Gone are the days of Tony Hawk Pro Skater and its “somewhat” exaggerated level of modern day skating. Meet OlliOlli2, Roll7s take on skating in the most extreme environments, all while staying true to the tricks and style of what we’ve come to expect from skating video games.
OlliOlli2 is the sequel to the appropriately named OlliOlli in which you skate through various environments ranging from California, the Wild West, an Aztec Temple, and finally a robotic futuristic utopia. There are 25 standard levels, and if you complete all of the requirements on that stage it unlocks a harder version of it. Add to those 25 levels and Daily Challenges, and you have a game that will take quite a while to master.
As the game progresses it eventually gets harder, but not without teaching you the ropes slowly and effectively in order to help you progress through each world’s set of stages.
OlliOlli2 is short, sweet, and deceptively simple. You start off learning a handful of tricks, all which are performed with a PC compatible controller. For this review I used an Xbox One controller, though anything with an analogue stick will suffice. Simple tricks can be performed by hitting any standard direction on the stick, and more complicated moves can be done by rolling the stick down and then forward or backward. Think street fighter style move sets. The harder the trick, the more its worth.
At the beginning of the level, you perform a trick, and then have to time the pressing of the “A” button when you are close to landing. This is how you get maximum points for your tricks. Once manuals are introduced you can string together trick after trick and never ruin your combo. I was able to complete multiple stages with a lot of focus and a little effort all in one large combo. Be warned though … the tricks are unconventional in the way they are performed. As easy as it sounds, I spent a lot of time failing a stage just because my brain forgot how to grind, or manual, or do a simple trick which would lead to me crashing hard into a wall, or spikes, or a vat of toxic goo.
There isn’t much to this game which is sort of the beauty of it. It’s simple to understand but devilishly hard to master. The tutorials teach you everything you need to know, and make you perform well enough to move on and use it in the real game. Even though the control scheme is much different, it can be learned quickly and is really accessible for any skill level.
Top it off with well-drawn but simplistic graphics and a killer soundtrack, and you have a near perfect experience that will challenge you to constantly better your performance, all the while bobbing your head to the fantastic ethereal score. Unlike previous skating games, there is no punk here, which honestly helped me relax and really chill out while repeatedly failing over and over again.
One side note. The level variety reminded me of the stages from Streets of Rage 2. While these games have nothing in common, I almost wonder if the music and art direction were influenced by that game. The carnival level immediately brought me back to those glorious 16-bit days!
Tl:dr – OlliOlli2 is a wonderful game for even someone who may not be a skateboarding fanatic or enthusiast. If you are, that’s great! If not, you will still find hours of enjoyment in this title doing olli’s, nollie’s, grinding, manuals and other speciality tricks. Music and visuals are great, and it’s easy enough for anyone to pick up, but is difficult to master. 50+ levels, daily challenges make up this near-perfect sequel to a game you may have never heard of or overlooked. A 2-D platformer that absolutely nails the skateboarding genre. I strongly suggest checking this out regardless of your perception on skateboarding.
Rating – 9.5/10
Buy – Steam £10.99/$14.99