Olli Olli WOrld (Review)

Feb 7, 2022

Developer: Roll7
Publisher: Private Division
Released: Febuary 8, 2022

Achieving a perfect run is something every Olli Olli World player will aspire to. The beauty of Olli Olli World’s skateboarding nirvana (or “Gnarvana” in game) is that perfection can be different for every player. A perfect run is for you the player, the skater. Skill ceilings are incredibly high, but entrance barriers are at an all time low for the series. Olli Olli World is a near perfect run of a game for all types of players.

Roll7’s Olli Olli World is the third game in the Olli Olli series. It is the most diverse, expansive, and accessible Olli Olli game yet. It’s both a deep skateboarding showcase for those experienced with tricks, and an excellent entry point for everyone else. The small change of not needing to hit a button press to land, makes Olli Olli World forgiving for new players.   

Otherworldly Obstacles in Radlandia

The game is now set in a fictitious world of Ranlandia, rather than the real world of the previous titles. Fortunately, this freed the game designers to create fantastic and otherworldly obstacles and courses. The creativity of the courses allows for multiple paths, tricks, and wall rides on a scale not previously possible.

The expressive diversity is woven throughout the game. Not only do the courses provide ways for players to express their creativity and mastery of flips, kicks, grabs, and rotations. The player creator feature also is incredibly diverse. Consequently, the inclusive customization speaks to how Olli Olli World is a game for everyone.  The story mode slowly explains various moves and tricks. In the fourth, of five, worlds, Olli Olli World finally explains manuals that allow players to descend stairs. However, every move is available to the player from outset. Olli Olli World slowly introduces new players, while never holding veteran players back. As an example, I followed along with the game’s narrative slowly adding tricks as instructed. But after looking through the menus and reading the move sets, I tried new tricks and combos. My score in the early levels increased exponentially.

Chasing Combo Scores

While each course provides a few goals and challenges, the community leaderboards provide continual motivation. The game adds rivals, someone with a score just higher than your current score, to chase. Once that rival’s score is surpassed, a new rival populates. This continual gameplay loop makes it easy to lose hours in the game attempting to climb leaderboards.

To reach the heights of Olli Olli World’s scores, players will need to find alternative “gnarly” routes that provide more opportunities for tricks and combos. And combos are a must to topple the scores of the game’s character challenges as the levels progress. The tension of keeping a combo together and the elation of finishing a course with one consecutive combo is how Olli Olli World sustains the challenge and enjoyment throughout the game.

Graphics & Performance Shines

Although breaking a combo, does not require a level or checkpoint restart it is often necessary to reach a high score. Crashing, missing a jump, or running out of momentum causes the player to wipeout. The checkpoints throughout each level, just as in the previous Roll7 games, load instantaneously. For the review, I tested the reloads on both a PS5 and PS4 and the level/checkpoint restarts are fast and allow the player to jump back into another attempt immediately. The initial loading of the levels varied as expected between consoles, but once in a course the loadtimes are minimal.

The friendly, cartoony graphical style is welcoming. While the Adventure Time design elements are present, Roll7 puts their own tweak on the style creating a fun sense of play at every level. The skater animations are detailed and expressive. This makes it easy to see and understand which move a player is pulling off. The backgrounds are filled with animations and characters that add a level of immersion and polish to the overall graphics. Unfortunately, the player often needs to concentrate on the course design and plan a few moves ahead. However, the world design and the plethora of tricks make Olli Olli just as enjoyable to watch as it is to play. Watching runs also displays the incredibly high skill ceiling. After cheering and completing a course long combo, the 330,000 points paled in comparison to the 1,500,000 points up on the Leaderboard.

Create Your Own Challenge

This is the beauty of Olli Olli World. The game can be as intense or as chill as the player wants it to be. When I found myself stuck or frustrated in the later levels, I could go back to an earlier course and practice my developing skills. The challenging and complex late game courses could create frustration for players trying to unlock everything. But it is valuable to remember this is a skateboarding game. I learned to approach each level as skate park. Not everyone who skateboards starts with enough mastery to run every course, but the game allows players to set an individual level of challenge. I came to grips with not needing to hit every high score or complete every challenge. The fun came from running the courses and working on my skills.

Olli Olli World provides an endless amount of courses and challenges. Once all the levels in each world are unlocked, there are still leagues and procedurally generated courses to try. Leagues group 10 players into a series of courses to run and attempt to set the highest score. The procedurally generated levels can be set to various difficultly levels. Allowing all players to find their own challenge and enjoyment. Endlessly running through courses to the excellent variety of music makes Olli Olli World a skateboarding game for everyone.

Olli Olli World Practice for Perfection

Roll7’s Olli Olli World is a perfect skateboarding game. Experienced players will spend hours mastering a course and chasing high scores. Newer players are welcomed into the fold through a gradual rollout of tricks. Ultimately, like real-life skateboarding, practice is necessary. Fortunately, playing and practicing is continuously inviting. Even frustration leads to motivation knowing that anything is possible in Radlandia. And it all deserves to be played.

Score: 9.8

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