Ori And The Blind Forest, Former Xbox Exclusive, Is Coming To Switch
First Cuphead, now this.
Ori and the Blind Forest, the acclaimed platformer developed by Moon Studios and published by Microsoft, will release for Nintendo Switch on September 27. The announcement was made during Nintendo's Gamescom Indie Showcase, which featured a plethora of independently developed games on the horizon for the Switch. It's the latest Xbox exclusive that Microsoft has allowed onto Nintendo's console.
As detailed during the stream, the version of the Ori and The Blind Forest launching on Switch is the Definitive Edition, which was previously released for Xbox One and PC in March 2016 and April 2016 respectively. The Definitive Edition introduced new mechanics--most notably a fast-travel system--and new areas. It also added difficulty options, including a punishing One Life Mode.
The release of Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch is the fruit of an ongoing relationship between Nintendo and Microsoft, which has been mutually beneficial. It began with Microsoft's acquisition of Mojang and Minecraft, and its decision not to lock up the wildly popular game as an Xbox exclusive. Minecraft remained available on both Nintendo and Sony platforms.
However, the relationship extended further to allow crossplay between players on Xbox, PC, and Switch. Going hand-in-hand with this was the ability to sign in to Xbox Live on Nintendo Switch, which at the time was an unprecedented move.
This isn't the first unexpected game to arrive on Switch; Studio MDHR's Cuphead, previously an Xbox One/PC exclusive, made the jump in April. Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice also arrived o Switch in April, after its developer, Ninja Theory, had been acquired by Microsoft.
The close relationship will now allow Switch owners to enjoy one of the best platformers released in the last few years. GameSpot's Ori and the Blind Forest review awarded it a 9/10. "It's important ... not to mistake Ori and the Blind Forest for being simply beautiful. It certainly is--but it is also unceasingly clever, said reviewer Kevin VanOrd. "It consistently surprises you with new tricks: gravitational divergences, new ways to move through its spaces, and carefully designed levels that require you to think quickly and respond. It is not as snappy as, say, a typical Mario platformer, seeking instead a broader gameplay arc stretching across a single, interconnected world. It's a superb and thematically consistent approach that allows Ori and the Blind Forest to build joy on a bed of heartache, adding a new layer of mechanical complexity with each ray of hope."
A sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest is currently in development for Xbox One and PC. Microsoft has confirmed the Ori and the Will of the Wisps release date as February 11, 2020. As of yet, there's no indication that it will also be available for Switch.
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