OlliOlli: Switch Stance (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Tomas Barry 12.02.2019

Review for OlliOlli: Switch Stance on Nintendo Switch

The original OlliOlli, developed and published by Roll7, was first released on the PlayStation Vita, back in 2014. The simple but addictive formula of side-scrolling skateboarding became an instant hit. The title quickly found its way onto the 3DS, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, PC, as well as platforms such as OSX and Android. Then in 2015, OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood, dropped in, to even further acclaim. The sequel improved the fluidity and the range of movement, allowing players to pull a manual to chain trick combos together. It also brought an array of new tricks, bigger air and jumps, also introducing multiple routes through each level. Fast-forward to the present, and Roll7 and publishers, Gambitious, now bring both the original and its sequel to the Nintendo Switch, in one combined package. Is OlliOlli: Switch Stance the ultimate package for the franchise? Or does it make a sketchy landing?

Considering how perfect the side-scroller skating formula is for short-burst sessions, it's surprising how long it has taken for the franchise to arrive on Nintendo's flagship system. While both titles are hugely popular on 3DS, iOS and Android devices, the screen and controller real-estate of the Switch, makes it the ultimate platform for an on-the-go fix. OlliOlli: Switch Stance combines both the original, OlliOlli, and OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood into one package, allowing players to access to both from the start. It's great to have both titles available on the system, but newcomers should bear in mind that they should play the original first. This is because once players grow accustomed to being able to use manuals to chain tricks together, it's hard to get accustomed to playing without this ability.

Screenshot for OlliOlli: Switch Stance on Nintendo Switch

In this sense, that's the one drawback of lumping both games together into one package. From a value point of view, it's brilliant. However, the balance of the intense hardcore difficulty is disrupted when a player returns expecting to be able to pull a manual. OlliOlli requires quick instincts, placing the emphasis on meticulous timing. This means the controls get ingrained on an instinctual level too, so anyone returning to the original, having played the second, will have less fun because of this adjustment. The solution here would have been to create a 'Deluxe' version, which uses the mechanics of the sequel and tweaks the original's levels to suit, removing those that don't. Fortunately, the only reason this didn't happen, is probably that a third instalment is in the works.

The HD rumble of the joycon don't exactly bring the action to life in a new way, but it is a satisfying element of playing OlliOlli on the Switch. The resolution and impression of detail is surprisingly nuanced. Crashing down to earth from huge heights creates a mighty tremor, imitating the rattle of the trucks and bearings. By contrast, grinding produces a much smoother and subtler feeling, capturing the sensation of gliding friction very well. Especially in the case of simple arcade experiences, like this, it's the smallest of touches that sometimes make the biggest difference. Granted, for skating fundamentalists, this is nowhere near the level of the Skate or Tony Hawk's Pro Skateboarder series. However, it's admirable how Roll7 have integrated such a sense of thrill and mechanical depth into a 2D skating experience.

Screenshot for OlliOlli: Switch Stance on Nintendo Switch

The biggest thing standing in the way of enjoying OlliOlli: Switch Stance to the full is the series' brutish difficulty and steep learning curve. Both titles have a tendency to throw the player in at the deep end. Neither title is afraid of introducing new challenges on a whim, and they're not necessarily returning elements either. The pace and intensity of the action, across the board, is really something. It requires a lot of energy and concentration, to navigate the hazards, time each jump perfectly and ensure the landing isn't botched, all the while, daring to throw in just one more combo trick! Amassing a huge score certainly is a thrill in and of itself. However, this combined package also benefits from a great variety of game modes, found within both OlliOlli and Welcome to Olliwood.

Both feature 50 levels, and a Challenge mode with 250 unique stages each, which will take plenty of time to get through. Then there's the excellent Spots feature. This online leaderboard mode sees players around the world go for one gigantic combo score on the same run. The catch is that it only allows one single attempt, and it changes every day, making it a really exhilarating and testing prospect for skilled players - since you can practice the run as much as is desired. On top of this content, which provides a great deal of longevity, there is also local multiplayer for up to four players. This can be tremendous fun, but it is dependent on how many players are involved and what Switch setup is available. A party of four splits condenses the screen-size too much for handheld mode to be viable, although two is just about manageable.

Screenshot for OlliOlli: Switch Stance on Nintendo Switch

In TV mode, the local multiplayer goes down a treat. In Time mode, players simply rack up the highest score they can before the clock goes. Race is self-explanatory, and leads to plenty of entertaining last-dash finishes which guarantee a good laugh. One-shot is inspired by Spot mode, and sees players take on a random run. It is without doubt, one of the standouts, whilst Score, interestingly, sees players set a target score for themselves to reach. There's more strategy to this than one would have thought, so it can also be an absorbing one for experienced players. Time and Race are the clear go-to modes for newcomers, as they allow players to get to grips with the mechanics. It's just a shame, with the local offering going down so well, that there is no sign of any online multiplayer.

Screenshot for OlliOlli: Switch Stance on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

OlliOlli: Switch Stance is a fantastic package, bringing one of the best short-burst arcade experiences of recent times to a platform where it can really thrive. It's nearly the perfect package for the uninitiated to hop onto their boards with. Existing fans, too, may be tempted to double-dip, considering how great this version is for on-the-go sessions. From a mechanical point of view, the extreme demands and difficulty may put some off. However, it's worth persevering through the inevitable moments of frustration, as underneath is a hugely addictive arcade hit for the modern age. It's a pity that Roll7 didn't take a leaf out of Nintendo's book and create a 'Deluxe' version which mixed both the original and the sequel, since playing the original when one is used to chaining tricks with manuals, is jarring to say the least. Despite this, OlliOlli: Switch Stance is excellent side-scrolling skating fun.




Gambitious Digital


2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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