ESRB: T for Teen
Platforms: PS4, PSVita, XBox One, PC, MAC, Linux, 3DS
Release Date: January 21, 2014 (PSVita), July 22, 2014 (PC, Linux, MAC), August 26, 2014 (PS4), March 5, 2015 (3DS), March 6, 2015 (XBox One)
OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliworld is a sequel to OlliOlli. Both are side-scrolling, 2D skateboarding games. I have never played OlliOlli, so I did not know what to expect. To be honest, I almost gave up playing this game after an hour of struggling with the controls.
OlliOlli has no storyline. You play as a skater trying to survive and get the best score on a run.
Violence: The only thing of note is your skater will end up a bloody 8-bit mess when he crashes.
OlliOlli is one of those games that gives you a star rating on each level. There are five stars to get per level. These are obtained by completing certain objectives. These can range from getting a score bigger than a target score to performing a set number of tricks on a run to not having any bad landings on your run. You need enough stars to move on to the next level and the levels get tougher and ask you to perform better as you progress in the game.
The basic controls are hard to get used to. You press the square button to push-off or to speed up. So far pretty easy. To olli, you make your guy crouch by holding down the left thumb stick. You then flick the stick up and your guy kicks the board and himself into the air. At the perfect time you need to press X to make a good landing. Points for a trick will not count if your landing is sloppy.
Here comes the tough part. To do another trick (other than an olli), you need to rotate the left thumb stick from bottom to either side and let go, instead of flicking up. Your guy will kick the board and himself into the air and rotate the board in the trick that you designated. Landing is still the same.
Now we add grinding on rails. You do your trick as normal and the difference comes when you want to land on a rail as in you push the left thumb stick in the direction you want the board to land on the rail. You don’t press X, but you will hold that direction on the stick until you come to the end of the rail. Flicking the stick in any direction (other than the one your are holding) will make your guy do a trick off of the rail.
To manual (ride on only either the front of back wheels only) you will press X and a direction (left or right) on the left thumb stick as you land. As you can already tell, you will have to string all these moves together to create combos and get higher points. And your combo score can be ruined by a bad landing. As you can see, this is getting complicated.
Each move in itself is pretty easy. I had trouble getting my mind and fingers to perform the moves correctly to string together a run that would allow me to get any points at all. Landings where the worst for me. I would string together this huge combo, only to have it ruined by a bad landing. This all came to a head at about an hour and I was about to give up on the game. All of a sudden, it clicked. I was able to make huge combos and nail my landings. I started to beat level after level. Soon the game started to become addicting.
OlliOlli 2 is a cross buy and cross save between the PS4 and the PSVita. This is good as you only have to buy the game once. The game controls exactly the same on both versions. The PS4 version is funner to play because the controller is much more comfortable. Cross save works, but you have to do it manually. You have to save it on one system and then load it on the other. I wish this process was automatic, because I believe it should be easy to do.
OlliOlli is presented in the 8-bit/16-bit style that has become very popular in the indie game market. Obviously they are not using the 8-bit/16-bit color pallet. The colors are vibrant. Developers have gotten a lot better at the 8-bit/16-bit art in recent years. The same can be said of this game. It looks amazing.
OlliOlli 2 is a great game. Understanding the controls takes a bit of time. There is a steep learning curve, but the payoff for that learning curve is huge. I got addicted to this game once I got past that learning curve. Getting that perfect combo has become an obsession of mine.
The Bottom Line
OlliOlli 2 is a fun and addictive game with a steep learning curve.