hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: OlliOlli

8:00 AM on 01.21.2014 // Ian Bonds

Heelflippin' awesome

I was always a fan of skateboarding games. From Skate or Die to the Tony Hawk series, and most everything in between, I've played and enjoyed my fair share, some more than others. And while the heyday has passed, I still occasionally break out the old titles just to see if I can still rack up the high scores and complete sick lines in a single run.

If you're like me, OlliOlli is just the game you've been waiting for.

OlliOlli (PS Vita)
Developer: Roll7
Publisher: Roll7
Release Date: January 27, 2014
MSRP: $12.99

Right from the start, OlliOlli seemed like the kind of game I would enjoy. Colorful, retro-inspired sprites, energetic music, and realistic-looking tricks. I'm a simple man; I can't skateboard in real life, but these types of games always allow me to jump and kickflip my way around a town. The first trailer for the game showcased everything I would want to do in a game like this, just in a side-scrolling 2D style.

Once I finally got to play the game, however, I instantly fell in love with how simplistic, yet punishingly difficult it could be. There's no two ways about it: you will bail, and bail often. The game controls simply enough: hold the left analog stick in a direction (down, left, right, or up) and release to perform a trick. To land the trick, press X as soon as you land; miss it, and you run the risk of a sloppy landing, which can get you staggering and may make you miss a jump and bail quickly. Time it right and you'll get a perfect landing, and more importantly, the maximum amount of score for your trick.

If you're about to land on something grindable, simply press and hold the control stick in a direction while in the air to grind. If you press the direction at the moment you land, you get a perfect grind and of course, more score. From there, it's just a bit of finessing the controls to do more tricks. There's a guide to what moves are possible in the Tricktionary (see what they did there?), and quick flicks, or even directional rolls such a quarter circles help you execute more diverse tricks. The left and right shoulder buttons add spin which helps increase your score, and stringing tricks together in a line uninterrupted increases your multiplier.

Keeping your speed up is essential to keeping a line going from grind to grind, and getting enough of a kick-push before your first jump helps boost you along. I found whenever I was on a stretch of flat ground before a jump I was frantically tapping the X button to kick and build up speed for the next run. If there's anything to complain about with this title, it's that the limited control might cramp some hands as you spend most of the game flicking the left stick, while mashing the X button constantly.

The game is separated into two modes, with three difficulty levels for each: career and spots. Career is your standard mode, where you skate from one end of the level to the next. Reach the cheering crowd at the end and you unlock the next stage, 25 in all for each difficulty. Complete the five challenges for each stage and you'll unlock the same stage in the next difficulty, from Amateur to Hard, then again to Rad. Rad mode will melt your face with difficulty, as it only allows for perfect grinds and perfect landings. Wow. While in Amateur mode, I found myself actively not continuing the the next level until I beat all five challenges for the one I was on, even though the next had been unlocked.

Some levels are set up to be completed in one long run and racking up a top score, while others will take multiple play-throughs to complete each challenge, such as specific grinds, not using kick at all, or collecting items along the path. The career mode is where you will spend most of your time honing your skills, and Spots is where you'll try to use that knowledge for a perfect run.

Spots are levels that are designed to be one long line. Once you start the trick, you have to keep it going until you reach the end. As soon as you've landed on the ground, whether you've made it to the end or not, that's it. That will be your score for that level. Some levels I've been able to keep my line going for the duration, while others I'm lucky if I can even start a line at all. For sheer challenge, Spots is the mode that you'll keep coming back to in the hopes of besting your score.

There's a significant ranking system, with each level listing the top worldwide skater. Once you complete a run it will show you where you rank, and what the #1 score is. For the best way to judge ranking however, there is one new challenge a day called the Daily Grind. Here, you have only one shot to nab the highscore (where as with Spots you can redo the level multiple times). They at least allow you to practice the stage as much as you want before attempting for the ranking, but once you click "do it for real" all bets are off. You won't be able to do the challenge again for another 24 hours.

There's a lot to love about OlliOlli. The game is in the sweetspot of "simple to control" and "just difficult enough" to keep you playing without tearing your hair out. The Daily Grind and Spots challenges will keep the score-centric crowd happy, and Career mode will have you blistering your thumbs as you try to perfect each level. A masterpiece.



OlliOlli - Reviewed by Ian Bonds
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Ian Bonds, Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Ian is Dtoid's resident review monkey. If there is a game no one else wants to review, it usually goes to Ian. As a reviewer, Ian has been writing for close to ten years for various sites, starti... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Steam rejected the DP refund. Meh, It's been a long time between when I bought and played it, don't care anymore, heh. Decided to play more MGS4 on PS3 and start replaying Rayman Origins on PC. Fun games that actually work.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Being an asshole, watching this Star Citizen debacle unfold and seeing Cloud Imperium's meltdown about the whole ordeal is incredibly entertaining. Even if the allegations ARE false, CI's official statement comes off as wonderfully bitter and petty.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Alright. Playing off of the Avatar question, why did you choose your username?
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I tried playing Deadly Premonition on Steam from my backlog today and it's a GODAWFUL pc port. I bought it forever ago but I requested a refund. If anything I don't want it in my library....
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you ever dipped a cookie in your coffee, I promise you're doing it right.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Why did you pick your avatar? What about you does it represent?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Wanna eat some meat ? [youtube][/youtube]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Why is it that Sundays always feel so lazy? I always tell myself I'm going to get things done and then...well....
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I plan on using my GameStop Power-Up Rewards points (yes) to buy all the eventual P4DAN DLC. Even though the practices are very suspect. I am so not made of stone. Moreso blubber and Dr. Pepper.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Having a puppy and trying to play legend of grimrock 2 somewhere the puppy normally doesn't get to hang out is a futile effort.
gajknight avatargajknight
Shafts of light emanated from Robo Panda Z's eyes, illuminating the intricately engraved obelisks looming impossibly above him. A whispered voice spoke from the obelisk. Do you pay too much for your Internet? Comcast. Like you have a choice.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I miss Kill la Kill - I think mostly because it was so damn entertaining to have a bunch of people drawling, "Nuuuuuuuuudiiiiiiiist Beeeeeeeeeeeaaaach" at each other.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I took a homeopathic shower this morning. I used extra water.
Shinta avatarShinta
Shinta avatarShinta
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
It's 2am and I'm watching this emulator whiz play Xenia (360 emilator) on PC albeit glitchy This video is hilarious
Shinta avatarShinta
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

  Dec 03

OlliOlli jumps over to Wii U, Xbox One, 3DS next year

Indie skateboarding game will soon be available just about everywhere

  Jul 29

PC Port Report: OlliOlli

360 flips with a flippin' 360 controller

  Jun 03

Cross-buy comes to OlliOlli

Vita owners will get PS3 and PS4 version for free

  Jan 25

Why OlliOlli passed on iOS to become a PS Vita exclusive

Physical inputs and QA process very beneficial for the portable skating game

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -