most of the trial by combat challenges that reward essential notch slots I played with just the Exploration abilities. But even during combat, the "wall hang" and "triple jump" abilities are essential in the most difficult of situations like boss fights, those trial by combat challenges and in many situations where any reduced mobility means you're almost certainly getting hit and ending up dead.

What would have made the notch system much better was if it had an option for "Loadout Profiles" and switching between these loadout profiles while in-game, or at the very least in the notch menu. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey introduced the latter with one of the patches, it now has 5 loadout profiles so you can have all sorts of different builds for any occasion and can swap between them at any time in a few seconds - even during combat. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey also allows you to access 3 different playstyles palettes with the press of 1 button. So both or either of these would have made playing Will of the Wisps much better.

Basically, there's a very heavy imbalance with many of the game's systems, the fact that some combat abilities are truly worthless, while others are OP as hell, bad game design, lack of explanation for many things, others that are hidden in a way that the player can never know unless stumbling on it by accident or looking it up, a badly executed notch system, and the list goes on.

I hope there's a "Definitive Edition" in the future that enhances the notch system, corrects a lot of the bad design and properlly balance the combat system to incentivize different tactics during combat. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is still a very good game, just not great. Still, I do plan on playing it again, even if a Definitive Edition never comes, and then I will see how well it fares on a second playthrough with the knowledge I now have. Though this making a game better could be said of almost all games.

However, as it stands, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is far from "the best exclusive to be found on Xbox One". By comparison, I played Sunset Overdrive in the penultimate weekend and that's probably the most fun and enjoyment I ever had with a first-party Xbox game.

So Sunset Overdrive, Ori and the Blind Forest, Forza Horizon 3 or Gears of War 3 would get "the best exclusive to be found on Xbox One" imho. Though this all might be meaningless since all of these games are accessible for Xbox One players and the moment we start debating which is the better game, it means there's a lot of incredible games worth playing on Xbox One. So play what you love.
In reply to
Nightmaninred
Nightmaninred
Commented on 2020-04-14 20:20:18 In reply to Sdarts
Well, yes opinion is subjective and I disagree. I think the will of the wisps blast the first Ori out of the waters. The combat is fresh and imaginative responsive and has greater creativity than the first game IMHO. And I know a lot of people preferring the depth and creativity of the will of the wisps than Ori and the blind forest. For a person that loves Ori all I was reading was a massive moan of negativity. Where is the positive? IMO Ori and the will of the wisps were astounding!! FAR more than blind forest.

IMO anyways!! 
In reply to
nostradamus
nostradamus
Commented on 2020-04-14 22:46:53 In reply to Sdarts
Posted by Sdarts
Hey, Drift.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT
Jesus Mary.
In reply to
Sdarts
Sdarts
Commented on 2020-04-15 19:00:22 In reply to Nightmaninred
I left out the positive points because most of them are shared between both games - gorgeous paint like artwork, haunting and emotional soundtrack, amazing characters, great emotional story, etc. Though in almost all of those cases, Ori and the Blind Forest is superior to Ori and the Will of the Wisps.

I also didn't mention how certain sections are almost impossibly hard, too dragged out to the point of being very tiring and/or just don't explain certain mechanics. For example, there's a certain boss fight that is a spoiler and I won't spoil it for anyone, but is extremely punishing exactly because it's very, very long. The same also happens in another boss fight, but to a far lesser extent, thankfully.

Further adding to problems, if you happen upon the spoiler boss fight unprepared, the game doesn't allow you to go back to a point previous to the fight, where you could go and become more powerful and then trying the boss again. This means you will have a very nightmarish time trying, failing and repeating this cycle untill you succeed. You literally restart at the beginning of the fight no matter what you do and there's no way to go back to a previous checkpoint. It's also never stated that reaching that place would start a boss fight. What all of this means is that instead of feeling that sense of accomplishment when you do finally beat it, you instead feel relieved that this fucked up situation is finally over and you can continue to play the game.

These issues show a very drastic imbalance with the game's systems, unthoughtout game design and lack of Q & A testing to stop people from being hard locked. In this spoiler boss fight, even if you do defeat it, you will have had an extremely bad experience like I did. If you're unable to defeat the boss, you either start the game from the beginning or you quit the game altogether. This is a very serious problem.

Then there's another section close to the end of the game where you have to flee an enemy that's chasing you in a very long and complex level, but if you do everything perfectly and get far ahead of the enemy, the game makes the enemy faster to be right behind you again - just like in Racing games where cars magically get faster to always be on your tail. This causes a problem where even if you played perfectly, if you make a single mistake, you're done and have to start all over again. This isn't a player skill problem, since until a certain point you're doing everything perfectly, but the game "cheats" so you're almost always at a disadvantage even though you should be 10-20 seconds ahead of the enemy. This bullshit made me waste almost 2 hours to finally beat it. All the while wondering why was this cheating even in the game!?

Then there's the fact that the boss in Will of the Wisps is almost like a clone from the boss in the Blind Forest, but with far less depth and charm than Kuro. It also has a far worse reason for all the bad things that it does. Which ultimately leads to a very unsatisfying conclusion.

I do love Ori and the work Moon Studios have done, but Ori and the Will of the Wisps was a very disappointing, frustrating and infuriating experience at key junctures of the game. Still, and this should be the main takeaway, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a very good game. Not great, but very good.

This is why Ori and the Blind Forest is superior, because it is a great game that on the both times I played it, both on the normal and the Definitive Edition, it never frustrated me with obvious bad design and game progression issues. If you love Will of the Wisps, that's fine. But that doesn't mean that all of these issues don't exist. They are in the game and while you and others may have had wonderful experiences, others had a far worse experience.

If you really need another opinion, below is a video review of Will of the Wisps made by PC Gamer. If you don't have time to watch it or simply don't care, below are a few quotes by the reviewer:

PC Gamer - Ori and the Will of the Wisps Review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LftPKcqGd2s

"The end may induce sniffling, but its success will depend on whether or not the boss fights and escape sequences have put you in a sour mood by the time you get to it. The move or die escape scenes in which you have to jump, dash, float and grapple through collapsing structures while making zero mistakes, are seriously annoying in places. It's satisfying to clear these challenges, but only in the same way it will be satisfying to stop punching yourself."

One mistake the PC Gamer reviewer made is in saying:

"So if a boss is frustrating, at least you can go away and improve the Math in your favor."

Which isn't true for a few bosses, since the game restarts you at the beggining of the boss fight when you die and you can't leave the fight area until the boss is defeated. I can't say this for all boss fights, because I only died in 3 of them, so maybe other fights allow it, but definitely not all.

The PC Gamer reviewer also says:

"Ori and the Blind Forest is preferable for its compactness and simplicity. But Ori and the Will of the Wisps is also worth playing to the end. It trips over its own complexity at times..."

It's a very good review that fairly and correctly assess the game on its strengths, but also its faults. In the end, he gives it a very good score of 81 out of 100. And while I don't agree with all of the reviewers points - I liked the combat, for instance - he ended up at the same conclusion as I did: Ori and the Will of the Wisps is not a great game, only a very good one. Still, that's far more than most developers can say for their games. Moon Studios is a great developer and I'm already will looking forward to their next game - and maybe a Definitive Edition of Will of the Wisps.
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