It’s no secret that we are very excited about the forthcoming 2D pixelated skateboarding Vita game OlliOlli. Last night in London, we got to have a good few hours of playing time as we were the first to check out its final build at Roll 7 HQ. Once we got back on it we realised how much of an honour it was to be playing this before its proper release.
The game is still every bit as good as we remember from our time with it at Eurogamer, but everything is turned up a notch. Everything is high res and more striking now. The music is perfect. The colours shine bright. But where OlliOlli has the potential to become your next favourite game is the controls. Roll7 have absolutely nailed the controls. It’s a very unique way of playing. At first I was slightly daunted as the guys who literally made the game watched me run through the tutorial, but after 10 minutes everything just clicked. You’ll be using the left toggle stick to perform tricks but that will become useless if you don’t nail your landing. An x button too late will either see you slamming into the pavement or will see you getting a crazy amount of points. At times, even if I got an “OK” near the start I would just immediately restart the level. It’s a game you want to be amazing at. It can be tense too. As you near the end of a level, you slowly start to the hear the crowd at the finish line getting more and more noisy. This is where you either panic or go for one last trick to rack up the points.
OlliOlli is undoubtedly a game about taking risks. But it’s also about friends. You’ll be looking at your friends points total and trying to beat their scores. Whether you hit Daily Grind online or simply want to annihilate your friends score so you can rub it in their face, OlliOlli has a huge amount of replay potential. By the time you hit Tokyo you will need to be a near master at it, and you will have the most fun trying. To put into perspective how addictive an experience it is, the only way to get us to stop playing it was to politely ask us to leave. I didn’t even realise we’d been there for hours!
In some ways Roll7 and OlliOlli mirror each other. These guys are pulling all nighters, checking every fine detail again and again to make sure this is a perfect and respectful experience not only for seasoned skateboarders (trust me, they know their stuff and the game reflects that) but also for everyday gamers who may not know too much about skateboarding. I grew up listening to skate punk and wearing the clothes but never picking up a skateboard. With this game I feel like I see why people do pick it up. It’s about having a blast with your friends. The guys at Roll7 are an inspiring bunch who are not happy with simply providing a good game. It needs to be an amazing one. So when I picked up this game last night I realised how grateful I am to these people. These developers and many others like them are working harder than you can ever imagine to give us good times.
The one problem with getting to play a game like this before release is that my Vita feels like it’s missing something now. It’s missing that ridiculously fun game I played last night and that I want to play over and over. It covers both ends of the spectrum, yes you could play it on your lunch break from work. But you’ll much prefer playing it for 5 hours in a row. Thankfully we won’t have to wait too long before we get our hands on it properly, as it seems Roll7 are close to being able to reveal a release date. Get ready…