REVIEW: ‘OlliOlli World’ Brings More than the 3rd Dimension (XSX)

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olliolli world

There is one portion of sports games where being over the top is the norm: skateboarding games. This continues to be the case for developer Roll7 and publisher Private Division’s newest game, OlliOlli World. Unlike the past two iterations of the OlliOllifranchise, OlliOlli World is bright, colorful, over the top, and very technical.

In OlliOlli World, you play as, well, you! You are the newest prospect to become the next Skate Wizard. To achieve this dream, you must skate and shred through the five areas of Radlandia and find the five Skate Gods. Thankfully you’re not alone on this journey. You join the current Skate Wizard, Chiffon, and her crew: Suze, the camera lady, Mike, the bringer of hype/challenge expert, and Dad, the lovable safety concerned skater. Each one brings a special something to the group who each have one goal in mind, help you shred your heart out to reach gnarvana.

Being the backbone of the story of OlliOlli World, it didn’t do much for me. But that’s okay. While each of the crew was fun to interact with, they were at the end of the day MacGuffins to add some connection between the different tracks you go to. Thankfully, none of the crew ever felt overstayed or annoying. But, if they did, there is a handy cutscene skip feature at the beginning of every track to get you right into the action if you don’t care much about why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Before getting into the gameplay, I want to touch on the art style. I loved how colorful and cartoony everything was and how the change from a basic 2D color palate to a lively 3D space made the game just more fun to play. Even in the background, there are fun humans, walking trees, ghosts, and aliens cheering you on through forests, city construction zones, woods, and a beach. The cartoonish look also is a part of your character. From the different clothes you can wear to the various boards you unlock, you can look just about any way you want (within reason). Plus, there is no limitation of gender, so you can wear whatever you want on your skater and change out that look at any time.

The gameplay itself can be broken down into three parts: the tutorials, the challenges, and the levels themselves. The levels are very in-depth, particularly with the newest, and in my opinion, one of the best additions—multiple pathways to levels. Beginning after the first tutorial levels, branching pathways are introduced. Each one, though feels purposeful. They could be tied to challenges (which I’ll touch on later), routes that will get you more points, or areas that unlock special side quests.

Most importantly, they add variety to these levels that you may end up running over and over again, mainly because many of the levels are challenging. The levels get complicated when you start getting more tricks and tips to keep in mind to max out your score count or just to survive a level. The branching pathways at that point also serve as a way to match your skill level. Many require precise jumps, grinds, or wallrides to reach, almost acting as a way to say, “You need to be this skilled to complete this path.” If you can’t reach it, that’s okay. OlliOlli World doesn’t care how you beat a level as long as you can beat it.

Plus, another great addition to the levels is checkpoints. One of Chiffon’s gifts is she can bring you back after you eat it to wherever she is. Thankfully, she likes to hang out after you pull off sick tricks. Missed the way to the branching path? Hit Y and go right back to Chiffon and try again. However, there is a downside. Each level has two challenges that never change. First, beat the level. Second, beat the level without using a checkpoint. In other words, beat the level without kissing the pavement. Still, I recommend not being afraid of hitting Y your first, second, or third run through a level. Again, the levels can and will get complicated, and it’s better to just play through the levels to get the hang of them before trying for that gold star you get for beating them with no checkpoints.

Then, there are the challenges. Mike loves to challenge you, and he will do it for every level. Unlike OlliOlli 2, where you had five challenges, you just have three here. And they can be just about anything. For example, I had challenges where I had to find a specific person in a level or high five someone. Some involved doing specific tricks over birds or popping inflatable whales. They all have something in common, though. They push you to try new things or to be your best skater. Plus, there is nothing besides cosmetics locked behind challenges. What you get for completing all challenges is a nice new skateboard or a piece of clothing that doesn’t change your performance. It’s a nice no-pressure reward that let me play OlliOlli World the way I wanted to play.

OlliOlli World - But Why Tho

Finally, there are the tutorials. I honestly loved how Roll7 paced the tutorials throughout OlliOlli World. They’re not all bunched up right at the front of the game, so your brain explodes before you even start. They’re actually scattered around just about every level to add one more thing to the skill book as you get everything else you’ve learned down pat. The best part is the tricks you won’t learn until areas four or five are still there. You can do advanced tricks or spins before the game teaches them to you to get a high score on any level.

There is no limiter except just not knowing. What’s even better is that nothing in the earlier levels requires you to backtrack to them and pull off newer moves. Each new level is completable with the skills taught up to that point. Not once did I feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of possibilities of what I could do except when I pushed myself or when I got overconfident in my abilities.

I only really had one issue with OlliOlli World throughout my playthrough, and that’s how technical it can get. I failed an embarrassing amount of times, and some of those times just felt unfair. Whether it was leaving a jump a split second too early or too late, hitting a wallride at just the wrong angle, or having just not enough speed to jump a gap, I found myself getting angry at the game. Unlike its predecessor, it didn’t teach me about optimal jump times or angles needed to succeed a wallride. Plus, these deaths were at parts that were absolutely necessary to progress, not part of a more technical alternate path. While this can be chalked up to learning the level to get that perfect run, I just wish OlliOlli World had some extra tutorials to learn about the ideal time to jump off ramps/rails or how to get the best distance during a wallride. Just like how there is a tutorial for landing well.

OlliOlli World is a BLAST to play. Roll7 did an excellent job changing up their formula while still making this feel like an OlliOlli game. While it isn’t faultless with its difficulty, OlliOlli World is welcoming for just about anyone with any skill level. I only wish there were more levels devoted to teaching players to be the greatest skate wizard instead of having to learn the hard way. But once you conquer the skill gaps and reach gnarvana, you yourself will feel like a skate god shredding through Radlandia.

OlliOlli World is available on February 8th, 2022 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


OlliOlli World 
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

OlliOlli World is a BLAST to play. Roll7 did an excellent job changing up their formula while still making this feel like an OlliOlli game. While it isn’t faultless with its difficulty, OlliOlli World is welcoming for just about anyone with any skill level.