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OlliOlli 2 review: Side-scrolling skateboarding gets two (blistered) thumbs way up

Hayden Dingman | Aug. 12, 2015
Here I sit, feverishly anticipating Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. I've been out back practicing my ollies. I've been purchasing Tech Decks by the hundreds. I've been blasting Goldfinger's "Superman" on repeat for the last three weeks, much to the chagrin of my neighbors.

OlliOlli 2 goes by the same principles. Instead of merely landing after each trick, you can now tap "A" and push the analog stick to the left or right in order to Manual. Doing so at the correct time, every time allows you to finish levels in one extraordinarily long combo--racking up insane scores in the process. Certain levels in the original OlliOlli were designed to allow this single-combo madness, but now you can manage it on every level with a lot of skill and a bit of luck.

Level goals have gotten harder to compensate. As in OlliOlli, each level has five optional goals for you to complete. But even OlliOlli 2's Normal difficulty throws in some pretty ridiculous goals, thanks to its crazier combos and the fact it's a sequel. Goals like "100% Perfect Grinds" or "Finish the level with only Perfect Landings and Manuals" will give even OlliOlli veterans a decent challenge, and completing the basic five unlocks five harder challenges per level.

All in all, it's more OlliOlli--a bit more stylish, a bit more fluid, and a lot more creative in its level design. I still wish the game's soundtrack meshed a bit more with my idea of skating--I eventually turned off its soothing electronica in order to pump the Tony Hawk playlist on Spotify.

And I still think the game's speed gets away from it at times. I ran OlliOlli 2 on a 144Hz monitor at native 144 frames per second and still noticed quite a bit of motion blur--whether intentional or not. Either way, it's hard sometimes to prep for your next move when you're struggling to see what's on the way.

Bottom line

OlliOlli 2 is a great time-killer though. Pop in, do a few runs, swear you're going to quit and go back to working, do thirty or forty more runs, exit the game, type a few words, open it back up... You get the picture. It's addictive, short-burst puzzling at its best.


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