Olli Olli doesn’t have any set story as such, what it does contain is a variety of different stages located in a variety of different levels. You must achieve set goals to progress to more levels and open up increasingly more difficult challenges on that same level.
In one complete sentence I could easily describe Olli Olli as a 2d side scrolling 8bit skater, however, simply resting on a bleak sentence like that doesn’t do it any justice. As I alluded earlier there are multiple locations in which you skate through ranging from junkyards, urban settings and a sea side port just to name a few. What is truly remarkable about the design of it’s presentation is that no matter what terrifying speed you gain as you front side shove-it and nollie grind a rail, the background never looses its integrity; never falling victim to any form of motion blur. Perhaps some of the more humorous moments to be had in the game is when you “stack it”; coming off your board at high speeds, resulting in your character being hurled helplessly, bouncing off obstacles, stairs and rails until you come to a bloody stop.
The portrayal of colors in the game is brilliant, not only as the individual locations tote their palette but also as your combos are judged and scored. Olli Olli takes an interesting approach to it’s soundtrack, offering a selection of tracks ranging in genres from some heavy dub step to slower dance tracks, which all cohere to form a great upbeat and modern skating experience for your ears.
Olli Olli takes a page out of a lot of genres in the gaming industry. It has small traces of the endless runner formula mixed with goal accomplishing arcade traits, making for a unique and addictive experience. It also comes equipped with one of the most simplistic yet deep controller systems I have ever used. Utilizing two buttons and one analog stick; things couldn’t get any much simpler. You can use either of the shoulder buttons to direct your spinning momentum whilst in the air while the left stick ignites a variety of tricks and grinds by flicking or holding and then rotating in various directions. The most important of the few buttons is the “x” or “cross” button. Think of this button as a brace button; pressing it too early as you land and you’ll be too rigid, causing a “sloppy” landing. Pressing it right before landing and you are rewarded with a “perfect” landing and a point multiplier. Essentially, to succeed in this game, you’re going to have to develop a strong sense of timing. Along with developing a sense of timing, gelling tricks and grinds together to build a score is vital, thankfully, this is a fluent and pleasant experience even on the slightly cramped layout of the vita.
Each level consists of 5 stages and each stage yields 5 challenges to complete. To progress you don’t have to complete an entire stage just accomplishing enough challenges to unlock the next stage is all that’s required. For the completionist’s however, succeeding in fulfilling those 5 tasks on a stage unlocks a more challenging variation of the stage titled “Pro”; then again, fulfilling those requirements unlocks you the “rad” mode. Olli Olli features an interesting take on online mode, offering players “the daily grind” a 24-hour challenge of a random level. You can practice it as many times as you like but you’re provided with only one chance to lodge a recordable attempt. My practices always seemed to go better than my actual attempt. Aside from this there is a worldwide ranking system on each stage, being ranked on your score is how you are registered, but this system feels impersonal as Olli Olli doesn’t offer you any way to compare scores with members of your PSN friends list.
Unfortunately, from my experience, I was exposed to a plethora of game ending bugs/crashes consistently within a gaming period. I found the only way to reconcile the issue was to actually power off my vita and boot it up again. Don’t let that deter you though from experiencing a remarkably enjoyable game though.