OlliOlli: The Evolution

In 2014, the world was introduced to the OlliOlli, a side-scrolling endless skateboarding adventure. A year later, the sequel OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood was released. It added some new features and other elements. Tomorrow, the long-awaited, newest entry to the OlliOlli-verse comes to consoles and PC, OlliOlli World.

Back when OlliOlli World was announced, I decided to purchase the OlliOlli: Switch Stance (a collection of the first two titles) on the Nintendo Switch. I did own OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood already on PlayStation (thanks to PS Plus), but since the collection went on sale on the Switch I decided to buy both games there.

I’ve had a lot of fun with the first two titles, jumping in and out of them over the past year in anticipation of the latest release. I’ve always loved skateboarding and I’m always down to try almost any kind of skateboarding video game.

Originally, I planned to create a history of the OlliOlli games with a review of OlliOlli World as one long post. I decided to break those two ideas up. So, this post will go over a few of the changes and differences between the three titles, and tomorrow I will post my review of OlliOlli World.

So, let’s get into the Evolution of the OlliOlli Universe.

OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood • Loading Screen

The core mechanics of all three OlliOlli games are sort of the same. Basically, if you’ve played one OlliOlli game, you should be familiar enough to jump right in and understand any of the others. Ollies and tricks all begin with the left joystick, no matter which OlliOlli game you are playing.

The main upgrades and changes come in many forms, but all three games are endless skaters where to move onto the next level you just need to make it to the end of the previous one. There is a list of tasks to complete in each level, but they aren’t necessary to move on. They are more like personal goals.

OlliOlli’s main menu and game modes are pretty basic. When it comes to gameplay you can play through the story and complete tasks (PLAY), or learn the basics in TUTORIALS. There’s also a daily challenge (DAILY GRIND) and SPOTS (a mode where you try to set the highest combo in one spot to become “King of the Spot”) — both require online functionality.

OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood added a bit more to the main menu. It has the same modes as its predecessor (CAREER = PLAY, SKATEPARK = TUTORIALS, SPOTS and DAILY GRIND). They also added in a local split-screen mode (COMBO RUSH).

OlliOlli World added some big changes. The first two games featured only five levels per area. In OlliOlli World the map features five “areas,” each with about twenty levels (including side quests, tutorials and more). Beating each area also unlocks a “Master,” giving you more goals to tackle.

Art Direction + Visuals

OlliOlli Series Comparison • Gameplay from each game

Something I really enjoy about this game franchise is how the art direction and design has evolved with each release, especially with this latest one. OlliOlli had a very old school pixelated look, with dull colors and a sort of grungy or industrial feel.

In OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood the visuals got a movie makeover. The character design was still pretty basic, a faceless cell-shaded skater, but the city and sets featured big, brighter colors and a shiny aesthetic — and some J.J. Abrams lens flares.

The design of OlliOlli World has been completely overhauled to feature a hand-drawn animation style. The visuals remind me of something out of Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. The game features more pastels and a lighter look, with dynamic menus and backgrounds that are fully animated and feel alive.

Tricktionary + Moves

OlliOlli Tricktionary Evolution • Tricktionary from each game

The original OlliOlli began with a simple trick guide (aka Tricktionary): Flips, Spins and Grinds. In OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood, we saw the addition of Manuals and Stances. Also, the top bumpers were included as modifiers to be able to perform more tricks. Now, in OlliOlli World we finally have Grabs! Also, Wallrides were added. Each new game also brings with it some insane new tricks and moves.

Story + Characters

I’ll keep this section brief because OlliOlli World is the only game with a real, compelling narrative story in the series. I’m sure there’s a story in the original OlliOlli, but you also need to sort of make it up as you play.

In OlliOlli2, it’s more of a common theme than an actual story. The game takes place in Olliwood, on movie sets, so the background and design sort of tells the story. In OlliOlli World there are characters, masters, side characters with side quests. You yourself are a highly customizable character.

I don’t think the original games really needed a story with characters and all of that, but I’m happy that they added it to this new world of Radlandia (where OlliOlli World takes place).

I didn’t include all of the changes and upgrades between the three OlliOlli titles in this post, because I wanted to save some for tomorrow’s review. I came up with the idea of going back and playing the first two OlliOlli games because I thought it would give me a better perspective when playing OlliOlli World.

OlliOlli World is coming to consoles and PC tomorrow, February 8, 2022.
Stay tuned for our review coming out tomorrow as well.

*myVGBC.com was given a review code for OlliOlli World by the publisher, Private Division.

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