Does OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood pull out all the tricks at the park like its predecessor, or does it fall face first into the gaming half-pipe of doom? Read on to find out.
Game: OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 and PS Vita
(Review code provided)
There’s one thing I can say for sure about OlliOlli 2, it is one extremely addictive game with plenty to give. Yet at the same time it makes the player work incredibly hard for what it has to offer. It’s a very simple game when you look at it from the outside, but once you delve in, it becomes clear just how much depth the game has. The basics are pretty straight forward with X being used to push off and land tricks, while the left stick is utilised to perform tricks and grinds. It’s once you start using all these tools and mixing in manual combos that you start to see the huge potential OlliOlli 2 has. Combining the bumper buttons that are used for spins and grind modifiers introduce the ability to score major points whilst also showing off just how challenging the game is. In a good way, of course.
Like me, if you might be worried about how to pull of tricks in the game, do not fear. It’s extremely simple and, as I mentioned above, it’s all done via the left stick. Simple movements of the stick in different directions determine what trick you pull off. A slight push to the left will see you do basic heelflip whereas branching off and trying something more trickier like a laserflip is done by moving to the left and then swinging the stick across the bottom until it ends up in the right side. Either way, all the tricks, grinds and different stance positions can be viewed at anytime by going to the ’Tricktionary’ section on the main screen and when you pause the game. Like I said, no need to worry!
See, pulling off tricks in mid-air is fine, but it’s (obviously) more important to actually land them. If you’ve played the original, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Perfect landings will give you a speed boost, while a sloppy one will impact your combo multiplier score. In addition to new tricks, OlliOlli 2 features a new combo system that gives you more control over what’s actually happening on-screen. The vast array of tricks and differences in each variation is huge. Even now I’m learning new combos, a statement that speaks volumes about how much depth lies within OlliOlli 2’s gameplay.
At times, it can be frustrating, but on the whole the gameplay is extremely rewarding. The rewarding part comes when you somehow manage to pull off a “Inward Heel Late FS Shove-It” and land it perfectly after also putting together four successful grinds in that same combo. Man, the satisfaction is something else! As I mentioned though, there are frustrations that creep into gameplay, and this is mainly down to the trial and error nature of things. Sometime, you’ll start up a stage numerous times after making a mistake, something that becomes a regular occurrence during the more trickier stages. That said, the more that you put into the game, the more you will get out of it. Once you get used to its intricacies and the way the physics work, you’ll be fine. Just like me. However, if you’re a newcomer or more of a casual gamer, the frustration of the slight learning curve might be a tad off-putting.
I think it’s safe to say that OlliOlli 2 has plenty of content that will keep you busy. Along with a career mode that features 50 courses (25 amateur and 25 pro) across five different worlds, each course has five challenges attached to it to keep you busy. These can be anything from beating the highest score to landing perfect grinds or finishing with a x65 combo for example. Completing all these challenges takes a huge amount of practice and effort, but at the same time are very rewarding. The more challenges you complete the more the game opens up new stages and, ultimately (as you’d expect), the more challenging the game becomes.
One big new aspect of OlliOlli 2 is the new ability to take various routes throughout each of the stages in the game. This adds a nice bit of variety to proceedings, giving you yet more different ways to rack up those precious points. Some stages have huge jumps over water or spikes, while some have collectibles in high-to-reach places that can be located using the new level design. While it’s not something that makes a huge difference to the game, it’s certainly nice to have more real estate to explore as you play.
One thing that remains in OlliOlli 2 is the simple yet beautiful art style of the original. In fact, it looks even better. Developer Roll7 has gone one step further and given the visuals an extra lick of paint that sees the game look that bit more “modern”, yet retain the artistic style that the made the original stand out. The colours are just lovely, bright and almost popping from the screen whether you’re playing on the PS4 or PS Vita. Each course has its distinctive look and feel too, so you never feel bogged down with visual repetition. Yeah, it’s a thing. I think.
Career mode aside, there’s plenty more on offer in OlliOlli 2. Daily Grind gives you one chance per day to produce your highest score on a random course, which is then placed on a global leaderboard. Be warned though, you only get one chance, so use it wisely and make it count. Another mode that integrates a global leaderboard is something called Spots. Here you play all of your unlocked courses from your career mode playthrough, and each score is added to whats called your Ultimate Spots Score. The higher total you get, the higher you rank up on the global leaderboard. It’s not exactly competitive multiplayer, but still somehow manages to get the juices flowing, especially if you’ve got friends that own the game too.
OlliOlli 2 also features something called Skatepark for those that fancy learning how to land tricks, grind and go fully manual. Being a relative newcomer myself to the series, learning the way the game controlled was a bit of a frustrating experience, but spending some time in the park help a lot. The Skatepark is essentially your hub for getting to grips with everything that the game has to offer. A nice little feature, if I don’t say so myself. If that wasn’t enough, post-launch Roll7 will be introducing a new mode called Combo Rush, adding split-screen local multiplayer to the PS4 with four game modes thrown in for good measure. The game is already jam-packed full of content, so be prepared for a lack of sleep and daylight once you get addicted. Did I mention it’s cross-buy and cross-play game too? Well, it is. So if you buy it on your PS4, you’re buying it on your PS Vita for the additional price of nothing! Bargain.
An improvement on the original in almost every way, OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood is a title every self respecting gamer needs to experience. It’s jam-packed with fun, challenging, rewarding and stacked with engaging content. Pure gaming joy, it’s a must-buy if you own a PS4, PS Vita or both! Seriously, make sure you skate on down to Olliwood, you won’t regret it.