Skateboard games are popular. Worn by a certain Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, the genre has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years. If fans are impatiently waiting for a hypothetical new opus, they will have a new nugget in the matter to put in their mouths: OlliOlli World. Six years after launching its last game, the saga returns with a formula that is more addictive than ever. Still in the hands of Roll7 and under the tutelage of Private Division, OlliOlli World manages to create a break while being in line with its predecessors. We chained our most beautiful tricks, we suffered fails after fails and bowls after bowls. And since we are masos, we really liked it.
Welcome to Radlandia
Welcome to Radlandia, the skate utopia. An island designed by the five immortal deities who shaped this world in their image with walking trees, riding frogs, giant bees and bananas doing fitness on the beaches. Once their work was done, the skatriarchs performed their best tunes to fly away to the paradise of Gnarvana, waiting for a new recruit capable of mastering each of their five skills with class and panache: the Skate Mage. And since Mousseline, the last elected to date, is about to retire, she organizes selections with her small band to find the next generation.
And it is in the middle of this pitch – surely written three joints in the hand, another in the beak – that we enter the scene. Our objective: achieve true mastery and impress the gods with our finest tricks and natural class. A story in OlliOlli World is not trivial, we agree. It’s quite nice, sometimes fun with crazy characters, but most often anecdotal the fault of humorous dialogues quite ordinary that we can anyway pass. This is honestly not a penalizing defect, because the scenario is here only a pretext to set up the completely offbeat lore of the game but in phase with the spirit of the world of Radlandia, one of the strong points of this opus.
A colourful, rich and inspired 2.5D world
Because the other big change of this third opus is the drastic turn in its artistic direction. Gone are the unsightly pixel mush and make way for a cartoonish style with the most beautiful hand-drawn effect, which is reminiscent of a certain Adventure Time. The license swaps its dull and bland hues for a colorful, rich and inspired 2.5D world. The environments are now vibrant, completely barred, sometimes at the edge of the psyche and we come to be eager to discover what strangeness hides in the next level. A style purely in the vein of the codes of the skate universe and frankly, it slaps! This visual change is not only used to look pretty since it supports the gameplay by allowing better readability of the action and by facilitating immersion in this carefully crafted world. Small task on the board, you must not be epileptic when taking too much speed. The images fuse from absolutely everywhere without us being able to assimilate anything. Small headaches guaranteed for the most sensitive.
A demanding and addictive THPS-like
For the rest, the old timers are on familiar ground. OlliOlli World remains a tasty mix of arcade, platformer and side-scrolling skateboarding. The goal of the game remains the same: chain the most improbable tricks, ollies, manuals and figures to make an insane combo and big scores galore. In itself, it is easy to handle: one button to gain speed, two others to spin in the air and for the rest, you just have to draw figures using the joysticks to perform tricks. Roll7 once again manages to offer a plethora of figures with a minimum of keys, so that it will often be necessary to consult the Tricktionary – the encyclopedia of all possible tricks – to find your way around.
A simplistic gameplay in appearance but which hides a real requirement
A simplistic gameplay in appearance but which hides a real requirement. It’s all about the skill, reflexes, timing and ability to chain tricks and keep a combo. To become the Mage of Skateboarding, you will need to demonstrate unparalleled dexterity and patience. It will be imperative to know the mechanics of the game at your fingertips in order to be able to hope to overcome all the levels, especially sinceOlliOlli World becomes more demanding with more tortuous level design, filled with more difficult alternative paths and others attainable than with large figures. You are not at the end of your troubles. A bad sequence, the use of an inopportune trick or a small loss of speed can lead you straight into the background and reduce pretty combos to nothing. And, believe us, you will eat the bitumen, again, and again, and again… Hitting the button again more than necessary will become second nature, a sometimes frustrating reflex that will spoil a good run when you thought you had missed a jump. You’ll curse at your clumsiness or blame the controller – depending on the school – for messing up your combo with carelessness and cry when your score drops to 0 or plummets to a ridiculous number. Make no mistake, OlliOlli World is more tolerant and permissive than its predecessors on certain points, especially with the appearance of checkpoints that avoid having to start all over again, but its gameplay is still as picky, devious and enjoyable. It’s an easy game to pick up, but hard to master.
OlliOlli World puts a strain on players’ ability to deal with failure
The challenge can sometimes seem visceral. OlliOlli World puts a strain on players’ ability to deal with failure, but it compensates for all those long minutes of desperation to repeat the same sequence dozens and dozens of times per an unparalleled sense of accomplishment. Whether it’s the satisfaction of passing a difficult passage, finally reaching an honorable score or twirling with class and fully appreciating the sensations of the game, OlliOlli World will always find a way to reward those who fail to try. Starting with items to increase your skater’s flow. This is one of the other big novelties introduced with this third opus: extensive customization, which allows you to design your character from A to Z.
You can choose at any time your haircuts, crazy caps or hats, clothes you want some, your board and wheels, and even your postures and victory pose for the multiplayer. It’s frankly well wanked with generous options for a production of this kind, although we would have liked an option to customize the color of certain clothes. And as it is completely accessory, it is essential. There are already a lot of items unlocked out of the box, but the quest for the perfect style goes to the service of level replayability with a plethora of new items to collect during your adventure.
The game that awakens the competitive spirit in you
A generosity that is also found in the content of the game, starting with its main campaign which is divided into five zones each housing their own skate deity to impress. All enjoy a particularly successful artistic direction and a chiadé universe as possible with lots of little details that make the game salt. Between a beach made of melted Eskimos, a haunted forest or even a desert where visitors come to slibard, Roll7 clearly had fun. For these skatriarchs to manifest, it will be enough to simply complete the main levels to move on to the next world. Let it be said, you can just trace your route and follow the main story, but you won’t. Each level offers a series of three challenges and score objectives aimed at beating the game’s characters. to glean new customization elements. All gain in difficulty as you progress and the level design becomes more intricate, subtle and ingenious. They’re stimulating enough to tempt you to try them and tricky enough to get sucked into them without seeing the time pass.. This is one of the strengths of the title: its structure is intelligent enough to encourage the surpassing of oneself and one’s own limits. He manages to make you want to try hard for minutes or even hours just to achieve a purely secondary goal.
Its structure is smart enough to encourage the surpassing of oneself and one’s own limits
And when you felt ready to move on to the next level, the game assigns you a rival. It is not a question here of facing him directly but of beating his score. This asynchronous multiplayer works wonders and awakens the darkest competitive instincts. Did I spend thirty minutes trying to bust a stranger’s score rather than keep advancing through the main story? Downright! The system is addictive enough to make you want to invest more than reason and pushes us to always improve. A clear intention of Roll7 which has even implemented a rather cool feature for this purpose: the possibility of watching the replay of the PGMs at the top of the ranking to observe their techniques, see how to achieve better scores and above all see how far we can push the game and combos.
Even when you think it’s over, there’s still. Beyond the sixty levels, OlliOlli World has thought of everything to retain the most seasoned players. The software embeds a system of seasons which allows you to win objects according to your score on a given level, available for 24 hours, but above all a feature that allows you to randomly generate levels by choosing a base world, a difficulty, a course length, etc. What to offer an oh so generous replayability, although we regret the lack of a real level editor, which could have given rise to real nuggets of level design in the hands of the most creative players, even torturers.