OlliOlli World Review

OlliOlli World is the third entry in Roll7’s side-scrolling platforming skateboard game franchise, following OlliOlli and OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. As the inclusion of “World” in the title suggests, OlliOlli World continues and expands on these previous entries in a powerful way. It’s not what many might expect when they hear “skateboarding game,” but it has its own comparisons to games like Skate and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. While most skateboarding titles focus on realism (or some semblance of it), OlliOlli World brings in more fantastical elements and really lets them shine. From the start, OlliOlli World is very expressive in terms of its own identity, putting players through a prologue full of over-the-top skateboarding puns and language befitting the setting’s name: Radlandia. The overall graphics have a hand-drawn feel and look like something straight out of Adventure Time, welcoming players to this experience whether they are newbies or veterans. In Radlandia, the OlliOlli World player’s goal is to meet all the “Skate Godz,” master various tricks of the trade, reach enlightenment in “Gnarvana,” and ultimately become the new Skate Wizard. Players can customize this experience by designing their own character, changing everything from their clothes to their body size. Players can also customize their skateboards, including trucks and wheels, how a player drives, how a player finishes a run, and more. As players meet “Skate Godz,” they unlock mastery challenges that can provide more customization options, as well as other game modes. OOW_ReviewsScreenshot_Customization Radlandia is divided into five distinct sections, all using different environments: the beach-like Sunset Valley, the woodlands of Cloverbrook, the wastelands of Burnt Rock, the industrialized Sketchside, and the aptly named Los Vulgas . Players have to complete a certain number of runs in each area, with any story elements slowly revealed by new characters including the current Skate Wizard, Mike, who hosts others’ different challenges in every run, and an awkward skater named Dad. The story isn’t particularly deep, but it’s sufficient in explaining what the player must do to become the next Skate Wizard, mainly meeting and impressing the various Skate Godz. Beyond the usual side-scrolling levels, players can complete trick-oriented challenges, unlock side quests, beat scores of local heroes, and more. Overall, there is a lot of extra content packed into the game. Some of that even translates into levels in OlliOlli World, which feature several branching paths and alternate routes. Players can also unlock side quests on the overworld map, which add some nice twists to the core gameplay loop. There aren’t as many side quests as one would expect from something like a vast open-world RPG, but it’s enough to provide a nice break when needed. In OlliOlli World, players almost certainly need to rest. OlliOlli World’s gameplay is the definition of “easy to learn, hard to master,” as players will primarily use their left and right sticks. A face button is essential to moment-to-moment gameplay, but otherwise most buttons have limited, if any, importance for core gameplay. What this does is create incredibly tense gameplay, as players must flick and hold their sticks at the right time and in the right place when completing a run. OOW_ReviewsScreenshot_SunshineValley Grinding, wall riding, and jumping are controlled by the left stick, for example, and players have to move through them in levels by flicking or holding their stick at the right time. Timing is everything in OlliOlli World, as one moment too early or one moment too late can end a run, forcing players to reset. Focusing on sticks, it’s really easy to get thumb confused by the placement and handling required. Grinding on a rail is best done by holding down the left stick, as an example, but it can still be done as long as it’s held in any direction. Holding will work in a grind, but if players have to jump afterwards, it becomes more difficult. Throw in the right stick managing grabs, a face button used to land on seats, and the dynamic, sometimes moving environment, and it can be a difficult control scheme to master. Despite the potential complications with the stick-oriented gameplay, however, OlliOlli World manages to be an almost cottagecore game experience. Even if players have to reset, jump into a side-scrolling game, nail these tricks, enjoy the beautiful art, see dynamic set pieces (like bees, frogs, and crystals that floor), and hear a colorful soundtrack for an incredibly mellow experience. Few games can achieve such relaxing atmospheres and difficult challenges, and OlliOlli World is notable for this. That being said, there are some gameplay glitches that can put a damper on the overall OlliOlli World experience. Checkpoints, for example, are far and few between in some levels, while they seem ubiquitous in others. Overall, they’re usually okay, but some checkpoints also put players too close to a tricky spot. It can be difficult to build the right momentum to skate in place, creating a layer of artificial difficulty on top of everything else. At the same time, there is a warning when booting up the game that it is fast, and it is definitely that. Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep up with where the player is, and that makes timing tricks difficult. This isn’t a huge problem all the time, as most levels feel controlled by a really fun flow of gameplay, but sometimes that flow becomes completely stale. OOW_ReviewsScreenshot_Sludgvana Roll7 makes sure that OlliOlli World is the kind of game that players can sit down, enjoy, beat for a weekend, never play again, and have warm feelings about. It’s also the type of game that’s perfect for quick sessions when just looking for something to play in a few minutes. But, if players want more, OlliOlli World delivers that too. Players can visit Gnarvana to build a “forever level” with certain skill level settings and environments, all the while pushing for mastery. They can also build “chill” levels for the unique relaxing experience the game can provide as well. Furthermore, there are asynchronous multiplayer leagues where players can compete against others to achieve the highest score possible. It definitely relies on the more intense aspects of the game, which really gives players the best of both worlds. OlliOlli World is a unique and fun skateboarding game, despite a few flaws here and there, and it holds its own against more “mainstream” skateboarding games like Skate. Even if players have never played an OlliOlli title before, OlliOlli World is worth its price tag. OlliOlli World releases February 8 for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. An Xbox Series X code was provided to Today Technology for the purposes of this review. MORE: OlliOlli Review

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