OlliOlli: XboX one, So good they named it twice

Skating games have traditionally been as much about exploration as your ability to pretend to do exercise. They turn a mundane environment into hundreds of possibilities, every route a miniature platforming level. OlliOlli perhaps appropriately for what began as a handheld game simplifies that process. It’s a 2D skating game, played out like a high-speed platformer where the developer only makes ice levels. Stripping a whole dimension turns every level into a single line, to be learned and mastered.


In a way, it’s not a skating game at all not our words. “When you think of skating in videogames, you think Tony Hawk,” says Roll7’s Simon Bennett. “But in a weird way, I think OlliOlli has more in common with something like the combo-tastic Street Fighter.” It’s not an immediately obvious comparison, but look at the finger acrobatics involved in both games and it becomes a tad clearer both ask you to do a lot with a little.
In a way, it’s not a skating game at all not our words
Join the darkslide
At its most basic, OlliOlli tasks you with simply reaching the finish line gain speed, ollie and grind your way to safety. Then it layers in an element of score attack, as tricks performed along the way boost your points. Add a final element of challenge every level sets you five optional tasks, from collecting pickups to following harder routes and what could be a simple matter of concentration becomes a blur of hand movement and on-the-spot thinking.

It’s enthralling, particularly when played against friends constantly one-upping one another. An unending global series of daily challenges means that process only stops when you stop playing, too. Its move from its original handheld home is no surprise when the difference between a high score and another skater with a broken face comes down to mere pixels, a bigger screen is always welcome.

There’s not much in the way of additions in this version, save for new ways to more efficiently ruin your friends’ days. Curve Digital’s Paul Watson, explains: “There are several cool features we could put in the game thanks to the Xbox One’s community integration, things such as ‘Rich Presence’ which shows you exactly which area in the game your friends are playing in, and ‘Hero Stats’, where you can check tasty nuggets of info about your friends’ time in the game.”

The real exploration is to be found in how to pip a soon-to-be furious buddy’s score by ten points it’s more hating than skating. We’re waiting.

Blatant latent
Curve’s Paul Watson explains why it hasn’t made the jump to last-gen
OlliOlli might not seem like the most taxing of games, but one element was just too difficult to translate to Xbox 360: ”One of the stories in the news around the unveiling of the Xbox One was that Microsoft had managed to reduce the latency of the controller by 20%. That probably sounds intensely boring, but this turned out to be a really big deal for our version, considering the game relies strongly on god-like reflexes!”

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