OlliOlli released early this year on the PS Vita to critical acclaim and praise. The talented folk at Roll7 delivered a game which demanded expert precision, which is rare to find nowadays. However its release on the slightly troubled handheld meant it didn’t get the mainstream attention it deserved, no doubt it’s re-release (with some new additions) on the PS3 and PS4 will surely deliver it some.
Screens of OlliOlli certainly fool you into thinking this will be a simple 2-D skater aimed more at the casual crowd, I will tell you now it’s anything but that. The premise is simple, you have to get your skater to the end of the level unscathed. However the complexity comes in via a highly competitive scoring system and challenges to complete on each level.
This is all backed up by a quite frankly perfectly balanced control scheme. The controls felt elegant and refined on the PS Vita, on the Dual Shock 4 (and probably the Dual Shock 3) it feels almost heavenly. This is because the game only really uses the left thumbstick and the X button. The stick is used to control the jump mechanic and also is the primary tool to perform the many many tricks you have access to. The X button is used to control your skaters speed and must be pressed just before he lands to perform a smooth landing. Failure to do so, slows your character down and in some cases can lead to you falling on your ass if lots of momentum is needed for the next obstacle or jump. Thankfully restarting a level is as easy as a press of the touch pad, the restart happens instantly, which is ideal as you’ll be using that button quite a lot.
The game has a host of tricks both simple and advanced for you to pull off. From “Heelflips” to a “Backside Bigspin”, thankfully all these tricks can be found via “Tricktionary” in the games pause menu. An important feature due to the challenges I mentioned before, these can vary from simply beating a set score to performing a specific trick. Each level has 5 of these challenges, which when all completed unlock a “Pro” version of that stage. The Pro stages have challenges which are overall quite tough and demand expert precision and knowledge of the game to complete and that’s just in the first few pro stages. For the later stages you need to be close to Godly in skill. There are 50 levels in total (25 Amateur, 25 Pro), so it will certainly take you a while to get through them all. These levels are split over 5 Stages, which all have their own unique styling and obstacles. And the inclusion of a host of game modes means this is a title which really will take some time to fully complete.
Graphically the game already impressed on the delicious PS Vita screen and it looks even better on the PS4. The old school graphics look slick, with colours that really pop. The final stage especially is a treat for the eyes. However the style certainly doesn’t distract you from the task at hand, which could have been an easy mistake to make by the developers. The soundtrack thankfully doesn’t go for the 16-bit tone that you’d assume it had. You’re treated to chilled out house and a tad bit of dubstep, which also thankfully do a good job of not distracting you too much from the gameplay.
The game also has a heavy focus on online leaderboards, with every mode having one. This adds even more to an already quite generous package and even before release it was plain to see just how competitive this will become. My one issue with the game is the lack of a cross-save feature. We have become used to this especially on the PlayStation platform and I found it surprising that I couldn’t just continue my progress made from the PS Vita version. Titles such as Rogue Legacy and upcoming title Velocity 2X prove that this feature can be pretty handy if you tend to play games on both console and handheld. Note – I’ve been told that this feature is intended. However there have been PSN network issues during my time of review.
OlliOlli on the PS4 is pretty stunning in its visuals, tight controls and overall fun time it delivers. You can delve as deep as you want into the game and come away satisfied, whether you just want to test your skill or are a completionist who wants everything beaten and unlocked. Features such as the on-line leaderboards and daily challenges are also another avenue to keep you coming back. The PS4 is getting a lot of attention from indies at the moment but Roll7 have delivered something truly special and I’m excited to see what tricks they pull off next in future releases.
+ Beautiful Visuals
+ Simple yet tight controls
+ Great soundtrack
+ Plenty of modes
– Lack of Cross-Save system (At time of review)