Getting the hang of things opens up a whole world of combos to pull off, and you’ll quickly discover that there’s much more to OlliOlli than simply trying to make it to the finish line. There are numerous side objectives to pursue, from reaching a specific point threshold to performing a couple tricks in a specific sequence. You’ll take one look at these goals and wonder how you’ll ever accomplish them. Get through the course in one epic, grind-chaining combo? It seems impossible--then you actually nail it, and it feels amazing.
Completing these sub-objectives within the initial Amateur levels opens up additional Pro stages, further testing your shredding abilities. Rad Mode keeps the challenge coming for players daring enough to tackle every single objective OlliOlli has to offer. Spots and the Daily Grind add even more pick-up-and-play variety, tasking you with chaining as many tricks as possible into a single combo. There’s a huge assortment of content here, all couched inside the same compelling trick-based gameplay.
The Amateur levels alone will keep you plenty busy, though, as OlliOlli’s difficulty doesn’t ramp up so much as it becomes a vertical cliff. Skating through the early urban, junkyard, and port environments are difficult yet fair, but all bets are off once you reach the military base. Each course throws so many obstacles at you that it quickly becomes an exercise in masochism. I’ve spent more than half an hour just trying to complete a stage, never mind beating the high score. And yet, because the game makes me feel like I was just so close to the perfect run, I kept mashing the restart button to improve my runs and unlock the rest of what OlliOlli had to offer.
That’s what makes the quest for the perfect run so alluring. Hours of practice and constant failure lead to a few fleeting moments of euphoric perfection. There’s always another combo chain around the corner, a new set of challenges to overcome, another run to perfect--and despite the extreme challenge, OlliOlli is a rewardingly pure arcade experience. Move over Tony Hawk; there’s a new pro skater in town.