Ben Rayner reviews OlliOlli2: XL Edition…
It’s been a full year since OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood graced the screens of PlayStation and PS Vita owners and while the gap may have been a excruciating wait for Xbox One owners looking to punish their thumbs, the brand new XL Edition was clearly worth the extra time it asked for.
As with the original OlliOlli2 brings the art of skateboarding into a game that balances the realistic precision of Skate with the addictive arcade style of early Tony Hawks Pro Skater games.
The core mechanics haven’t really changed, you’ll still need to teach those pesky thumbs to flick and slam down to pull off tricks and rely on perfectly timed button presses to land that combo and execute your trick perfectly.
The new addition here is a seemingly minor trick. The Manual.
Yes, yes I know. You’re thinking, ‘What? Is that all?’ but Roll 7 have opened up their next skating adventure hugely with that one trick. While in OlliOlli it was possible to bust out huge combos and clear levels perfectly, it was really dependent on the maps layout and positioning of rails to grind.
With the ability to manual, should you be a sadist enough to want to master the game truly and forgo the use of your thumbs for some hours (if not days) then it’s entirely possible to chain trick after trick with a well timed manual. Clearing an entire level without once breaking out of your combo is a huge high, just prepare for that utterly stomach sinking moment that could occur when you flop a trick and ruin all your hard work.
As before OlliOlli2 offers an addictive experience, each level timed just right to offer a short burst of adrenaline that you’ll want to repeat over and over just to get a higher score and complete a check list of side objectives, pushing you to better yourself that little bit more.
Who doesn’t love a game that urges you to say ‘one more go’ which ultimately turns into staying awake until 3am trying to finish that damn high combo!
As the title suggest, the magical world of movie making and Hollywood itself is each levels inspiration. Split into five separate themes including the Wild West and a blend of Sci-Fi settings, the maps this time around are much more exciting and offer some unique challenges thanks to opportunely placed boom microphones and lighting rigs.
Should you clear each stages optional objectives, you’ll be rewarded with an extra level up to the total of 25 which is a pretty staggering amount of maps to destroy your nerves attempting to high score and finish fully.
On top of the games story mode you’ll find free-skate which essentially does what it says on the tin, offering a chance to sharpen your timing and tricktionary without the time limit and usual pressures. There’s also online leader-boards and daily challenges should you have a competitive streak lying dormant.
The most interesting mode for me however is the games 4-player multiplayer mode, Combo Rush. Split screen competitive skating is right up my street and proved to be an utter joy to play with friends. Like the name suggests, you’ll need to land the highest combo by the time those numbers in the top reach zero, then you can run around the room laughing at your mates and trying to find Rodney Mullens number quick while your skills are still so sharp.
All in all, OlliOlli2: XL Edition is easily the biggest and best skating game from Roll 7 and in fact on the Xbox One altogether.
Story mode is an addictive joy to play, one that made me late for work more times than my HR manager dares to count.
Throw in free skate mode, a couch gaming focused multiplayer and some online challenges then you’ve got the perfect game for those who want to throw in their ¾ length shorts and learn to skate again. Now, where’s that Limp Bizkit CD?
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