OlliOlli (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 23.05.2015

Review for OlliOlli on PC

Indie games have made a name for themselves tackling genres with new and creative takes of the formulas inherent to that genre. OlliOlli does this for the sports genre, specifically the skateboard genre. Does it mean anything at this point to say indie? If OlliOlli is any indication, it very well may. While the controls feel weird, the game exhibits a very interesting set of rules, by which it feels like a new take on an old standard. Unfortunately, it also feels like too many things were tried, resulting in confusion. There's a menagerie of layers at work here, but OlliOlli doesn't always mesh them well.

A lot of people have issues with the new "retro"-centric graphical wave cutting through indie games, and OlliOlli may at first glance represent this market. However, under closer examination, it's more minimalist than retro, and yet it looks fantastic. Between the backgrounds that seem to be ripped right from a pop-up book, to the simple design of the play character, the game is simple in the representation of the graphics. It works to great effect, as it's never bogged down by too much detail, but everything is detailed enough to be represented well.

The level design is somewhat questionable, as it frequently bounces from too easy to too hard. It's all subjective, as fully appreciating the level design will come from fully appreciating the controls. However, skating through the finish line at the end, with a slew of onlookers praising the performance, is amazingly profound and noteworthy. The sensation of finally completing the level proves sometimes a challenge is well worth the reward reaped, and satisfaction is well worth the price of admission.

It's a shame, then, that the controls are arguably the weakest portion of the game. PC gamers frequently buy controllers to enjoy their games further, either for accessibility or for the sake of having an edge. However, if a game flat out states that in order to fully enjoy it, a controller is required, this is a good way to turn off a more casual crowd. The game does feature keyboard controls, but they feel like they would fit better in a fighting title - a fighter that tries to cater to only the best, in fact. Using the controls, without the assistance of the much intended controller, is a waste of time. It's easier to just stick to basic tricks, and ensuring the landing is stuck.

Screenshot for OlliOlli on PC

None of the levels' objectives are mandatory, which is good, as pulling off most of them is pure luck or ridiculous skill. This really comes back to the controller complaint, more than anything, but it's a grievance that drastically hinders the replayability of the game. Getting each of the five stars in a level, requiring various extra tasks, is a great way to extend the life of a title, but setting up goals that are near impossible with the basic PC hardware means most players will feel like sitting the post-game clean up out.

All this aside, there's still a lot of enjoyment to be pulled from OlliOlli if it's treated differently than its original purpose intended it for. If played like a platformer, it's an absolutely amazing experience beginning to end. The twitch-like platforming is supremely refreshing, and, as each level blurs by, presses skill to the limit. While it might not make the best skateboarding title, OlliOlli exhibits almost perfect platforming prowess.

Not to be overlooked, and perhaps underrated around other indie platforming juggernauts like Limbo and Super Meat Boy, OlliOlli is an unconventional masterpiece. Hopefully, it continues to receive the accolades it has, as the team over at Roll7 has crafted something truly unique, despite its flaws.

Screenshot for OlliOlli on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

OlliOlli may not be the game it meant to be, but it still succeeds at being something special. As a sports game, it's simply trying too much and giving too little. Too often this happens, and it's hard to complain. One's intention when creating anything artistic can become something they didn't intend, and Roll7 did just that in the form of an excellent platformer. Perhaps on another console that sports title they sought to make will stand tall among the pantheons of Tony Hawk and Coolboarders, but on the PC they have crafted one of the most unique and well-built platformers on PC to date: OlliOlli.

Developer

Roll7

Publisher

Devolver Digital

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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