The original Oli Oli by Roll 7, sought to revitalise the skating genre; which had been in a desperate state of disrepair ever since the ps2 era Tony Hawk games. Not only did Roll 7 succeed in revitalising a dying genre of games, but it did so spectacularly; setting the standard for the future of the skating genre. Oli Oli 2 was no different. The developers used the groundwork of the original game to create a game that was even better than the first. Expanding on the amazing mechanics of the first and focusing on the core gameplay that made the first so special. In my mind, there was no way that they could improve on what had been accomplished beforehand however, the release of Oli Oli 2 XL edition proved me wrong on all fronts by providing a variety of new ways to play the game which only enhance what has come before.
Much like the original version of Oli Oli 2, the gameplay is where this game really shines. The gameplay primarily relies on the player’s timings and precise button and stick control to land the perfect combination of moves. The game does an exceptional job of easing you into the games mechanics in a way that doesn’t feel boring or tedious. It does this by using the ordinary levels to slowly increase the difficulty of the gameplay. The game starts of by teaching you that you push the left stick up to jump and pull it down again in tandem with pressing the A button to land. You may be thinking right now that this all pretty simple right? Well, once you start adding the factors of having to maintain your speed by performing the perfect landing, all while trying to get the highest score and combo, the game suddenly gets a lot more interesting.
For me, the game really comes into its own once you start to master the timings and plethora of tricks that it has to offer. At first, I found it difficult to even land perfectly, let alone perform a trick in the air before doing so. However, with the help of the Tricktionary, which lets you practice the more essential moves such as grinding, manuals and jumping, I found that I slowly started playing the game how it was meant to be played. I soon found myself rocketing through the earlier stages, performing all sorts of tricks and grinds, making me feel as if I had become some sort of skating virtuoso. This is in my opinion what the game does best. It feels like every time I wiped out in a level it was my fault, and this pushed me to keep replaying the level until I felt satisfied that I had mastered it. This meant that when I did finally complete the level, I felt amazing knowing that I had put everything I knew into practice in it. The control scheme of the game is easy to learn but hard to master. This is a welcome addition to any game for me as it means it is accessible to a wide variety of both hard-core and casual gamers.
Along with the games outstanding gameplay, the game also provides you with a load of incentives to keep you coming back after completing career mode. One of the main things is the five challenges given to you for each level. These challenges include getting a certain level combo and performing a certain combination of tricks. These are super fun to try and complete and along with the leader boards, added a large amount of replayability to the game. Furthermore, the completion of these challenges, allow you to play the pro levels. These levels notch the difficulty level up to 100. They are faster, with a load more obstacles to for you negotiate your way over and under. They provide the player with a whole new, ultra-challenging campaign to beat, and gave me an even greater sense of satisfaction after beating them.
The new XL edition also adds the Skatepark, which is a much welcome edition that fans of Oi Oli 2 have been crying out for. This mode allows you to practice your tricks in a more skate friendly environment, without the stress of having to beat the challenges or getting a high score. These is also a new mode called the daily spot. This mode acts as a daily challenge mode where you compete for place of the highest score on the leader board. However, the catch is that you can only play this level once. This added a highly competitive nature to the game which I enjoyed, while also providing you with more incentive to use the newly added Skatepark mode to make sure you have completely mastered all the ticks to ensure you get the highest score possible.
I couldn’t complete this review without at least mentioning the games soundtrack and visuals. The visuals provided the game with a highly vibrant tone. Making my experience with the game just that little bit more enjoyable. While the soundtrack also worked to compliment the vibrant visuals of the game by using upbeat rap that perfectly fits the atmosphere of the game.
All things considered, Oli Oli 2 is still an amazing game and the XL edition just reinforced my belief in that. The game still plays, looks and sounds as great as it has ever done. Whether you want to play to complete the challenges and compete in the leader boards, or you just want to just want to have an experience like no other, Oli Oli 2 Xl edition is definitely a game worth investing in.
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