OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood
The additions to OlliOlli2 are nothing eye-catching. Manuals and reverts are unsurprising new moves for the fast-paced game. They fit in nicely but don't redefine the core experience or shake-up the game's feature set. In fact, there are things I would include on a list of necessities for the franchise that are not in Welcome to Olliwood. Nevertheless, this sequel has improved the series in ways I didn't think possible.
OlliOlli2 fulfills a modicum of sequel objectives: more tricks and levels augment the gameplay foundation of the first title. As bland as this sounds, the new tricks in conjunction with the level objectives and design create an experience that drills down into the addictiveness of the gameplay even more than the last game.
Using manuals to stitch together one single, giant combo through a level is not necessary to unlock the next stage, but your fingers will be itching to do so, along with busting as many tricks as possible in between. The game goads you by giving you new tricks that make high score seekers out of novice players, while still raising the bar for seasoned trick technicians. Even though you can unlock the next stage just by surviving to the end of a level, fulfilling all of the objectives opens up a pro-level stage with all-new environments, and there's also the challenge of the returning RAD difficulty level and Daily Grind and Spots asynchronous online modes.
Regardless of whether you choose to tackle the game's more difficult aspect or not, OlliOlli2 succeeds because the levels – in conjunction with the runner-like platforming flow – are well designed. Special launch ramps require timing to bridge chasms of death and reach secret areas, and the placement of grindable rails is done for both challenge and their high score possibilities. In a testament to this, I even had fun going through levels without busting tricks and just trying to survive – and even that isn't easy.
I would have liked a way to create my own level, customization features, and more interactive levels. Even without them, OlliOlli 2 is a fun game that, in its own way, reaffirms what made the first one such a good time.
Some bland-sounding additions actually improve the experience immensely for all players.