Monday 9 March 2015

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood Review (PS4/PS Vita)

It seems only yesterday we wear swearing at our Vita’s as we smashed head first into a wall in the original OlliOlli. The fast paced action mixed with simple controls led to many a frantic hour of twitch gaming. It wasn’t perfect but OlliOlli certainly scratched the score attack itch and brought out the perfectionist in us. OlliOlli 2 brings us five new settings to play around in so with thumbs at the ready we dived back in.

In truth, not that much has changed with OlliOlli 2. The progression layout and controls are the same and the look of the game hasn’t changed much either. With this in mind it is fair to say that if you didn’t get on with the first game then there is little here to change your mind. On the other hand, fans will no doubt be happy with the ‘more of the same’ approach.

The biggest change to game mechanics is the inclusion of manuals and switches. This now allows combo's to be maintained and chained throughout entire runs and opens up acess to huge combos and scores. This does add an extra layer of depth and once you've worked out how to get through the levels invites you back in to play until your fingers bleed.

Leader boards have been better integrated which certainly helps to up the high score addiction and the daily grinds section allows you a single attempt at trying to take a top score on a specific course. The spots section also makes a return for those looking for something aside from the main level progression.

Unfortunately, the main issue we had with the original is still present. That being it can still be very difficult to tell what is and isn’t a grindable surface and this is present is both the PS4 and Vita versions (though background detail is somewhat clearer now at least). The only other real issue we have is how the skater jumps from one rail up to another. Especially in the fourth world we found it very frustrating that unless a very specific jump was done we couldn’t land on the grind rail -this happening despite the skater clearly jumping high enough to get to it.

The new levels are great fun to zoom around and show a fair amount of variety and invention based around different genres of Hollywood films. There’s Wild West, Aztec and Horror themed worlds and by the end you’ll be grinding around a Sci-Fi landscape like a tiny 2D Ratchet and Clank where any mistake results in failure. 

The most important thing is that OlliOlli 2 remains as addictive and pulsating as ever. Yes, it is incredibly frustrating but you’ll always want to go back to it one more time to try and get a better score, (or just get through the level). We would say the levels are also generally a bit better and more inventive than the first game so there has been development.

Overall, OlliOlli 2 may feel more like a bit of an add-on than a brand new game but there is more than enough content here for fans to justify a purchase. The high score integration with network features is leaps ahead and it’s still as fun and frustrating as it’s always been. It’s another pocket sized chunk of high score fun that’s well worth your attention and fans will find little to complain about.

Overall 8/10

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