The first OlliOlli brought back memories of Skate. I consider Skate the best skateboarding game ever and OlliOlli was a close second. Roll7’s sequel expands the original by adding much needed tricks like manuals and reverts, but also increases the necessity for precision.
OlliOlli 2 is the best skateboarding game available right now.
A different look
OlliOlli 2 changes the graphics from the first game. Instead of pixel graphics, OlliOlli 2 uses a comic book style. Levels look painted and the skate avatar has a more natural flow when moving. The animations are all still locked to different tricks, but the new visual design looks and feels more fluid.
Each world has a distinct look. This can also change the colors of what’s used to grind or skate on. When you start a new level, be prepared to fail as you learn the layout. OlliOlli 2’s level design is great and incredibly frustrating at the same time. The game’s difficulty is tied directly with level design; learn the level and you’ll find it much easier to pull of long combinations.
Learn the basics, master the techniques
There are five worlds in the game, each with five levels. If you complete every objective in a level, you can access the Pro level that presents new challenges. When you complete all the challenges in a world, you unlock RAD mode, which is even more difficult than Pro mode.
The first world, Olliwood, is the tutorial. It teaches you the general controls and some advanced tricks that are needed in other worlds. As you progress other worlds require more fine-tuned skills. Curse of the Aztec is about grinding, Gunmetal Creek is big on manuals, and Carnival of the Dead focuses on transitions.
Performing tricks is only a small part of your score. You also have to land the trick. Pressing X right before landing can earn different ratings and the goal is always to have a perfect landing. This extends to landing grinds and manuals. Manuals can extend combos throughout an entire level and become necessary because there are also one combo goals.
OlliOlli 2 scores based on the trick and variety. So you can’t just kickflip through a level and get great scores. The bigger the variety of tricks, the higher your score. Building your combo meter can end in a giant score that could fulfil many different challenges in one run.
Failure is required in Olli Olli 2. There’s a dedicated restart button mapped to the triangle button and it’s something you’ll use a lot. Use the left analog stick to perform tricks. Like Skate, you manipulate the stick in different patterns to perform tricks. The shoulder buttons are also used as modifiers for more advanced tricks.
Grinds are accomplished the same way with standard grinds using the analog stick and advanced grinds using the shoulder buttons. OlliOlli 2 also adds reverts and grind stance changes to add more variety. There are also controls to prep for nollies or fakies and you can spin in the air for added points.
The depth of OlliOlli’s tricks is staggering and takes time to learn the hardest tricks, which require perfect timing. The way OlliOlli 2’s gameplay is setup is repetitive, but demands perfection.
One platform, multiple devices
OlliOlli 2 is a cross-buy, cross-save game. This means if you purchase it on either PlayStation 4 or Playstation Vita, you get the game on the other device for free. Cross-save is great because you can sync your progress and pick up where you left off on either console. This makes it very easy to work on a difficult level during your commute and then sync your progress to play at home on PlayStation 4.
I’ve used the cross-sync saves every day because some levels are easier on PS4 or PS Vita. OlliOlli 2 is the perfect mobile game and shows the necessity of an analog stick for this type of sports game.
The best skateboarding game out now
There’s hasn’t been a great skateboarding game since Skate was shuttered. OilliOlli 2 picks up the slack with its addictive and challenging gameplay. It’s definitely a focused experience designed to frustrate you, but it’s one of the best games on both the PS4 or PS Vita this year.
Review copy purchased on the PlayStation Store.
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