Ori and the Will of the Wisps

GWJ Conference Call Episode 701

The Longing (PC), Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX (Switch), Ori and the Will of the Wisps (PC), Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch), Final Boss Fight, your emails, and more!

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Amanda, Greg, and Rich talk about which video game characters they'd like to have with them for a Final Boss Fight!

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00:01:11 Ori and the Will of the Wisps
00:09:10 Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX
00:16:25 Fire Emblem: Three Houses
00:22:40 The Longing
00:35:55 Dream RPG Party for a Final Boss Fight
00:47:02 Your Emails

I had the complete opposite reaction to the Ori / Hallow Knight. I find Ori's world so much more rich and enjoyable to traverse. In Hollow Knight everything felt samey and obtuse where I would forget where stuff was if I stopped playing for a week.

While both games are "metroidvanias" I found mechanically Hollow Knight was more more Dark Souls while Ori is a platformer at heart.

My Dream RPG team would be, unsurprisingly, mostly PS4 based: Kratos as the melee tank, Kat from Gravity Rush (I’d like to see what gravity based tactics she could deploy with her teammates), Aloy as the calm heart of the group and unstoppable ranged trapper, the tiny Knight from Hollow Knight, mainly to see how big he’d look, scale wise, compared to Kratos. I suspect he’d be a spec on Kratos’s shoulder but a very determined, beautifully drawn spec. Lastly Sam Porter Bridges to carry everyone’s potions, scrolls, etc.

Really loved the episode this week, what a treat!!!
My dream RPG crew would be Kaidan from Mass Effect, Cullen from Dragon Age, and Gavin from MLQC.
Huh? What boss? Just kidding, I'm pretty damn sure they'd take down anything that was thrown at us, and with their dedication, I'd be untouchable.

Loved your kid's pick, Greg, that was brilliant.
Oh, and for the record, Wrex was in all three Mass Effect games, provided he survived Virmire, but he was part of the Normandy crew only in ME1. Sorry, Meebs, you know me, ME rabid fangirl reporting. ^^

I have a *very* important question regarding the commentary on Ori and the Will of the Wisps. This information is necessary context for the entire discussion of the game in this episode.

Do you have the Bash move yet? That's the one where you can grab an enemy or projectile and launch it off in one direction while flinging yourself the other way. That move defined Blind Forest the way jumping defined Mario or the titular mechanic defined Portal. But you didn't get it until a surprisingly long way into the game. I know it's back for Wisps but I don't know how soon you get it.

If you do have Bash and the game still feels like a mere Hollow Knight knock-off then something has gone very wrong.

Dream RPG Party for a Final Boss Fight:

RPG Only team
Olivier Lenheim (Trails in the Skies series and Trails of Cold Steel series). Funny, will keep spirits up, strong will, mid-ranged and has support abilities.
Curie (Fallout 4), medical expert, actually really strong and she was my love in Fallout 4.
Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect series) Excellent ranged, determined and dat voice.
Inigo (Skyrim Mod) Will squish giant spiders for fun, great at singing and all round excellent fighter

I don't have the bash move yet - I'm only a few hours in and I haven't had the opportunity to play more since recording (though I have had some time to reflect more.) It is a beautiful game and I'm enjoying it. I just think that, for me, it feels like a game that lives in Hollow Knight's shadow. I'm planning on pressing on more once I get some extra downtime, in part so that Glendon and I can discuss on the podcast!

Eleima wrote:

My dream RPG crew would be Kaidan from Mass Effect, Cullen from Dragon Age, and Gavin from MLQC.
Huh? What boss? Just kidding, I'm pretty damn sure they'd take down anything that was thrown at us, and with their dedication, I'd be untouchable.

This is a great party! And also a great party.

Vargen wrote:

Do you have the Bash move yet?

I can't stress enough how important it is to unlock most of your moves. I was VERY nonchalant on this game until I unlocked both Bash and the Grapple (or whip hook). The increase in movement ability is massively important. Contrasting it with Doom (great comparison, right :P) once you have those movement features it becomes a similarly "flow state" game where you dash, glide, and whip through the levels and around enemies.

Also if you're playing on GamePass make sure you update the game. I had some significant audio hitches until I updated.

I haven't made it deep enough into the episode to think about my dream RPG party yet, though I'm sure I'll have thoughts! But for now -- Harpo, I think you might have felt less of the similarity between Hollow Knight and Ori if you had played the first game instead of the second. Some of the features present in Will of the Wisps, like badges that you can equip and combine, and a melee attack -- simply aren't present in Blind Forest.

By coincidence, I had finished Blind Forest within about a day of listening to this part of the episode. And I felt some similarities to Hollow Knight, but just because they're in the same genre. But Ori's movement felt much faster and more fluid to me than the Knight's, which made me feel differently about how I explored the map and interacted with the world. Combat was much less a focus in Blind Forest. And, for me, some of the instant-death platform segments combined with the ability to save nearly anywhere to make parts of Blind Forest feel very similar to Celeste.

Between Ori and Hollow Knight it sounds like I have access to the right game. There is just enough platforming for me in the latter and plenty of lovely, challenging combat in a world seeped in character and subtle beauty (it gets more varied and atmospheric as it goes.) I’d like to try Ori though. It looks gorgeous and I seem to have acquired a taste for these kinds of games.

I’m interested in your team Lastsurprise. Call me over confident but I suspect I could predict one or two of your team members.

Well it took me a few days to post this, but here's mine!

JRPG Dream Team
Ann Takamaki, Persona 5
I need a black mage, and Ann has the black mage role down. By the end of P5, she might be the best magical damage dealer I've ever seen. In a game where it's rare to see any character do four digits of damage, I got Ann to do nearly 4,000 to the final boss. Plus, she has versatility, with some powerful healing magic.

Edea Lee, Bravely Default / Bravely Second
I also need a physical bruiser. Though Edea has the versatility to master any job, her innate stats make her suited to being a tank or physical damage dealer. And, the Bravely games feature one of my favorite combinations of the tank and DPS role: a Ninja who can auto-dodge one physical attack per turn, counterattack after dodging, plus buffs her physical stats after dodging, plus gains an extra action after dodging. Pair this with a secondary skill set, and some axes, to make a Ninja-Pirate!

Sylvando, Dragon Quest XI
With my bruiser and my black mage, I need a support character, and -- oh, darling! -- does Sylvando deliver. Apart from buffing and healing, he has a high-level move called Ladies First, which lets a female character take an extra turn. That helps, because in Dragon Quest XI, the best healer, best black mage, and best single-target damage dealer (other than the Hero) are all women -- and that'll be true here as well.

Also, we'll need transportation, and Sylvando owns a boat.

I also know these characters will get along with each other, and that I'll get along with them, because we all love to eat. Ann won my heart when, after the Phantom Thieves' first big victory, she persuaded her new friends spend all their winnings on a fancy, celebratory buffet brunch. Edea, too, has a tremendous appetite. And Sylvando? When the party was stuck in Gondolia, he snuck away to a bakery with Veronica and Serena.

I have been playing a GBA game of Rescue Team off and on for years. Apparently I am a Treecko? And my buddy is a Mudkip. I like the game a lot as "Baby's First Roguelike." The map generation is almost identical to the original Rogue in the early zones, which is highly amusing to me. I need to dig back into it. The series is also very similar to Shiren The Wanderer, which Certis was a big fan of, I think.

Vargen wrote:

If you do have Bash and the game still feels like a mere Hollow Knight knock-off then something has gone very wrong.

I recently dropped Ori and the Will of the Wisps when I was most of the way through it. I didn't have access to the full moveset, but I did have access to bash, grapple, air dash, and others.

The whole game just fell flat for me. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a knock-off of Hollow Knight, but it does feel like an unsuccessful attempt to staple many of the mechanics of that game onto Ori. They don't feel like a harmonious addition, and the fluidity and creativity of the platforming in Ori and the Blind Forest seems to have been sacrificed to make room for the elements lifted from Hollow Knight.

I loved the first Ori game. I got so into it that I was doing speed runs and could play through it with a death count in the single digits. So perhaps I'm simply too close to that game, but I never felt like Will of the Wisps captured the same feeling or even the same experience.

I said in Slack that if you'd pitched a game to me that was a combination of Ori and Hollow Knight that it would sound to me like a chocolate in my peanut butter kind of combination. Two great things that combine into a great thing. But it's not. It's like chocolate and pickles: two things I really like that really don't go together.

I wanted to love it, and I didn't. So then I wanted to appreciate it, and I couldn't. I wanted to at least finish it, and I couldn't do that, either.