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OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood (PlayStation 4) artwork

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood (PlayStation 4) review


"OlliOlli 2 is pure gameplay, creating a brilliant sense of speed and flow that is awesomely mesmerizing. The game strives to expand its creative scope while adding new gameplay elements that become vital to playing the game well. And it is incredibly successful at doing so. "


OlliOlli 2

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The original OlliOlli brought a much-needed injection of creativity to the dormant skateboarding genre. It combined tight, complex controls with a fast-paced, arcade style that made it one of the rare Vita games that expressed the unique attributes the handheld provides. With OlliOlli 2, Roll7 builds off the original with deeper levels of control and more creative level design to create one of the best games of the year.

The basic premise of the levels in OlliOlli 2 has remained the same. You are a nameless skater with an inability to stop. Each level has five optional objectives that provide access to a harder level once you complete them all. The levels in the first OlliOlli were well designed, but mostly built off generic archetypes, like a city or a sidewalk on the beach. The sequel goes in a much more fantastical direction, building levels in places such as an Aztec temple and an amusement park, among others. The change in scope also allows the routes through the levels to become more varied and complicated, with multiple branching paths for you to skate through while the game's excellent soundtrack plays in the background.

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OlliOlli 2 adds several new tricks to your arsenal, but the move that changes everything is the ability to manual. You execute this move by tilting the left stick and pressing the x button repeatedly as you land. This allows you to link up grinds and jumps together to create big, level-long combos. Manuals, along with the addition of reverts and grind switches, help establish a fluidity that is absolutely exhilarating when you nail the moves perfectly. The timing on landing tricks demands split-second precision, and it can be frustrating at times, but the payoff when you get through a level that you've wiped out on dozens of times is worth it every time. If you do struggle to put together combos, OlliOlli 2 has some good tutorials to help you improve your skills.

The game has plenty of modes for you to hone your skills in. The career mode has 25 amateur levels, each with five unique challenges that, once completed, unlock a second of pro levels that are much more difficult than their predecessors. The Spots mode has its own set of amateur and pro levels where the levels end after your first combo stops. These levels place a much bigger emphasis on getting a high score, with online leaderboards to better compare yourself to your fellow players. The daily grind feels like an offshoot of Spots, with the only difference being that you only get one shot at the randomly chosen level. You are allowed to practice as much as you want, so it's not totally brutal.

OlliOlli 2 also sees the introduction of a multiplayer mode. Exclusive to the Playstation 4 version of the game, multiplayer uses all of the levels from the single player in four new game modes. The modes feel pretty similar to the modes in single player, but playing against your friends instead of against anonymous scores on the online leaderboards gives multiplayer a special appeal. Multiplayer is only available offline, unfortunately, although the precision the game demands in order to succeed makes it an understandable choice from the developer.

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OlliOlli 2 reminds me of why I fell in love with games in the first place. A lot of modern games are obsessed with creating an "experience" or milking as much extra money as they can out of people through convenience items. While those games certainly have their merits, there is still a place for games that simply want to be as fun as possible. OlliOlli 2 is pure gameplay, creating a brilliant sense of speed and flow that is awesomely mesmerizing. The game strives to expand its creative scope while adding new gameplay elements that become vital to playing the game well. And it is incredibly successful at doing so.

5/5

sam1193's avatar
Community review by sam1193 (July 20, 2015)

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