The second Roll7 title we are reviewing this week is the sequel to OlliOlli, titled OlliOlli2 XL Edition. This skateboard title aims to build upon the first and also gain new fans to the series. Now I haven’t played the first one but an integral part of gaming for me is trying out something new. I strap on the old knee pads, elbow pads and head gear (do the young ones still wear this stuff?) and take to 5 locations to show off my skateboarding skills or lack of.
Now when I think of skateboarding I automatically get reminiscent of my childhood years. I couldn’t do much on a skateboard but careering down a steep hill on to a main road was something me and my mates done plenty of times, admittedly not the best idea in the world but I always managed to stop just in time. Although I did own a pencil yellow skateboard which got the nickname board of death, why? Because it went like a bullet and my mate went into the back of a parked car once, yeah this thing was quite deadly. In OlliOlli2 the amount of times I crashed and burned took me right back to those days, but I just cant stop returning to the game for one last try.
OlliOlli2 XL Edition is pretty much like trials HD but on a skateboard and even more difficult but in a good way (honest I didn’t break five controllers playing it). The game throws you into five locations with a skateboard to master over 250 challenges. As you complete a level you will unlock the next one. Each level five more mini-challenges for you to complete and for your efforts you will be granted with a pro version of that level. In turn five more mini-challenges ever more difficult than the previous are granted too. If you meet all those requirements then by God are you a virtual skateboard legend. You will be granted with the fiendishly difficult RAD mode of the level. I would love to comment on the RAD mode but I have yet to conquer the requirements, my reaction time is not what it use to be.
What I love about OlliOlli2 is the control scheme, Roll7 have opted for a simple one, yet it allows you to pull off some amazing looking skateboard moves. This game is all about keeping momentum going and knowing the right time to take to the air. The left stick is where you will make most of you moves. Depending on which way you move the stick or rotate it, you will pull of moves like an Inward Heelflip to something more difficult like a Frontside 540 Shove-It. Then you can add in combinations with the LB and RB along with A button. The latter is also what is used to perfect your landing so watch carefully when you press it. In fact timing is at the core of these mechanics and the game even warns you to put your TV to Game Mode. Personally I didn’t have any issues with my TV not on Game Mode. One other button that you will be hitting a lot is the Y button as you reset your run to perfect it and complete the mini-challenges.
OlliOlli2 is not just about being able to pull of flashy skateboard moves but also combining them together. The Levels offer plenty of rails to grind but when you don’t have a rail to move on to you can pull a manual which will keep your combo going. This in turn will boost your score incredibly and is move that you will want to master. The level design is pretty rad and very challenging. If like me you have never played the previous title then there will be a few times where it becomes trial and error. You will also want to perfect grinds and landings to boost your speed a bit which is key to complete some of the later levels. I have noticed more in the later stages you will need to memorise the layout in order to not only just finish but maximise your score. There are some key spots where you will have to time a jump just perfect to avoid going straight into the gutter. On the Carnival of the Dead levels you can grind roller-coaster rails but there are times where you have some split second timing to make sure you grind the right rail. There have been a few times I have went head first into that red wall of frustration but something just keeps me coming back for more, even if I am just performing basic moves to finish a level.
Outside the main Career mode you have five other options to introduce a little variety. First off is the Skatepark which any beginner should go to as it teaches you the basics of the controls as well as some of the moves that will help you keep combos going and increase your score. Free-Skate is a mode to chill out on and a chance to show-boat your skills on a unique level from each location. They are longer than those found in career mode but offer so much more chances for some epic scores that go into the millions. The Spots mode offers a very short snap of the career levels to see how big a score you can get, its a great mode if you just want to kill a few minutes. The Daily Grind mode is where a level is selected at random and you have twenty-four hours to post a score to the leaderboard. The big catch is that you only get one try at it but you can practice it first as many times as you want. I can see this being quite popular among the hardcore enthusiasts. The final mode is Combo-Rush with is a local split-screen multiplayer mode. This allows you to set a tournament length and choose between four game modes which are Timed, Race, Oneshot and Score. This mode is fine apart from the split-screen as even with just two players the boxes didn’t make full use of the TV screen leaving things just too small to play comfortably.
Graphically the game has a very colourful and fresh vibe to it. I really like the simplistic yet elegance of the cel-shaded art style. In OlliWood where the sun keeps shining you will see billboards and posters for the other locations in the game. In the wild west Gunmetal Creek you can see BunnyLords face from “Not a Hero” on buildings as you grind trains and trick through canyons. Carnival of the Dead has to be my personal favourite though with its post-apocalyptic setting with biohazards scattered about just waiting to melt you and your skateboard. The music for this type of game is an upbeat soundtrack and ties in well.
The Good Things
- Simple control scheme yet allows you to pull of some very flashy skateboarding skills.
- Manuals mean you can keep your score combo going and going.
- Addictive and had me coming back for more.
And The Bad
- Split-screen multiplayer screens need fixed.
- OlliOlli2 XL Edition takes skateboarding back to the basics where its all about tricks while maintaining that momentum. The control scheme is basic and will allow anybody to pick up and play this title, yet it has enough depth if you want to rack up those high scores to be a true contender on the leaderboards. The graphics are simple yet elegant and I really dig the colourful cel-shaded art style. If you love games like Trials HD then you will certainly get a kick out of this title. Yes it can be frustrating at times when completing the mini-challenges but I still keep going back for more punishment.
Olli Olli2 XL Edition makes skateboarding all about simple, addictive fun.