Ori And The Will Of The Wisps Switch Review: Adorable Suffering On A Portable System

Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is undeniably one of the most beautiful and enchanting games released in 2020. I loved it when I reviewed it earlier this year, and after replaying it recently I was still floored by its gorgeous visuals and phenomenal Metroidvania gameplay. Although, as I’ve said before, if you don’t like watching unspeakably cuddly-cute characters suffer then you may have a hard time getting through it.

Recently, this title was ported to the Nintendo Switch, which seems like a perfect fit. Who wouldn’t want to take a game like Will Of The Wisps with them on long commutes or road trips? However, the graphics of Ori could be so taxing that even some PCs had a hard time keeping with the technical demands. So could the team over at Moon Studios manage to port this game to Nintendo’s portable console without it looking and running like a digital trash fire? Luckily, I happen to have a copy of the game right here, so let’s find out if it holds up on a much smaller screen.

Can The Will Of The Switch Handle The Will Of The Wisps?

It goes without saying that Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is a great game. With tense combat, difficult but intuitive platforming, a magical setting, some adorably unfortunate characters, and a soundtrack worthy of a Disney film, it’s a title that’s worth consideration for being the game of the year for 2020. Regardless of how platform, you should definitely play it.

Part of the reason that Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is so enjoyable is due to its steady framerate. It runs at 60 frames per second when played off of a PC or Xbox One. This performance is an important aspect of the game because most of the gameplay and combat is very fast-paced. It requires some pinpoint accuracy and quick reflexes to reach certain platforms or survive boss fights. While the Switch is an impressive piece of hardware, some games struggle to reach 30 FPS when ported over from other systems. So while not optimal, it would be understandable if Moon Studios had to scale back Ori’s framerate to get it into a playable state.

Well, imagine my surprise when I loaded the game up and discovered it ran just as smoothly as it did on my beefy gaming PC. The combat and movement felt as fantastic as ever on Switch, even during the boss fights. There was an occasional framerate hiccup every once in a while, but I’m incredibly pleased by this port’s performance because it means that I can play this game all over again while lying in bed. (Which is the best way to play any game.)

Performance-wise it’s rock-solid, but obviously, some shortcuts had to be made to get it to a 60 FPS framerate on the Switch. I had expected that this game wouldn’t be as visually stunning here as it was on my computer. And I was right. The game is noticeably pixelated at times. Many of the backgrounds, particle effects, and interactive objects look fuzzy or blurry. The graphics definitely had to be turned down in order to get this game running stably.

Despite that, it’s actually not that bad of a downgrade. While the game doesn’t look as good as it would running off of a high-end graphics card, it still looks fantastic. In all honesty, I’m fine with a game taking a slight hit in terms of visuals if it means a smoother framerate. Ori plays well and looks exquisite for a game running on the Switch in handheld mode. In docked mode, the difference is even less noticeable.

There were a few other issues I came across while playing. When warping to a save point, it seemed to take a long time for Ori to teleport away from his current position. Sometimes it felt like a full 20 seconds would pass before he finally disappeared. When I tried to open up the map or inventory menu, there was a five-second pause before it was brought up. Also, the initial loading screen seems to take ages to finish, which leaves you staring at Ori running in place for about a minute. Any kind of loading seemed to take longer on the Switch, which isn’t a major problem, but it was a tad annoying to deal with. Especially for someone as impatient as I am.

The game would also crash on occasion. Sometimes this would happen during a boss fight or before a pivotal cut scene. Again, this is somewhat irritating, but Will Of The Wisps is pretty good about auto-saving your progress so it never felt like I had to restart from too far back. I’m also sure I experienced similar crashes on the PC version as well, so this might not be an issue that’s exclusive to the Switch.

I’m Over The Moon (Studios) About This Port!

When it comes down to it, the Switch port of Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is in excellent shape. The framerate is rock solid and while not as pleasing to the eye as it is on other consoles, it stands out as one of the most striking games you can find on the Nintendo Switch eShop. There are a few bugs here and there, but there’s nothing that breaks the game or wasn’t already present in other versions.

I will say that the best way to play this would still be on a PC or Xbox One, as you’ll get a better graphical and technical performance. But, most of us Switch owners know that there’s usually some kind of price to pay for the opportunity to take games wherever we want on a handheld system. In this case, very little was sacrificed. If you were waiting for this port to happen, then you can whip that wallet out and make this purchase without fear, as Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is a great new addition to the Switch’s ever-growing digital library.

A Nintendo Switch copy of Ori And The Will Of The Wisps was provided to TheGamer for this review. Ori And The Will Of The Wisps is available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC.

NEXT: Pokemon Gold And Silver Are Still The Most Ambitious Pokemon Games Ever, So Where Is Let’s Go Johto?

  • Game Reviews
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Moon Studios

Jamie Latour is a writer and actor based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From his hyperactive childhood to his….Well, still hyperactive adulthood, he’s been writing and performing in some capacity for practically his entire life. His love for video games goes all the way back to the age of 4, playing Mega Man 3 for the first time on his NES. He’s an avid gamer and can be found nowadays either messing around in Red Dead 2, or being cheap as can be as Reaper in Overwatch. He’s still starting out when it comes to making online content, but aside from his writing he can found on his Twitch page under the handle SpontaneousJames. You can also find him on social media as @SpontaneousJam on Twitter (because Spontaneous James was too long apparently).

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