OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood on PC
First things first, here: OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood is not an all-new game. In fact, Twinfinite reviewed it back when it was fresh to the PlayStation 4 and Vita. That said, I never spent any time with it on those platforms, so I still came into the experience fresh. With that out of the way, I won’t spend any more time looking backwards. After all, OlliOlli 2 is a game that requires constantly looking forward and reacting to what lays ahead. Thinking, even for a split second, about where you came from spells almost-certain doom.
OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood is, pretty obviously, the sequel to Roll7’s 2D skateboarding game for the Vita, OlliOlli. At its most basic level, it’s a simple game about getting from point A to point B without falling off of your skateboard. Of course, as with anything, the simple objective isn’t really in the heart of the game. Beyond simple travel, skateboards have always been about busting tricks and showing off while you get to where you’re going, and it’s that spirit that really drives the player experience here. Kick flips, grinds, and manuals are the meat of your objectives, and while it’s possible to play through the entire game without really putting much thought or effort into that, you’d be doing yourself a disservice.
Beyond the simple movement from one place to another, OlliOlli 2 encourages you to be bold in a number of ways. There’s setting personal high scores, of course, but more to the point, each of the game’s levels also brings a series of challenges to attempt. Completing each of these challenges in a given stage opens up the Pro version of that stage, an increased challenge for experienced players. Players can also push themselves for the purpose of unlocking Steam achievements, test their mettle on the Daily Grind, Spots Mode, and more. Getting to this point, though, requires patience, practice, and resolve — not unlike what you’d need to actually try and land some of these tricks on an actual skateboard, but with less trips to your local urgent care.
Featuring five worlds and 50 levels, OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood has plenty of places for players to hone their skills. The early going starts off pretty simply, with easy objectives and plenty of room to get the hang of things as you go. The controls are a bit strange to grow accustomed to, with a ton of work being done simply by pushing, flicking, and turning your thumbsticks. As players get further in, the challenges gradually increase from simple two-trick combos to complex multi-trick sequences. The last world of the game, a dangerous and twisted robot factory filled with pits of acid and electrified machinery, requires near-perfect precision just to get through, and unbroken level-long combos to fill out the objectives. I found myself getting a lot of use out of the restart button, throwing myself into these levels over and over in an effort to put together these insanely long strings of jumps, grinds, manuals, and more.
I think what Roll7 has managed to accomplish more than anything with OlliOlli 2 is an approachable yet still challenging experience that is well-built in its complexity. While it may seem a daunting task to maintain speed while flying through each course and trying to keep your combo going, as the controls become more natural, players will find that much of the response becomes automatic. In early stages, my own attempts to get through each stage were rough, stumbling things that made simply reaching the end of each stage some kind of miracle. By the time I’d reached the game’s final world, I’d gone back and achieved a five-star rating by accomplishing every objective in the first three worlds — and I did so without much consideration about how hard it had seemed before.
And really, I think that’s the most beautiful part of OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood. The expanded “tricktionary”, the face-melting new levels, and the blistering speeds at which you play are all great things that build on what Roll7 created in the first OlliOlli. The way that it all comes together and feels natural, though, is the star of the show. With such a great complexity to the tricks, putting together a control scheme that makes it possible and executing on those controls well enough that they can flow effortlessly from one tough leap to the next is a real accomplishment, and one thing that our prior review said didn’t work out as well on the PlayStation 4. On the PC, though, Roll7 has honed it in very well, and not once did I really feel like the game had cheated me by not picking up on my input; rather, I simply felt that my own response time wasn’t up to par with the ever-increasing challenges.
In a lot of ways, OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood is the perfect sequel. Taking the things that made its predecessor a success, Roll7 has refined pretty much everything without making huge alterations to the formula. Not only does this new entry build on the last by including 50 all-new levels, there’s also the ever-changing Daily Grind that delivers fresh content for players to test their skills — and scores — against others around the world. There’s also Spots Mode, which lets players prove their mettle on short, single-trick runs, RAD Mode for the truly dedicated, and an all-new multiplayer Combo Rush that bring even more punch to the party.
All in all, OlliOlli 2 is a phenomenal outing that builds well on its foundation and introduces great new content. While the fast-paced gameplay takes some getting used to, it’s an easy recommendation from me and a solid pick up for the price of $14.99 on Steam (or $11.49 on sale through August 18). If you haven’t played the original, that’s also available here for $12.99, and a sweet game in its own right. I think Roll7 has had some time to refine the controls since our original take on the PS4/Vita version of the game, and that little bit of extra polish and control tweaking shows. Frankly, the only reason I’m not giving Welcome to Olliwood a perfect score is that I know the frantic pacing and high difficulty aren’t really for everyone, though I’d certainly still say it’s worth a look if you have even the slightest hint of interest.