Tag Archives: Skateboarding

Olli Olli 2 XL Edition

If you had a chance to read my Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 review, then you would already understand how much I enjoy skating games. A genre which isn’t as popular as it once was, and one which doesn’t really represent like it used to in the games industry. Skating games have gone through many phases over the years, from arcadey titles such as the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, to more realistic ones such as EA’s Skate, but a new contender is ready to bring skateboarding back to consoles.

Roll7 came kick flipping their way into the limelight back in 2014 with the incredibly popular Olli Olli, a skateboarding title that promised to bring back the fun and excitement of the original skateboarding games but with a retro make over. Roll7 are back with the highly anticipated sequel to Olli Olli, with Olli Olli 2 XL Edition.

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The aim of the game with Welcome to Olliwood is to score big. Utilising a catalogue of flips, grinds, and twists, you must use these in various combinations to get there. You start off with a limited skillset, creating small combinations which net a fairly pitiful score, but as you progress more tricks and combo extenders are unlocked. You start off with the basics, ollies, nollies, grinds, basic flips, but as you progress through each stage, you learn how to do more advanced tricks. Just by playing through the first level set, you soon learn how to chain ollie flips with grinds, how best to land them for the optimal score. From there you learn about manuals, which allow you to chain flips, grinds, and grabs to create massive combos. I really liked the way that Olli Olli 2 doesn’t offer everything on a plate to you, and doesn’t overwhelm you with technicalities.

Of course, all is well if you can land a trick, but the key to get the perfect execution. Doing so will net you the biggest amount of points you can get for that particular flip or grind. Olli Olli has always been very good at not penalising the player too much when it comes to less than perfect execution. Each jump, grind, or manual is rated from sloppy to perfect depending on timing of the landing, and how well you execute the trick. The longer you play, the easier it becomes to develop the timing and flow to get that string of perfects, or to really increase your score.olliolli2gameplay1

Of course, progression isn’t just based on score, but each level has specific tasks you must complete to unlock the next. Ranging from collecting random objects, grinding specific rails, or performing a set number of specific tricks. These add an extra layer to the gameplay, which encourages you to keep coming back to earn those five stars for each level.

There are a total of five different level sets to kickflip and darkslide your way through, each having their own unique style and challenges. You start your journey in Olliwood, making your way through Curse of the Aztec, Gunmetal Creek, and Carnival of the Dead, before you face your biggest challenges in Titan Sky. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, there is also a total of six different game modes to work through: Career, Spots, Skatepark, Free-Skate, Combo-Rush, and Daily Grind. The two less obvious modes, Combo-Rush and Daily Grind, offer a more competitive edge to your skateboarding. Combo-Rush is a brand new mode introduced in Olli Olli 2 XL which allows four local players to go into splitscreen skateboard combat for the highest score; perfect for those friendly get togethers around the TV. Daily Grind is a 24 hour challenge to obtain the highest score you can, and see how far up the global leaderboard you can get.

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That was one thing I missed though, and that was friend leaderboards. It’s such a shame that Olli Olli 2 doesn’t allow you to compete with your friends online, and only has global leaderboards. I personally love nothing more than trying to knock my friends off of the top of the board, even it’s only for five minutes.

The visual style of Olli Olli 2 XL Edition is really quite beautiful. It’s a simple 2D style which suits the arcade style beautifully. It’s a visual improvement over the original Olli Olli, and is much smoother and brighter. Each of the different level sets have their own personality and style, and really stand out from one another. The soundtrack is equally gorgeous, and the energetic electronica style flows really nicely with the gameplay, helping you land those perfect flips and grinds.

Thanks to Xbox and Roll7 for supporting TiX

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 Gameplay Trailer

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Activision have today released the first gameplay trailer for their forthcoming Tony Hawk’s game.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 revisists the signature style of classic Pro Skater games with a brand-new set of levels focusing on the same daring objectives and fine-tuned controls for endless sessions and high-scoring tricks, for which previous iterations are famed. Expansive, seamless online multiplayer means you can quickly jump into the action with up to 20 friends and challengers at one time. Pretty much everything you could do in single player in past THPS games, you can now do online with friends in THPS5, like missions, unlocking new content and levelling up… or if your skills are on point, go head-to-head against all takers in competitive matches. Adding to the online insanity, you can create your own skate parks then share them with the community.

Robomodo and Disruptive Games have been hard at work developing the fifth iteration of the popular arcade skateboarding game, due for release on September 29th and October 2nd in the US and Europe respectively.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiDhCCdtMTE&feature=youtu.be

OlliOlli review

Having started out as a PS Vita exclusive, OlliOlli has now made its way over to Xbox One, and don’t let it’s minimalist, austere aesthetic fool you, this is a meticulously crafted and compelling, twitch reaction romp in the guise of a skateboarding game.

OlliOlli’s 2D, side-scrolling perspective, washed out colours and 8 bit style are a seldom seen scene for skateboarding games, but it all comes together spectacularly. It looks understated and tame but hides a devilishly difficult experience that’s hard to put down.

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It all seems so simple: You’re goal is to complete each short course, stringing together tricks and grinds to finish with the highest score you can, but achieving this is a remarkably tricky task. Tricks are pulled off with the usual quarter turns and so forth of the left analogue stick, meanwhile, the trigger buttons let you spin, however, jumping and grinding is also tied to the analogue stick, where holding a direction activates a grind and releasing the stick performs a jump. The A button is reserved to achieving a smooth landing, which is the only way to bank the points you may have accumulated through tricks and grinds. It’s an odd control system that feels supremely alien for the first 30 minutes or so. You need to relearn how to use a controller, and how to read obstacles on-screen. To begin with the strange controls dull your reaction times considerable and makes for dozens of failed attempts.

It does eventually click but it’s a humbling experience before it does. Tricks feel risky and intractable; it’s a gamble to try pulling one off in the limited time you’re airborne. And landing becomes crucial, not only because it dictates your score but also because falling off your board resets the level for you to try it all over again. You have one life, so to speak, per run, and you can feel the dread of failure and the presence of mortality far more so than in many other titles on the market. It’s a peculiar feeling but absolutely a welcoming one; OlliOlli feels unique and intense.

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Restarting the level after a fall is practically instant; additionally you can reset yourself at the press of a button. It shares similarities to the Trails titles, in that it’s built upon a high score setting mentality with fast paced skill runs. Where it greatly differs is with its visual austerity. Backgrounds are basic and washed out; meanwhile, foreground objects aren’t much more prominent. It works well at keeping you focused, providing enough visual cues for you to performs your jumps, grinds and trick but not distracting you with superfluous animations. It’s very well designed. This is also evident from the make-up of each level, whether you’re grinding through the streets of an urban environment, a port, junkyard, or neon city, the placements of obstacles, jumps and grindable surfaces are like a single, flowing track rather than a collection of separate objects.

50 levels over five locations make up the primary mode; however, reaching the end of each level in one piece isn’t your only concern. Each level also challenges you to complete specific objectives, these involve performing certain tricks, achieving a specific score, or stringing together a certain combo length, and so on. Complete them all on a level and you’ll unlock the pro run challenge, complete that and you unlock and even harder Rad run. Furthermore, Spots mode challenges you to perform the highest score you can on individual, specific sections of the levels against an online leaderboard. Finally, Daily Grind pits you once again against online adversaries through a leaderboard at achieving the highest score on a randomly chosen level. You can practice on this level as much as you like but once you commit to a ‘real’ run then that score will be uploaded, with no chances to submit another. 24 hours later and a new challenge awaits.

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OlliOlli is a difficult game that plays you against risk vs. reward expertly through its tight mechanics, controls, and level design. The Daily Grind asynchronous multiplayer is a great way to encourage replay even after you’ve mastered the 50 levels, and the chasing of higher and higher scores is a compelling experience. The achievement list is a bit on the small side and it can get frustrating during your initial time learning the controls, but when it all clicks it’s remarkably hard to put down.

Thanks to Curve Digital for supplying TiX with a download code

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