It’s time to skate on Xbox One.
It has been more than a year since Roll7 brought their brilliant skateboarding sequel to other platforms. Improving over the original game in all aspects, OlliOlli2 was well received by both critics and gamers alike. However, there was one important group of gamers who never had the chance to olli, grind and manual through OlliOlli2’s colourful and tricky levels – Xbox One owners. Roll7 seem to be making up for this by finally launching OlliOlli2 for the Xbox One in an XL Edition.
OlliOlli2 is a skateboarding game in which the player has to get their little skater to the end of a level, for the most part, without wiping out. The levels are reasonably short and start off nice and easy, pulling the player in as they learn the ropes. Different themes add flavour to the levels, and as the player moves into each new area they will have to master different skills in order to progress.
There is a nice sense of achievement to the game, with players quite quickly able to zip through a level, pulling off tricks and managing what feels like a decent score. While OlliOlli2 offers up superlative quick-hit gameplay, ideal for a five minute gaming session, it is also compelling enough to fill much longer gaming sessions with the temptation to just give that next level a go.
It also feels like a very fair game. Fail to time a landing properly and you will be left watching your skater tumbling onto the floor. But is is always easy to see what went wrong, and the game quickly puts the player back to the beginning of the level to try again. There is very little time wasted in the game, and that leaves it feeling like any failures are just part of the learning process, rather than an invitation to rage quit.
The controls are set up really well, and in many ways the game feels like a rhythm game as the player reacts to the on-screen action with perfectly timed button presses. The most difficult concept to master is that of pressing a button at exactly the right time to land properly and keep momentum, but once that is understood, everything else slips into place. All manner of tricks are a simple stick twist or button press away, and linking all of those tricks into a massive combo that lasts through the entire level gives a real sense of accomplishment.
Reaching the end of the level is not the only goal for the player. Each level has five varied challenges, from pulling specific tricks to reaching a score minimum, and going back into the levels to complete these challenges is much of what keeps the player coming back. Completing all of the challenges on a given level unlocks the pro version of that level, giving the player yet more reason to keep playing. With additional daily challenges and score boards, there is quite a lot of content to keep the player entertained.
Well, so far, so good. But what makes the Xbox One version and XL Edition? Well, Roll7 have dropped in the much requested Free-Skate mode, allowing players to practice and perfect their skating skills in much more laid back levels. This is a great addition, especially for players who want to make the most of the daily challenges and those simply trying to improve their scores.
OlliOlli2: XL Edition is long overdue, and Xbox One gamers that enjoy challenging twitch and timed gameplay would do well to pick up Roll7’s skating game. However, the addition of a Free-Skate mode is little incentive for players who own the game on other platforms to splash out on this Xbox One version. All in all though, OlliOlli2: XL Edition is the best version of OlliOlli2 and will make a great addition to any Xbox One gamers library.