Review: OlliOlli (Xbox One)

OlliOlli: Official GBAtemp Review

Xbox One 1,398 view 3 likes 4 comments
Reviewed by Austin Trujillo, posted Mar 15, 2015
Mar 15, 2015
  • Release Date (NA): March 6, 2015
  • Release Date (EU): March 6, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): March 6, 2015
  • Publisher: Curve Digital
  • Developer: Curve Digital
  • Genres: Skater
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone
  • PEGI Rating: Three years and older
  • Also For: Computer, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Start, scroll up, reset. Start, scroll up, reset. This has been my life playing OlliOlli for the time I’ve had the game. But does it boil down to frustration, or wanting to be a perfectionist? You can read below to find out!
Austin Trujillo

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A Tony Hawk Fan's Retro Dream

OlliOlli reminds me of when I sat down on a couch with my buddies, booted up the latest Tony Hawk Pro Skater on Playstation, and for hours tried to nail every trick, get the most perfect score I could, or just wipe out in the most comedic way possible.

And let me tell you, while OlliOlli is a much more retro styled game, it captures that mentality of skating prowess wonderfully.

To start off, OlliOlli has very simple controls. The left stick is your main source of action, controlling how you lift into the air with a click flick up, and then the rotation of the stick determining your tricks. The A button is used to push off and gain speed, as well as hit at just the right moment before you touch the ground to keep a stable landing. Poorer execution of the A button, means sloppy results, and less to no points for you, or even failure! The bumpers can also be combined with stick movements to perform other tricks.

The game sports something called the Tricktionary, which gives you the precise method of pulling off a trick. To be honest I was a little put off by how small the Tricktionary was. Granted you are only using a limited amount of buttons, but it felt as if they could have incorporated more commands into the game utilizing other controls.

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All of this takes place on a 2D plane, with simple environments that provide obstacles such as junk piles, stairs, walls, and grind rails.

While that is all there is to it control wise, there’s a wonderful combo difficulty level of executing these tricks. I never once felt unresponsiveness when trying to perform a certain trick, and what it ultimately boiled down to was my ability to do the trick.

Executing tricks keeps your score rising, and tricks can be combined with grind rails and perfect landings for extra points.

It's is as simple as getting from one side of the screen to the other, but it’s the ride there that makes everything so enjoyable. As I said before, the perfectionist in me was screaming anytime I saw a single sloppy pop up after executing something, and I would always reset the the level to try and get a perfect score.

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The game encourages you to go for perfection with added challenges to every level that can unlock more difficult challenge modes. The challenges range from not getting a single sloppy throughout the entire run, to never touching the ground on an endless grind rail level.

OlliOlli can also be devilishly unforgiving. A single mess up resets the entire level, and while they aren’t long, it can sometimes take you a long time to master a course. Personally I found it drove me to continue cracking at the game and master the way I play, but for others this could be a frustrating limitation that takes them out of the experience.

The game has about 50 levels to grind out your skating skills on. Beyond that, if you complete the challenges, you can unlock the pro challenge modes. After unlocking all of those, you can compete in other modes such as Rad Run, which is another large difficulty spike, and Spot On, a challenge mode with online leaderboards.

It also has a Daily Grind mode, which is another online leaderboard game with an added twist. You can run as many practice runs on the game as you like, but when you finally decide to go for a score you’d like to be posted on the leaderboard, you will only have ONE chance to do so. Afterwards, whether you mess up right at the beginning or go for the long haul, you’ll have to wait 24 hours before the next challenge is available.

OlliOlli is a fun little title, but the overall content of the game can feel rather small. As I said before, 50 levels over five locations is a little on the short side, especially for a simple side scrolling title. Surprisingly enough though, I found it had a charming little soundtrack to go along with the gameplay. The music is upbeat and electronic, and reminds me a bit of electronic super joy. (wubwubwub) 

 It entirely depends on your attention span and perfectionism to continue to run through multiple runs of the same level over and over again to get the best score possible. While that may not appeal to everyone, it does a fantastic job of keeping that skating game spirit alive for fans of excellent execution. 

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Verdict
Pros
+ Responsive Controls
+ Addicting Gameplay
+ Great Music
+ Awesome Scoring Mechanics
Cons
- Repetitive Perfectionism
- Small Amount of Content
8 Presentation
OlliOlli presents itself as a tribute to the skating games we all enjoyed as kids sitting on a couch with our friends, and it holds up to that standard well.
8 Gameplay
Controls are responsive, gameplay can be repetitive, but perfectionism is the key to OlliOlli's addiction. It's fun, it's frustrating, it's a freaking good time.
7 Lasting Appeal
Depending on your idea of lasting appeal, OlliOlli can be a game you're done with in 5 hours or 5 weeks. You can complete all the levels and be done from that point, or you can strive to master every challenge, every trick, and perfect your scores. Either way, there is an appeal for both of those groups in some respect.
8
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
OlliOlli was addicting, frustrating, and a downright enjoyable title. I was put off having it on console at first and not on a handheld on the go, but I think no matter what platform you play it on, you're going to find yourself having a great time. It was a pleasant surprise that made me all the more happy there is a sequel.
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