When the original was released last year, OlliOlli gained critical acclaim and became somewhat of a cult classic thanks to it’s fast paced and reaction centric gameplay, little over a year later new publisher Team 17 bring us Roll 7’s OlliOlli2: XL Edition.
While instantly recognisable the retro-inspired graphics have been given some polish and are equally clear and detailed.
Having played until my eyes where sore, and climbing to number 1 in the world rankings, I’d put in some serious hours and throughout that time, never once felt any major criticism towards how the game looks. Mostly due to how smoothly the title runs and at such a blistering pace.
Firstly it’ll seem pretty accessible, you’ll follow a few easy tutorials to get to grips with controls.
The left analogue stick can be pulled in any direction to prime a jump, and then released to perform a jump/trick, mixing the directions with the shoulder bumpers you’ll soon be pulling off numerous tricks and some impressive scores.
As you venture through the first area, you’ll soon get to grips with these basics and there’s a selection of challenges rewarding you with a star for every challenge you complete on each level, complete all 5 and you’ll open up a pro version with a further 5 challenges. Don’t think these will be as easy, because even these early levels will take some serious practice and patience to get more than a few stars on pro, whereas the amateur levels shouldn’t put up too much resistance early on.
Pass the first 5 levels, and you’ll move onto the Aztec inspired 2nd area. Before you start you’re advised to learn and practice performing manuals and this is where the game changed completed for me.
To perform a manual you pull a direction on your left-stick as you hit ‘A’ to land, this continues your combo, and with great timing greatly increases your score making some of those tougher challenges a little more attainable.
With the manuals under my sleeve, I was able to mop up plenty of challenges I’d missed, and breeze through the second area, the separation of the controls just made things so much easier.
Usually, you’ll use your left stick to jump, the ‘A’ button to land, and when grinding, push the left stick to grind.
Often the confusion between grind/rail and floor would cause me to press the wrong button, but when performing manuals you’re always pulling the left analogue stick when landing so it gave my aging reactions a split second longer to react.
Throughout the game, I found the 3rd area tougher than the 4th and by the time you hit the final 5th area, perfection is such a necessity that you’ll realize you’ve hit the top of the learning curve and it’s going to take some serious skill to finish off especially if you’re working through the pro challenges.
Outside of the career mode (which sadly missed the boat slightly and doesn’t include any form of story or narration) there’s also Spots, which give you a tiny section from a completed level and tasks you with performing the best combo in this limited space, all levels have their own leaderboard and the game also gives you a total from all spots and gives an overall global leaderboard to battle under (Don’t worry, I won’t mention at the time of writing I’m on top of that leaderboard).
There’s also Skatepark which homes the various tutorials for revisiting and the new Free-Skate mode which allows you time to practice in each area without the worry of timing as you’ll always land. This means you can concentrate more on the timing of your jumps and tricks, so while not a major addition those wanting to tackle the pro challenges might want to spend some time here.
Combo-rush takes away the achievements and gives you up to 4 players split screen, this is just as fast and frantic, and if you’ve got 4 friends round it’s a great laugh, but sadly there’s no online multiplayer.
Finally Daily Grind gives you a single spot, and let’s you practice until your heart’s content, when you think you’re ready, you can play it for real, but this is a single shot. crash and burn and your chance is gone, you have one chance to set the highest score for the day. While it may only give you a few minutes of gameplay each day, it’s a fun prospect and well worth trying to set a good score each time you’re online.
Overall there’s quite a lot of game for the £9.99 price tag, and fan’s of the first game are sure to enjoy the sequel. If and when we see an OlliOlli3, I’ve really like to see some form of story, or maybe a tournament system, online play or even the popular ‘S.K.A.T.E’ mode.
One thing I’ve not mentioned much is the sound, and that’s because when I sat and played continuously for an evening, I didn’t notice the sound, the game moves at such a pace, your concentration is solely on landing each and every trick and flick, I knew the soundtrack was there and effects each time you flick or land, but it just shows that some games don’t need sound to grab your attention.
As it is, there’s an ongoing soundtrack of tunes, which verge on repetitive, they’re not annoying, or distracting, but they just play along in the background while your attention is elsewhere.