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OS Scores Explained OlliOlli2 Overview (PS4)
Pros
Controls mimic the foot motions of skateboarding; Chill soundtrack and soft pastel graphics; Four new methods of building trick multiplier
Cons
Career objectives become too challenging too soon; Only five environments to skate through; Split-screen multiplayer not available at launch
Bottom Line
OS refuses liability for any damage that OlliOlli 2 may cause to your hands, your controllers, and/or your entertainment center.
8
out of 10
OlliOlli2 REVIEW

OlliOlli2 Review (PS4)

Last year's skateboarding sensation, OlliOlli, just lost its spot atop the podium, and stepped down to the silver medal in Sony's ongoing competition for the title of “most difficult game” on the PlayStation Network.

Developer Roll7's award-winning rookie run left a lasting imprint upon many gamers' thumbs during 2014. And if the original OlliOlli's blistering gameplay was the equivalent of slamming out speedy guitar rhythms on the bottom four strings for an angry thrash band, then executing OlliOlli 2's amped-up repertoire of tricks feels like playing lead guitar for a prog supergroup on a double-neck Stratocaster using two separate tunings.
 


New techniques like grind switches, reverts, and manuals have significantly altered how OlliOlli 2 must be played, if users still want to make chart-topping music from the familiar "Tricktionary" of flips, spins, and slides. The sequel's expanded skating mechanics allow for more creativity and flexibility in how gamers achieve the seven-digit sums that are required to complete all 50 Career mode courses. But as in the first OlliOlli, pixel-perfect timing is still the most valuable skill for scoring big. Misjudging the final jump in a hundred-move combo can drop your total by several million points, just as clumsy fingering might make an impressive sequence of sweep-picking and two-handed tapping sound like unrecognizable slop.

Players with enough patience and persistence to endure OlliOlli 2's grueling growing pains will -- with practice -- stop smashing their pixelized face against the pavement, and start discovering what makes this series so rewarding and addicting.

Stomping out a clean, mistake-free run stimulates your brain cells, and injects a feeling of triumph into your bloodstream, similar to nailing a series of challenging guitar licks in a single take. And I don't mean one of those sappy Creed or Godsmack solos, where the guitarist slowly bends a handful of sustained notes with his wah pedal or his whammy bar. I'm talking about a rapid-fire eruption of notes, like you'd hear from Eddie Van Halen or DragonForce.

In the minute (or less) that it takes to finish a typical OlliOlli 2 track, your controller will have registered around 100 to 200 button presses, with only a split-second elapsing between each input. That's enough speed and intricacy to make even Yngwie Malmsteen jealous.
 


If your eyes stop to blink, or your brain begins to think, then your nameless skater is bound to become a broken, bloody mess, littering the bottom of the screen, with his gray sneakers hanging over his head like a scorpion's tail. That punishment painfully repeats, any time that your hands betray your training. If a thumb slips, or a finger stalls, then it's time to hit Triangle, let loose an exasperated sigh/swear, and try "once again, from the top." Unlike in actual skateboarding, success in OlliOlli 2 won't come from studying the path in front of you and plotting a winning course. There's simply no time for strategizing when the screen is scrolling this fast. Instead, Roll7's latest take on skateboarding is a contest of muscle memory and object recognition. See blue ledge, queue command for manual. Spot orange rail, input unused grind. Notice yellow traffic cone, flick joystick to leap over.

I have to imagine that most people downloading the game this month (while it's still free via Sony's PlayStation Plus program) will never reach that point of nirvana, where your brain's autopilot activates, and all of your thoughts become clouded, as your hands subconsciously respond to the blurry, neon-tinted road ahead. I suspect many players -- even some who are super prideful/super dedicated -- will shut down the application and mercifully click "delete" somewhere around the third or fourth world. Because that's when OlliOlli 2 starts demanding that its levels be beaten in one unbroken, minute-long combo, without screwing up a single time. Pretend that some Harmonix employee mistakenly shipped Guitar Hero II with only two difficulty settings: “Expert” and “No Faults Allowed,” and that's basically what Roll7's staff decided to do for OlliOlli 2. The Career mode seems specifically designed for hardcore fans of the first game, and as a result, it fails to grant series newcomers enough time to get their chops up to speed.
 


While Roll7's newly built “Skate Park” does show beginners how to use each maneuver in an isolated, obstacle-free environment, it doesn't teach newbies how to string together the many elements of a high-scoring run. And during the hurried, "SKATE OR DIE!" adrenaline rush of a standard OlliOlli stage, maintaining unflappable finesse under extreme pressure is a skill that few people will be able to master, without subjecting themselves to thousands of frustrating faceplants. Essentially, the developers have failed to recognize the fact that, while lots of people can walk into Guitar Center and strum a couple of chords, or stumble through several scales, not many people can put together a smooth, spotless guitar solo.
 

Final Score -- 8.0 (Great)


+ Controls mimic the foot motions of skateboarding; Chill soundtrack and soft pastel graphics; Four new methods of building your trick multiplier

- Career objectives become too challenging too soon; Only five environments to skate through; Split-screen multiplayer not available at launch

Bottom Line: Do you enjoy brutally demanding games like Battletoads, Ghosts 'N Goblins, Contra, Dark Souls, and Spelunky? If so, collect your free PS+ download, and safely pass go. If not, Operation Sports refuses liability for any damage that OlliOlli 2 may cause to your hands, your controllers, and/or your entertainment center.


OlliOlli2 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 DBMcGee3 @ 03/06/15 10:57 AM
I'm really excited to try this game. Just DL'd it last night and I'm itching to get some time in. In fairness, I've read a few reviews now and this is the first one to label the difficulty as a con. Peter up Sally, practice makes perfect.
 
# 2 RoyceDa59 @ 03/06/15 01:42 PM
Fun game to play on the Vita.
 
# 3 Simple Mathematics @ 03/06/15 06:57 PM
I don't see how this is better than Super Mega Baseball, like some people were saying. Just my opinion though.
 
# 4 killu4what @ 03/07/15 03:29 PM
Really enjoying this game.
 
# 5 Ruffy @ 03/09/15 09:31 PM
Glad to get another game perfect for my Vita...need some practice but looks challenging and fun.
 
# 6 DBMcGee3 @ 03/10/15 08:54 AM
Upon further review, this game is tits. You know it's good when I can replay the same level for a half hour and it still pains me to turn it off. It's simple, yet deep, and primitive, yet beautiful. And it has probably the fastest restart option I've ever seen, which is absolutely crucial for a game like this.

Can't wait to get back at it and work on my revert manuals some more! I can see the light at the end of the "Amateur' tunnel baby, woooooooo!
 
# 7 23 @ 03/10/15 02:36 PM
I kinda don't like 2 things although i like the game.

1 the controls. Id rather use the buttons to make moves rather than a clunky stick.

2 once you fall off the skateboard once you have to start all the way over again.

Other than that i like it.
 
# 8 trobinson97 @ 03/12/15 08:14 PM
Haven't played the game and probably won't but I'm digging the soundtrack.
 
# 9 jyoung @ 03/13/15 12:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by trobinson97
Haven't played the game and probably won't but I'm digging the soundtrack.
Yep, I downloaded the Vita version just so I could listen to the soundtrack on the go, as I couldn't find it anywhere online. It's also nice to keep a backup save file on the Vita using the cross save feature, as my PS4 save file got mysteriously deleted somehow.

Quote:
I don't see how this is better than Super Mega Baseball, like some people were saying. Just my opinion though.
Well, those are two completely different styles of video games, so it's mostly just a matter of personal preference. But OlliOlli does benefit from being a one-character game with no AI. The AI issues with pitcher/bullpen management was Super Mega Baseball's biggest downfall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 23
I kinda don't like 2 things although i like the game.

1 the controls. Id rather use the buttons to make moves rather than a clunky stick.

2 once you fall off the skateboard once you have to start all the way over again.

Other than that i like it.
The controls definitely take some getting used to, especially if you're coming in completely fresh without having played the first game.

The best tip I can give for performing tricks is to make all of your joystick motions quick flicks instead of slow drags. The move detection is meant to recognize quick flicks of the joystick. The slower you perform a trick motion, the less likely it is that you'll get the animation you want.
 
# 10 23 @ 03/14/15 10:30 PM
Ill give it a try jyoung. Youre the reason i was even interested in this!
 
# 11 erickonasis @ 03/14/15 11:22 PM
Game is amazing...challenging but amazing
 

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