OlliOlli World | Review

OlliOlli World | Review

When we first started OlliOlli World, we simply expected a renewed artistic sector to visually refresh the formula that made the Roll7 series famous. What we found before us, however, is a much more ambitious project, which is not limited to being a trivial "more of the same" but brings with it a lot of important innovations and able to enhance the excellent gameplay that made famous, with the previous two chapters, the boys of Roll7.

The reality is that, without realizing it, we were glued to the screen to now become aware that OlliOlli World is one of the most interesting productions of this beginning 2022. Imagine blending together the frenetic action of Rayman Legends with the arcade nature of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, embellishing everything with Pendleton Ward's pencils ... if the result seems so delusional that it cannot have a concrete form, try to start OlliOlli World.

Adventure in OlliOlli World

In OlliOlli World we will play a young talent of the skateboard who sets out on a long journey of growth in the histrionic land of Radland ia. The protagonist will find himself skating far and wide through the five biomes that make up Radlandia with the aim of meeting the five gods of skateboarding, becoming one of the legendary "wizards of the four-wheeled board" and entering the mystical Gnarvana.

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If all this seems delusional to you, fear not. You have not even scratched the surface of OlliOlli World which, in the multitude of hours we have spent together, has constantly been able to surprise us with a narrative sector so disengaged, as it is extremely surreal and visionary, that it makes us seriously think that Pendleton Ward (the creator of Adventure Time) has secretly put a hand on it.

Welcome To Radlandia

As we mentioned at the beginning, OlliOlli World can be described, very simply, as a platform in two dimensions dedicated to skateboarding. A concentrate of excellent insights, made with painstaking care, able to be able to model a completely new identity for the series, able to bring out more the excellent gameplay already acclaimed, by critics and public, in the previous iterations made by Roll7.

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The total amount of these levels comfortably exceeds a hundred but their short duration, combined with the amount of additional challenges present in the game, make the OlliOlli World offer much more layered, and full-bodied, than you might think in the first moments of the game.

Each main level of OlliOlli World it is generally structured in the same way: the primary objective, which allows you to progress in the adventure, will simply require you to overcome the goal set at the end of the level, overcoming a whole series of obstacles that, gradually, will become more complex and frequent .

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Dwelling a moment on the level design, each level we faced in OlliOlli World was rich in screen elements, branches , secrets and commercials that have allowed us to approach it in a multitude of different ways. The two-dimensionality of the levels has been exploited by the developers in every aspect through floor plans able to make the most of both the horizontality typical of two-dimensional platforms, and of the fastest endless runners, and an intriguing verticality created through a structure with crossroads that plays on the perspectives to deceive the player's eyes and give a pleasant depth to each level.

In some cases we have been asked to collect objects that can only be found in a branch of the level which, once undertaken, turned out to be be a perfect spot to ring more complex combos able to make us achieve the score we aspired to. Taking the other detour, repeating the level, we discovered that the conformation of that alternative path allowed us to perform a series of cascading tricks guaranteeing us the achievement of another goal, as well as showing us an easier path to pass the level without reload any checkpoints.

It is this variety of situations and approaches made available to the player that makes the level design of OlliOlli World one of its greatest strengths. The excellent architecture of the areas, combined with an immediate and addictive gameplay, manages to guarantee a constant variety of game situations thanks to a duration of the levels that is always contained and able to favor replayability through the fearful divine constant of "but yes , I'll finish in a couple of minutes ".

In addition to the main levels, in OlliOlli World we find short tutorials (divided in a painstaking way to encourage a feeling of constant progression and learning) and secondary levels which consist of frenetic challenges, of varying difficulty, adorned with concepts so absurd that they manage to detach the player from the mental scheme consisting of: completing a level, scoring points, overcoming challenges.

These secondary challenges, unlockable mostly by finding of the branches within the levels that allow us to meet the various members of the local crews, require you to perform the most disparate activities. Fast-beating a bear that is descending rapids on a mat, performing a series of tricks to get a sponsorship from a shady toad or shooting down seagulls to show how high we can fly with our skateboard, are just some of the situations with which OlliOlli World will constantly test your skills.

If we had to note a flaw that we have seen in the tens of hours spent together with OlliOlli World, it would lie in the difficulty of some optional challenges located here and there at the inside the various levels and which do not go well with the homogeneity of the difficulty curve of the rest of the adventure. Where as the story progresses, the main levels gradually become more difficult, we have seen some inexplicable peaks in the complexity of some challenges, which "drool" the almost perfect balance offered by the game.

Il Bello Del Ballo

All the proposed challenges will serve, very simply, to unlock clothes, gear and additional tracks of the substantial soundtrack present in OlliOlli World. And if you are wondering what you need, for the ultimate purposes of the game, to dress up as a bee and have an ice cream-shaped table ... the answer is simple: show off your style in the asynchronous multiplayer compartment present in OlliOlli World.

Once you have met the first divinity of skate, in fact, you will be able to have a first taste of the mystical Gnarvana, unlocking the possibility of participating in the Lega del Garvana, a daily competition that allows all Skaters to try their hand at a path, short but intense, which changes daily. The aim is to obtain a score sufficient to allow you to progress in the ranking, level up and obtain exclusive items.

For what little we have been able to test the multiplayer sector of OlliOlli World (due to the servers still lacking of an adequate population), its asynchronous formula works remarkably well. We found ourselves visiting the League daily to tackle the new path and try to improve ourselves, observing the replays of other players who have achieved much higher scores than ours.

If over a hundred levels offline, a number unspecified of challenges to be achieved and a multiplayer sector that encourages you to improve were not enough, OlliOlli World also offers a sandbox mode that, at the moment, we could only scratch superficially. Similarly to the League of Ganrvana, once you meet the first Skate Deity, it will be possible to access the Portal of Gnarvana.

With a basic procedural system, this section will allow you to generate levels in any area previously unlocked during the adventure single player, providing a series of options to configure the difficulty of the track and its length. Once these parameters have been chosen, a code will be created that can be shared with other players, in order to enjoy an infinity of levels generated randomly and able to further extend the already substantial longevity of OlliOlli World.

How Do I Twist The Skate

Coming to the gameplay of OlliOlli World, we are faced with the perfect sum of the good things achieved by productions such as Skate and Tony Hawk Pro Skater. In a two-dimensional scenario, full of distinctly arcade and surreal situations, you find yourself moving your alter ego using purely the two analog sticks and the two triggers of the controller.

The left stick is used to do everything a series of tricks based on jumping with the board. Tilting it and releasing it downwards allows you to perform a basic Ollie, while performing the same action in the other directions will make our Skater perform a series of simple flips. The simplicity with which the first tricks are performed in OlliOlli World favors experimentation and, from the very first moments of the game, you will find yourself tilting the left stick in every direction to find out what you can do.

Lo The right analog stick, on the other hand, allows you to grab the board, while in the air, in the respective direction in which the lever is tilted. Keeping the G rab you are going to perform for a few seconds will allow you to transform it into an advanced trick.

The controller's triggers are used, on the other hand, to rotate the Skater left and right while in air, offering the possibility to "color" more their tricks. The front buttons, finally, are relegated to actions such as changing lanes within the levels, pushing the board and making perfect landings by pressing a button with the right timing.

The immediacy of the system control offered by OlliOlli World allows anyone to immediately try their hand at crazy, breathless races in the meanders of Radlandia, ringing increasingly complex tricks and favoring that mix of satisfaction and improvement of their skills, indispensable in such productions.

If we add to all this that the progression of the adventure, as already claimed several times, offers a well-balanced difficulty curve, the final result is a challenge that is never incorrect and always aimed at encouraging the player to improve little time . A small imperfection, however, we found in the precision required to perform some of the most complex tricks, which does not go well with the analog sticks of controllers that suffer from all that series of small structural imperfections, which could hinder, for reasons external to the technical realization of the title, the success of some combos.

Regarding the artistic and technical sector of OlliOlli World, we have already mentioned how the radical change of style has done a great deal of good to the project, providing that identity necessary for the series to make its way in an increasingly crowded videogame landscape. The artistic sector inspired by Pendleton's works manages to offer those disengaged and surreal atmospheres that blend perfectly with the purely arcade nature of the game.

Characters such as Chiffon, Mike, Dad or the Skate Deities, as much as they will do mischievous smiles immediately emerge to lovers of the adventures of Finn the human, they will be perfectly characterized both aesthetically and temperamentally, offering that minimal narrative component important to support the entire playful system.

OlliOlli World and the Next Gen

Technically, however, we have practically nothing to pin to OlliOlli World. The game offers solid performances in every moment and the only smudges that we have been able to notice are confined to some sharp animation during the scenes in which the characters are intent on talking to each other.

The audio sector, finally, is solid and well packaged. In terms of sound effects we are faced with a superfine level of sampling and the possibility offered by OlliOlli World to make all the sound effects come out from the speaker installed in the Dualsense of PlayStation 5, leaving the speakers to manage the other sound sources, manages to identify the player more.

The tracklist that composes the soundtrack, finally, differs from the more famous Tony Hawk Pro Skater, intent on showing off past and future successes of all those musical genres so appreciated by skaters, but offers a very accurate selection of songs capable of returning, from the very first notes, those vibes typical of the iconic Venice Beach.

Undoubtedly there is a bit of variety, as all the tracks chosen are based on the same genre. of very relaxed and dreamlike loops and beats, but we are sure that some songs like Fruit Salad by Jim Alxndr (yes, that's how it is spelled) will echo in your mind. hours after you have left the visionary Radlandia of OlliOlli World.

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