tue 21/05/2024

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood | reviews, news & interviews

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

Twitchy skating game gets under your skin like road rash

'OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood': Speed thrills, reaction-time spills…

Skateboarding, in games and in movies, has always been presented as quite a laidback sport. This couldn't be further from that idea – it's a "twitch" arcade stick-and-button mangler that adeptly balances risk and reward and will wring hardened players for beads of sweat.

Like the original, its name an apparent mangling of the skateboarding term for a jump, "Ollie", and perhaps the cycling spectator's imperative "Allez! Allez!", OlliOlli 2 is a side-scrolling arcade blast. Your diminutive skater speeds through levels covered in increasingly unlikely hazards, the concept being you're ripping through a film backlot – which lets the level designers run riot with film-themed ideas.

If you stop, it's time to retry the level; if you hit a hazard, retry; if you mess up a stunt, retry. There is, you'll gather, a lot of retrying – so much so, there's now even an instant-restart button on your controller.

OlliOlli 2 for PS4 and PS Vita - Tony Hawk rival skateboarding gameYou'll use it a lot – and this is why: you need momentum and speed to access higher areas of the level; simultaneously you need to pull tricks and grind on rails to score points and get past hazards; and to jump, or grind, or do anything except fall over in a heap, you need to flick the left stick in a direction while perfectly timing button presses as you land.

Demands on timing and control accuracy, combined with a level passing as fast as something from Sonic The Hedehog, are tough enough. But throw on top a skate "combo" scoring system that means that if you can jump, pull a trick, land a manual and then grind a ledge that effectively multiplies those tricks together… if you land the final bit of the trick without flubbing.

The result is on a good day, you can pull off a one combo trick that lasts an entire level – for serious score. Of course, fail for one moment and that score resets to zero. New to OlliOlli 2 are manuals – transitions from air to ground to air – that enable you to pull longer combos than ever. There's also 50 new levels, each with five specific challenges beautifully designed to lure you into learning new tricks, taking on new challenges. And levels are now designed with multiple routes to discover and mess about with.

OlliOlli 2 for PS4 and PS Vita - Tony Hawk rival skateboarding gamePleasingly, the previous game's "Daily Grind" mode is also back. A new course layout every day, practice all you like, then you have one single attempt to rack up a score that'll see your name in lights on the global leaderboards.

Which encapsulates OlliOlli 2 perfectly, really. It's a twitchy, fast-paced and competitive game for obsessional and fast-fingered players. There's new stuff in this sequel – and a lot of subtle tweaks and cleaning up. But this is largely more of the OlliOlli same. Whether that excites you or not will be down to whether addictively fiendish is your forte or not.

On a good day, you can pull off a one combo trick that lasts an entire level


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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