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Have You Played… OlliOlli?

Skaters do it manually

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Or OlliOlli 2, whatever you want. I prefer the look of the first one, with it’s crunchy pixels and bloodied sprites. Because that’s what happens in this skateboarding game, you mess up your trick, fall from 10 feet, crack your bones, roll, bleed and eventually come to a stop. It’s delightful.

It’s got the twin-stick controls of Skate and the platforming masochism of an endless runner. It also reminds me of a simpler time, when Tony Hawk had his debut for the Game Boy Colour, and I spent hours wiping out on the greyish concrete in search of floating VHS tapes, just like I did for the PlayStation version. When Activision did their HD remake of Pro Skater millions of humans cried out in excitement, and were suddenly silenced. I spent three weeks periodically sobbing and going for walks in the rain to hide my tears. Thank the kickflip gods OlliOlli came along.

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I prefer the first one simply because the style of the second is too clean, too crisp. That, and I never did get the hang of manuals, which were only added in the sequel. But OlliOlli the First remains one of the few games in which I annihilated the opposition among my friends. I’m talking about those damn leaderboards. When you can only get to the second level of Spelunky it’s encouraging to know there’s a game out there in which you can best all-comers.

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