January 21, 2014

OlliOlli Review for PS Vita

Roll7's PS Vita exclusive drops into the US and UK PS stores this week. Read on to see if this side skater is for you!…….
Side skating on the go! You better get used to slamming on your face a lot as this side skater will get you time and time again. Practice up your combos, get your buttons down for grinding and landing to pull off some sick scores, and compete worldwide for daily leaderboard action.

Backgrounds are handcrafted and flow nicely as you skate past. 
At its core, OlliOlli is a 2D pixellated hand drawn skating game. You start riding across a level and jump, trick, and grind your way to the finish. With over 120 tricks to learn, some intense twitchy level designs, and daily competitors for the top spots, you'll be spending a lot of time improving your skills to reach all the pro and rad levels.

The game is simple enough to understand: You jump, do a trick, grind and/or land. Getting some serious combos and scores comes with a lot of effort and time, so casual grinders may have to REALLY work for it. I'm at the 4th of 5 maps and am having a tough time with the unforgiving levels. Even just starting out it took me several runs to figure out how to coordinate all the button presses to land "perfectly" (you get rated for the timing of your landings... and get more points if you do it perfectly).
A handy trick list for learning all the moves
Game modes: You have three ways to play the game. Career, Spots, and Daily Grind.

Career mode has you going through 50 levels between Amateur and Pro. To unlock Pro, you need to complete a checklist of requirements on each level. Some of the requests are hard to decipher and you end up solving them by chance at times. There is "Rad" mode, which unlocks when you finish all the Pro levels in a world. I haven't gotten there yet, as it will take a lot more time than I can devote to mastering this game!
Easy to decipher menu system. You can get to different modes easily with a quick swipe on the screen

Spots mode unlocks every time you finish a level. Each one has its own leaderboard linkup, and you have to carve out a super long combo on the level to even think of getting onto that list. Once the combo is done, there's your score. Trying to figure out how to time it all with the most tricks/grinds will take a lot of your time.

Daily grind mode is a sort of a gambling mode. Each day a level is available to grind out, much like the "spots" mode. The real trick is you only get one run at it. Sure, you can practice until you're happy with it, and then "Play it for real." If you blow it, there goes your chance for the day.
I thought I was good. And then I realized I wasn't. 

A skating game that will challenge your skills of stringing together complex and varied tricks. If you like skating games and trying to win the top spots around the world, then OlliOlli is your game. 

You will like this game if: 
  • you like precision skill based games where one mistake means frequent heavy face planting and one sweet run means you claim a spot on one of many leaderboards. Really rewarding to land a perfect Daily Grind. 
  • you enjoy pretty pixel graphics and an alternative soundtrack to your game
You may not like: 
  • the difficulty level. You have to work at it to be any good!
  • the lack of character design. Some customization to your skater would be sweet! A claim to a leaderboard spot AND your custom skater pic posted? That'd be nice. 

Thanks to the fine folks at Roll7 for the code and the communication over the past year as their project progressed. I'll miss badgering you all about updates! Good luck to you guys on future Vita titles. 

The game is ~$11 if you have PS+, and $13 otherwise. What do you think? 

PS Vita Hub ®