Thanks to Good Shepard Entertainment for the review code
Title: OlliOlli: Switch Stance
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 02/14/2019
In this compilation of two skateboarding adventures, you take control of… I honestly don’t know who, to be honest, but it’s a guy who needs to skate and be the coolest one in town, so you need to help him not crash into stuff!
Split into two games, the original OlliOlli offers a great first impression. It seems to be a pixel-art game at first glance, but when you look at it in motion there’s really not much to it, with the character and crowd being rendered in a pixel art look, while all the background and stage elements only look as if they’re part of that style, when they’re actually not. it’s deceptively simple but leads to a pretty cool mix of visual effects to keep your eyes focused on the main character, which is vital considering the fast-paced nature of the game and how you’ll need to keep your eyes on him and the rails at all time.
OlliOlli 2 on the other hand, takes the simplistic yet effective look of the original and makes it look even better. More vibrant backgrounds, a much better UI, and a lot more personality works a lot in this game’s favor.
Both games are selectable from the main menu, although once you choose one, you can’t go back to the other title unless you close the application entirely. This oddity aside, both games tend to share some gameplay aspects, while others are unique to the second game.
To start off with things that both games share, the first Olliolli is where things began, and it has a simple set of five worlds with ten stages each; five stages that are the normal difficulty, which slowly ramp up over time with new obstacles to deal with, and five more stages that are only accessed when you clear the respective normal stage with all five objectives. (going over things such as a certain score, playing without mistakes, or doing certain tricks)
Tricks are done by moving the left analog stick in all sorts of directions to jump, and if you combine it with a shoulder button press, you can even do a spin that’ll increase your score. However, if you fail to time the B button press needed for a good landing, you’ll mess up and possibly even crash depending on the terrain. You can even do this on rails to build up a combo and get absurd scores, though it’ll take a ton of practice in order to get really high scores.
With 50 main stages in total, the real fun from the first game comes from improving your scores and uploading them onto the leaderboard, along with doing the aforementioned challenges on both the standard and pro levels. There’s also a Daily Grind challenge where you’re given only one shot (and a practice chance) to get the highest score on a random level and upload it for the world to see. It’s pretty basic, but it is a fun way to spend time if the main game isn’t suitable enough for you.
Or you could jump into OlliOlli 2 right after, which is literally the first game but improved in almost every possible way, with a few setbacks that make it not as quick to jump into as the first title. Tighter controls means this game will feel a bit different physics wise from the first, but I still found myself getting used to both games in their own right.
The sequel introduces a few new things as well, mainly a bunch of tutorials that can teach you the more complex tricks of the game (along with unfortunately, a few mandatory ones for basic things you already know from the first game), some extra challenge modes, a new super hard stage for if you get all the challenge stars in both a normal AND pro stage. and most importantly of all, the ability to chain your combos even further by doing a slide move on the ground. Jumping from rail to ground and being able to continue a chain throughout an entire level now feels extraordinary, but it also makes the game a bit tougher than the first. Still, the score-chasing nature of both titles means that there’s plenty to do in both of them, and since OlliOlli 2 has even more optional things to go for, that game alone makes the $15 pricepoint worth it.
In conclusion, OlliOlli Switch Stance is easily one of the best values you can get on the Switch eShop. The first OlliOlli came to the 3DS/Wii U, and I played it on the former system many years ago, but this is the first time the sequel has even appeared on an Nintendo system. Bundled with the first game, you can easily see which elements have evolved and which elements are new, but both titles are worth playing through at least on the normal levels, due to the fun score-chaser nature and how there’s a bunch of fun, challenging stuff to do if you want to go for 100%.
While the tutorials in the sequel do bug me in how they’re pushed at you before you can progress in the main game, I still enjoyed that one a bunch for the new look and the new combo system. You’re getting a great value for your money here!
I give OlliOlli: Switch Stance a 9 out of 10.