March 12, 2015

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to OlliWood Review

Get your reflexes and trigger fingers up to snuff, you'll need them in this sequel to the popular and successful OlliOlli. Does this sequel change the game? Should you try it out? Read on!

If you missed the news about the original game, OlliOlli, from developers Roll7, you missed a classic. 2D side skating action, with easy to pick up controls and stinking-hard-to-master gameplay. It was received well, and is now on multiple platforms all over the place. A year later, the sequel hits the streets for PS4 and Vita.



Back at the Playstation Experience I was able to play OlliOlli 2 in it's "just about ready" stage and I was impressed at the fluidity of the game. For those of you familiar with the first game, OlliOlli 2 will be a welcome back to you. You will be able to pick this game up and you'll know all the controls..., you'll know the precision you'll have to have when you land a trick or grind out if you want to rack up the perfect scores. The gameplay isn't so different, it is just better. 

Yet another time I bite it 
There is a level of shine on this one that wasn't in the first game. The graphics are smooth, the backgrounds are detailed, there are little touches like lens flares that just make this a gem on your Vita's screen (or on your bigger screen). I played a bit on the PS4, but man, oh man, this game was built for the Vita. 



When you boot up the game, you'll be treated to another thing that really makes this game: the music. It is a soothing, techno, alternative blend that just sets the mood perfectly. It's like you're going to your own private skate club. Just one more touch that makes this game something you want to come back to every day. And here's where that draw comes in. 

Style. The game has it. 

What is it about OlliOlli2 that makes you want to play it? To give it just "one more go?" To make you want to throw your Vita and curse more than you normally do at video games? (I of course am speaking from experience, there). It just feels great and so rewarding when you can carve out a level in one run... nailing spins, grinds, manuals, reverts, in succession until you rack up a huge score. 

A list of challenges for a level with quick access to the "Tricktionary" and Skatepark to practice moves. 
The in-level tasks that earn you stars are challenging, but again, rewarding. Yes you can grind through lots of levels without pushing yourself for those extras, but those challenges are where the fun lies. (Of course I'm stuck in a level that has made me curse up a streak... but I always come back!)  Perfectionists are going to have a blast with this one. Edit: I just went back in finished that $%#*-n level! Yeah!)

Here's where you can learn all those fancy moves
So what's really new? Well, the game has you raiding the sets of different movies (a Hollywood scene, an Indiana Jones-esque one, the Old West, a haunted carnival, and finally a sci fi one). No story, just a place for you to carve. They're fun and pretty to look at... with some lightning flashes in the carnival one that make you jump the first time you see them. 



"Spots" open up as you play... or when you finish all the challenges on a level. Just a place to test your mettle and try to go through a level in one combo streak to see if you can earn your place on the leaderboards. That's another cool feature... everything is hooked up to that so you feel like you're part of a community, even though you never see the other skaters. 



"The Daily Grind" is also the same as last time. Once a day you can do a run and post your score to a random challenge level. The trick? You only get one real run. Sure you can practice it all you want, but when you do it for real, you get what you get. And for me that usually means I practice and get pretty ok and then do something stupid in the real run and get a sketchy 0 point landing. And then I try it again the next day. 

See how this is familiar? Nothing game breaking from the original. 

The one new thing is the "Skatepark," where you can practice moves. And there are a few new ones to help you bump that score and string together some sick combos. In the first game, to get an intense combo you had to grind to keep it going but here in OlliOlli 2  you get a few new options. These include the manuals. Basically when you land, if you time it right you can hit a manual that doesn't kill the streak (important for the Daily Grinds or Spots). You pop a wheelie to keep it going. Another similar is a revert to a manual. Another new thing is the spins, one of the last tricks you learn here. Just another thing to make you try to get perfect timing. 



And therein lies the joy of the game. But is this for everybody? No, definitely not. The faint of heart and those of you unwilling to keep at it to get better are probably not going to get the most out of this game. If you're a perfectionist, a leaderboard racer, or just someone who likes to nail a sweet combo then you ought to pick this up. And in March if you're a PS+ member it's yours free! 

Verdict: 
8.5/10

Fantastic! A warm welcome back to a game that won't let you go. 

This game is meant for people who: 
  • like stringing together elaborate combos
  • have elite reflexes for the timing required
  • want a true on the go experience with their Vita (if you own one, you NEED to pick this game up). This game absolutely shines on the Vita. 
Long live the Vita and classy engaging games like this. Thanks, Roll7, I enjoy working with you all and expect great things from you. 

What do you think, readers? Have you given this game a try? Let us know what you think!





 
                     
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