OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood

OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood

The OlliOlli games are appropriately described as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater meets Super Meat Boy, but they miss most of what made either inspiration worth playing. SMB was practically defined by its precision, and while I could never get the hang of THPS’s controls, they always made sense to me, at least. OlliOlli and its sequel use a supremely unintuitive system where flicking and rotating the analog stick activates jumps and grinds, while the A button is used to land correctly instead. It feels like the archaism of a traditional fighting game and thus may resonate with a certain audience but will alienate everyone else. OlliOlli2 only adds fuel to the fire with a variety of new techniques that branch out from that unusual setup.

There was a sweet spot a little way in where I could regularly get into the game’s rhythm, and it was a surprisingly meditative experience. The difficulty ramped up quickly from there, however, such that just reaching the end of a level would all but require perfect, intentionally complex play – which the controls made as difficult as possible to achieve. If you’re one of those able to sync with the mechanics, OlliOlli2 is a definite improvement on its predecessor; the music is fantastic, the visuals are more appealing, and the level design is more interesting. You may even be able to enjoy the new multiplayer component, which is a standard collection of modes rendered unforgiving for most players.

4/10
4/10

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