I believe the last time I played a skateboarding game with any kind of interest was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1-2 for the PSX. Doing kick flips and attempting the legendary “1080” all while rocking out to tunes by bands like Powerman 5000 and Papa Roach- those were some good times.
After sequel after sequel, the series and the genre itself became less interesting to me, and I never really touched those gamesagain.
Along comes OlliOlli, a little indie PS Vita title that’s made its way to the PC, that managed to reignite some of my love for the genre with some twists of its own.
Platforms: PC, PSV.
Multiplayer: Leader boards.
Demo Availability: N/A
Length: It’s a game about trying to get the highest score so N/A.
It’s easy enough to take a glance at that screenshot above and have a decent understanding of how this title looks, but it wouldn’t explain how well it plays.
Before I get into that, I would highly recommend the use of a controller; while the standard keyboard controls work to some degree, it was clearly designed for the use of an analog stick.
On that note, there isn’t much to the controls, as it’s handled entirely through the use of a single button and the analog stick.
The lone button press allows for increasing of speed and the all-important landing, where it must be pressed just as the player is about to hit the ground.
The analog controls handle the tricks used, some of which involve some rather difficult movements and also require timing on the analog tilts during for grinds.
It’s a very simple control scheme, which is easy to understand but takes a good amount of skill to master. As the player chains one trick to the next the multipliers increase, and shifting from one trick to the next all while grinding at maximum speed is quite exhilarating.
While the main objective is to just get to the end of the stage, this is clearly a title about trying to get the best score possible, and the side objectives reward fulfilling of certain conditions by unlocking new “Pro” level stages.
The difficulty curve as more stages are unlocked felt smooth without me ever feeling too frustrated, even though I wiped out quite a few times attempting to do some rather difficulty trick links.
It’s a testament to the tight controls and overall level designs that I felt the vast majority of my falls were due to my own failings and nothing more.
Still, while I felt overall that the level designs and controls were quite exceptional, there were cases where they weren’t quite on point.
There were some objects that were on the background that looked liked it was in the foreground and vice versa that I would try to avoid or just skate right into and tumble down in a series of painful crunch noises.
Also, I felt I was clearly doing a particularly trick motion on the analog stick which wouldn’t register, and my skater would just jump in the air doing nothing and come down unceremoniously.
I can say that these cases were few and far between, but with the rest of the game being very polished, they stuck out like white socks in dress shoes..
Overall, I felt OlliOlli was quite addictive and fun to play, and while I’m not the type of person to try to always go for the high score, it had me pondering, “I could get a better score than this” and going back to a previously completed stage.
Fun Tidbit – There are leader boards for each stage and a different “Rad” mode to unlock which changes things around a bit.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.