OlliOlli World Review

 

 
Overview
 

Overall
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


 

Positives


-Buttery smooth controls with a deliciously smooth frame-rate
-Addictive skateboarding gameplay
-The various worlds change up challenges and scenery enough to stay interesting

Negatives


-Fairly standard storytelling


Posted February 7, 2022 by

 
Full Article
 
 

It’s very easy to get stuck playing OlliOlli World for hours on end, much like its predecessors. This is now developer Roll7’s third entry in the series, and while World looks a lot different to the pixel art style that defined the series before, it finds new ways to cement itself as one of the most addictive skateboarding games out there, and certainly the chillest.

The presentation has undergone and overhaul, strongly resembling (to my untrained eyes anyway) cartoons like Adventure Time, with grand locations that pull back slightly on some of the more crazy imagery from the original OlliOlli, and instead form long winding rollercoaster-like paths out of smooth hills, rails, walls and ramps. Now fully 3D, the game moves at a slippery smooth frame-rate, and even recommends you turn on Game Mode on your TV to make your trick-timing as accurate as possible. The soundtrack too, filled with smooth ambient lo-fi electronica, also feels designed to help you relax and settle into OlliOlli World’s groove. It all works well together, and while levels can sometimes seem sparse on detail, they do vary up their looks pretty frequently, even within the game’s five themed-worlds. Towards the end of the game, some crazier designs do get thrown into the mix, like mid-air rails in cities that wouldn’t feel out of place in a mid-2000’s Sonic game.

OlliOlli World builds on the familiar 2D gameplay of its predecessors, with an assortment of set courses for your user-generated character to roll down. You can pull off most of the game’s moves using the two analogue sticks, from ollies to grinds, wallrides, grabs, you name it, with buttons only really being used for landings or pulling off a manual. If you’re an old Tony Hawk fan, it can take a while to unlearn the subconscious desire to press a button for grinding, but the analogue stick setup results in a surprising amount of freedom to change-up your tricks on the fly. It doesn’t necessarily matter which tricks you’re pulling off when, just that you’re chaining them together into combos and keeping your flow going in a level, as well as your speed. While earlier worlds are more forgiving, later levels will punish you for not paying attention to your speed or ability to trick from rail to rail, although it’s easy to respawn from checkpoints and try again.

This time around, your character is exploring Radlandia, a Super Mario World-esque map that takes you through five lands, with five Skate Gods that you need to impress in order to spiritually and physically ascend to Gnarvana. Making the game a little bit more of an adventure is a neat idea, but to be honest I could do without the narrative bookends to every level, which involve your group of friends standing around in pre-set positions making some light banter. The dialogue isn’t really cheeky or amusing enough to feel like its constant inclusion is necessary, and while there are diversions and side-missions, the general path through each land is the same each time (meet a Skate God with a cool design, impress them, move on), all the way right up until the end. OlliOlli World works perfectly fine without a story and just its general premise, but the way the story has been included doesn’t really add to the experience either, and often just serves to delay getting to the actual gameplay meat.

While missing a specific jump time-and-time again can be frustrating, OlliOlli World is at its best once you’ve adjusted to its pace and the specific gravity of its tricks, as well as the controls, and can just ease into the flow of the levels. Different lands introduce different tricks to add to your arsenal, as well as different challenges that encourage replaying each level. The basic score challenges are easily nailed on your first or second attempt, but many of the more mission-based challenges (grind or hit ‘X’ number of objects) require exploring alternate paths. This new addition to the OlliOlli formula is neat, as you get an option to opt into a ‘gnarly route’ every so often on most levels, for some added challenge and greater opportunities for tricks, but doesn’t fundamentally alter the gameplay.

Upon reaching Gnarvana, you can unlock essentially limitless procedurally generated levels, which obviously lacks the design and intent of the rest of the game, but is perfect for chilling out and trying to rack up some sick combos as you settle in to OlliOlli World‘s addictive loop.

OlliOlli World carves out its own space in the skateboarding game genre, as while it certainly does cater for those looking to replay levels again and again to hit massive scores, it’s also perfectly suited for someone just looking to relax and switch off for a few hours as they settle into the game’s inviting presentation and smooth gameplay, just to see how far they can get. It’s as equally accessible for new players as it is for hardcore fans, while forging a unique identity that makes it a pretty darn cool little indie hit.


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.