It’s so good, they named it twice.
After seeing a successful release on other platforms, Roll7’s highly recognized side scrolling skate game Olli Olli2 XL edition has finally made its way onto Microsoft’s Xbox One. The game quenches a thirst that many gamers have by taking addictive gameplay, ridiculous amounts of replay value, bright visuals all supported by a killer soundtrack, and making them come together to create a skating title the video game world deserves.
Olli Olli 2 takes place in the aptly named Olliwood, a location that surely everyone wants to be a resident of. In this skating utopia you play a digital dude with a simple mission: skate the best runs in Olliwood. No complicated plot or narrative for this title, Olli Olli 2 is simply about style and addictive gameplay. The word ‘style’ is important here, because it’s what Olli Olli is all about. Both its gameplay and presentation irradiate an over the top style that makes the game more than a simple side scroller. Olli Olli’s fast paced gameplay is all about building the highest score you can before complete one of its 25 career stages. In order to do this every one of your actions must be performed with the utmost skill, chaining trick into trick whilst avoiding oncoming obstacles.
It’s a lot harder than it sounds, but immensely gratifying once you hit the perfect run. Controls are simple, tap A to gain speed and flick the left anolog stick down then up to perform a simple ollie. This won’t rack you up those sweet, sweet points however so you’ll have to attempt grander and flashier tricks in order to score big. To perform more complicated tricks, you must push down on the left anolog and then flick up in a certain pattern, think almost like the inputs on a fighting game. Once you’ve performed the move you want you must also stick the landing, which is done by tapping A as the board hits the ground. You can also switch into a manual as you land after a trick, making chaining manoeuvres a lot simpler and fluid. Tougher inputs result in cooler trick earning you more points, all pretty simple in theory but trust me its anything but. All of your actions must be pre meditated and attempted at least a dozen times before perfecting.
This may sound repetitive but I can assure you, it’s not. Multiple times I made runs near perfection, only making a few minor mistakes but chose to restart the stage because the gameplay and idea of perfecting the area was too gratifying. This is made easy with the Y button, which acts as a quick reset meaning you can land those ace runs and make attempt after attempt without a loading screen or checkpoint. This fast paced, addictive gameplay culminates into an excellent experience due to tight controls that never once felt unresponsive or delayed.
Olli Olli 2’s fun gameplay is reinforced by its visual style as well, which is full of retro styled colours and backdrops that are enjoyable to look at but never distracting. Each of the locations in Olliwood is unique and range from the wild west to a theme park full of dead people, which is a lot more visually satisfying and less horrific than it sounds. Never once was I distracted by the stage itself, and noticed that oncoming hazards and areas I could grind were strategically coloured so I wouldn’t be abruptly thrown from my board or unintentionally miss a rail. I mentioned style before, and it doesn’t just end with Olli Olli 2’s gameplay and visual. The game boasts an awesome tracklist that highlights those epic moments of finally landing a difficult jump in game. The music (which I recommend cranking all the way up) is never repetitive too, so you’ll find no issue chilling out to it when you’re stuck trying to advance on the games later stages, which will happen due to the games steep difficulty curve. Simply finishing each stage in the aforementioned career mode unlocks the next area, but achieving certain goals in each area will unlock a ‘Rad Mode’ of each stage, which are incredibly difficult to complete. I also recommend cranking the in game music all the way up to get the full experience of the stellar soundtrack.
If you want to take a break from the difficult career mode Olli Olli 2 XL edition has a plethora of alternative modes for you to practice or casually play and chill out in. Hit the ‘Skate Park’ to prepare yourself for some trickery or play the new Free Skate mode which has lengthier stages that take longer to complete. This is where I found most my enjoyment as I was able to play at my own pace and unwind after attempting the pro level stages in career mode. There’s also Spot Mode and Combo Rush that challenge your skills and have their own individual leader boards if you’re looking to impress and compare yourself to friends or the public. You can also play 4 player local co-op which can get pretty competitive at times. The interesting aspect of the multi play however is how many ways I learnt a stage could be completed, as I watched my friends take alternate paths and attempt different tricks to me. Of course local co-op does limit your on screen visuals but not enough to annoy or break your concentration.
Olli Olli 2 XL Edition is the ultimate version of the astoundingly stylish Roll7 skate title that’s a must play for anyone looking to wash the bad taste of Tony Hawks recent ventures out of their mouths. Combining a ridiculous amount of replay ability, tight controls and an abundance of style in all aspects that will keep you tackling those tough stages and glutton for punishment in search of the perfect runs.
Publisher: Team 17 (for Xbox One)
Xbox One (also available for PS Vita, PS4 and PC)
A review copy was provided by the publisher.