Yesterday, I went over some of the changes and updates between the different OlliOlli games (link). Today, with the release of OlliOlli World, I wanted to share my thoughts on the newest entry into the OlliOlli-verse.
The differences between OlliOlli (2014) and OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood (2015) were pretty small when compared to all of the changes in OlliOlli World. There was only about a year between the first two games, but we’ve now had almost seven years to prepare for OlliOlli World.
OlliOlli World is a non-stop skateboarding action platformer. This new entry takes the original formula and adds so much more to it. I’m going to go over some of the new features and what I really enjoyed below:
• Art Style
In OlliOlli World, the design of the world and characters has been completely overhauled to feature a new hand-drawn animation style. The visuals remind me of something out of an Adult Swim/Cartoon Network show. The game features pastels, shadows and simple line work. The menus are dynamic and backgrounds are fully animated and feel alive. Even when skating through a track you can see so much movement going on in the background: wind, water, trees, creatures and more.
This is the first OlliOlli game with a full on story, featuring friends and characters you may meet on your journey. Some of which will give you side quests to complete. It all takes place in a new world, Radlandia! At first, I was quite interested in the story and dialogue, but I later found myself skipping through to get to the gameplay.
Something I enjoyed is how the tutorials are sprinkled into the main story of the game, instead of being a separate part of the menu. This way you learn new techniques along your quest, not getting overwhelmed and trying to remember it all from the beginning. However, if you are already aware of certain mechanics, you can use them well before they are introduced in a tutorial.
I mentioned how OlliOlli World features new characters in the form of NPCs (non-playable characters). There’s also the addition of character customization. That’s right, you finally get to create your own skater. This is quite the step up from playing as a faceless skater in the first two games.
In OlliOlli World, you can now choose everything from your look, hair style and color, clothing, skateboard, wheels, trucks. Plus, you’re always unlocking new content.
The problem with the first two OlliOlli games is that I went in thinking I could complete all of the tasks, as I did in the first five levels of the original OlliOlli. Once passing that first set of levels, I quickly learned that it would be very improbable for me to make it through all of those challenges, and that’s why I quit trying altogether. The beauty of OlliOlli World is that it’s made for all types of gamers. Whether you’re looking to complete all of the tasks, or just make it to the end of each level you can enjoy this game.
Another thing they changed for the better is the landing and grind timing mechanic. While it’s still in OlliOlli World, you aren’t forced to use it — it’s a good way to get extra points. In the first two games, you must press the “Push” button when landing a trick to get your full points. If your timing is off you may be penalized with a “Sloppy” or “Sketchy” landing, and close to zero points. In OlliOlli World, it’s your choice whether you want to go for those extra points or not. Now, by doing nothing you will land fine, but you have the added benefit of going for a “Good” or “Perfect” landing (the same goes for your grinds).
I also love that the level challenges are laid out all at once. There’s the main goal of completing the level to move on. There are multiple checkpoints throughout each level, which you can choose to use or not use. Completing each level without using any checkpoints is another goal.
The level challenge sheet is pretty simple. It starts off with your best score, and underneath they will give you a “Rival” who has a slightly higher score for you to beat. Next comes the goals which I listed above (Complete the Level and Complete without using checkpoints). After that, we go into Mike’s challenges for the level, which will unlock you some new merch in the store. Last, is the Local Hero scores. By beating all three you’ll also unlock a new item.
• More Levels, Routes & Directions
In the first games each “area” contained about five levels. In OlliOlli World, the first “area” (Sunshine Valley) had almost twenty tracks within it, plus some side quests and optional tracks. The levels in the first two games were very linear, and had only one track to ride. In OlliOlli World, tracks may feature multiple routes (including the Gnarly Route). Also, you don’t only travel left to right, there are points with quarter pipe transfers that will send you going from right to left (as seen below).
These Gnarly Routes lead to side quests, more challenges. Sometimes you may even have to complete a level twice, once regular and once gnarly, to complete all of the challenges.
• Expanded Tricktionary
In yesterday’s OlliOlli: The Evolution article I went over the evolution of the “Tricktionary.” The original OlliOlli started off with basic tricks (flips, grinds and spins), OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood added some new elements (manuals, stances and modifiers), and in OlliOlli World we got grabs and more. You can check out the differences in the video below:
I don’t really have anything bad to say about OlliOlli World. Since I’ve mostly compared it to its predecessors, I’m only really noticing what’s great about it. I heard someone mention the cutscene animations are a bit wonky, but I don’t know if that might be a stylistic choice. I think there were going for something more stop motion.
One problem I have, and it’s more of a me problem, is with the level restart. In fast-paced games like these I get a bit carried away with my runs. Since the game features a quick restart button, I quickly press it anytime I fail. However, sometimes I start to get a little trigger happy and I end up restarting when I wasn’t supposed to. It’s not a big deal, it’s just part of these fast moving, reactive games.
I did review this on the PlayStation 5 (PS4 version of the game). I mentioned yesterday how I own the two prior games on the Nintendo Switch and I will say this one thing. Due to joy con drift and the fast-paced nature of this game, this game (at least the first two) did not work great on handheld mode. However, once I found myself using my Switch Pro Controller on docked mode I had a much better time. You can get the new game on the Switch and that’s great, I just wouldn’t recommend playing in handheld mode (unless you have a brand new OLED Switch and your Joy Con thumb sticks are not yet drifting).
OlliOlli World uses mainly the same basic mechanics as its predecessors. Also, so much has changed and been added that it’s like a brand new game. I think it’s familiar enough to get into it with knowledge of the prior games, but there’s enough changes that it feels like something brand new with so much to learn. It also runs super buttery smooth. It’s reminds me of watching my old school skate VHS tapes, except this one is set in a wild fantasy cartoon world, Radlandia!
It’s a charming, fast-paced skateboarding action adventure set in a beautifully dynamic world. I totally recommend this for anyone who is into endless runners and/or skateboarding. Sometimes when playing these games I forget that they are basically just endless runners, but you get to pull off sick tricks.
I’m also always down for these games that you can easily jump in and out of without really losing any skills or progress. There are some games that once you leave you need some sort of summary to remember how to do everything. Even though I’ve already completed two of the five areas on the map, I do plan to play OlliOlli World for the next couple of months. It’s the kind of game I want to take my time with. After I unlock all of the levels, then I can decide if I want to go for all of the challenges.
OlliOlli World is out now (February 8th, 2022) on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
*myVGBC.com was provided a free review code for OlliOlli World from the publisher (Private Division).