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OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood, Triangle. Triangle

You may have guessed what the key button is here. It instantly resets the level, washing away whatever went wrong with a fresh start. Smashed your little skater’s bones to dust after missing a grind? Triangle. Sloppy landing? Triangle. Didn’t like the way that trick looked? Triangle.

OlliOlli 2 is the sort of game that perfectly treads the fine line between infuriating frustration and just one more [expletive deleted] go. It’s a mix of perfect timing, muscle memory, and stomach-tightening, seat-of-your-pants oh hell yes this run is going to be ama… Triangle.

The first impressions are that this is more of the same (which would be no bad thing): a side-on skater where you abuse the left analogue stick to flip tricks and bust grinds as your nameless little skater man hurtles through levels full of ramps, rails and obstacles. There are a few changes, though. The most important being manuals (wheelies) that can now link tricks together. Where before you’d be pulling and releasing the stick to trick, and using grinds to extend combos, manuals now let you combo almost indefinitely if you can land a trick, you can manual; if you can manual you can keep going.
“You might fumble through a few ropey landings only to miss that crucial Jump”
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It’s very stressful. Before, there were short breathers, brief moments between tricks where skater man trundled free and you had a chance to calm down. Now, it’s all tricks, all the time. Entire levels can be completed in single combos and the building pressure of linking things together can be almost unbearable. as you perfect timing and learn stages, simple completion soon isn’t enough and triangle comes into play even more as perfection becomes the goal. Didn’t quite nail that perfect landing? Triangle.

Timing is everything here. To land well you have to press X at the precise moment you hit the ground. It’s the same with grinds, pressing the stick just as you hit a rail, and the stick and X for manuals. Get a perfect landing and there’s a flash of green and a tiny speed boost. as levels become more intricate and demanding, these little bursts become more and more vital. You might fumble through a few ropey landings only to see skater guy slowly lose speed and finally miss that crucial jump, or the ultimate humiliation come to a halt and fall off the board.

With just that vocabulary this would be a weighty game. There’s a huge depth to simply mastering the timings and potential of that trick set, but OlliOlli2 also includes reverts (a 180° as you land), revert manuals, and the ability to switch grinds. Further bulking out the package are tricky level challenges to tick off, and asynchronous online options: Spots are short trick runs where you compete to place on a leaderboard, while the Daily Grind is similar, albeit on a larger scale. The catch? You can practice that as much as you like, but only perform one score-submitting attempt. mess it up and that’s you done for the day.

This is a great sequel, especially considering the fully-formed nature of the original. The changes extend the basic idea so that this is both more of the same and different. It’s an infinitely moreish thing built from speed and a twitching, muscle memory-toning challenge. Triangle.

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