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Feature Video

Game of the Month January 2014: OlliOlli

Definitely a grind. But in a good way.

by

January certainly didn't have many games released, but those that did come out served up a healthy dose of fun. Whether we were crossing swords in Nidhogg, laughing through puzzles in Broken Age, or surviving the end of days in The Banner Saga, our gaming hours were happily spent playing the initial batch of 2014 releases.

OlliOlli for the PlayStation Vita triumphs over them all, however, and paves the way for what should be another excellent year. It's also GameSpot's choice for Game of the Month for January 2014 (read more about our Game of the Month awards here). Nothing demanded our attention quite like this portable skateboarding challenge.

There are two ways that you can land while skateboarding. If you're skilled, you land smoothly on your wheels and glide onward like a renegade angel. If you're like us, you land headfirst, bounce, and then slam your back into the concrete on the rebound as you slowly turn into moaning hamburger meat. It's after the 12th consecutive violent crash that you have to reevaluate your priorities. Are you going to take up something less dangerous, like bullfighting? Or take one last shot at immortality?

If you're playing OlliOlli, the answer is always immortality. Upon first glance, OlliOlli looks remarkably simple. And after you sink hours into chasing high scores, that assessment won't change. The beauty of this portable wonder is in its simplicity. You don't have to tap many buttons or remember crazy moves. But to string together an awe-inspiring combo, you need exact timing and the humility to recognize that you're not perfect.

Zipping through courses at top speed, grinding every rail, spinning while airborne, and landing treacherous jumps require sharp reflexes and firm concentration. Considering how often your face meets cement, you need a short memory and a lot of determination. OlliOlli does a great job of alleviating the pain. So long as you don't crash, levels are over in a blink, and it takes only a second to restart after a failed attempt.

Varied objectives ensure you need to keep employing different strategies. Think you can fly through a course without pushing off? Can you land every trick perfectly? Easier said than done. Throw in a host of different stage layouts, and you're always presented with a new challenge to overcome. OlliOlli nabs our first Game of the Month award because it's fast, exciting, and all too happy to kick our butts.

Read our OlliOlli review here.

Read more about our Game of the Month awards.

Discussion

254 comments
Phrase_Universe
Phrase_Universe

I think the game is pretty damn fun. It's addicting and tough to master. I love the idea of a 2D Tony Hawk. I'm happy for the devs. 

merrickx
merrickx

Another pecuniary trend I'm noticing in the industry is the retailing of flash game equivalencies. 

Sarijon
Sarijon

Really! Is this all what the rather impressive kit that is Vita can muster/promote, a frigging mobile game/app ffs c'mon Sony pull your finger out and release some decent games for the vita, made specifically for it and utalises all those specs i paid good money for!!

gonetoyourhaed
gonetoyourhaed

I think this will turn out to be a good idea if GameSpot focuses on games that are a bit under the radar, such as indie games. It will give them more exposure. We all know about the AAA titles out there, so they don't really need to be featured games of the month.

MariJoe007
MariJoe007

If Tony Hawk was a 2-D pixelated game?  I love the concept already

limbo12
limbo12

Flat-bill hats? NOPE! 

pacocasares
pacocasares

I think its neat they got game of the month. It highlights the games released in each month

Dark_Rage
Dark_Rage

What has happened to Gamespot?. 

Red_Jester
Red_Jester

Not sure I'm down with a Game of the Month award. It'll be so insanely obvious as to which game will win 7 months out of the year and of the Fall months, you'll be tipping your hand as to who's going to win GOTY awards. Also, there are smaller games that could really use the coverage in the less busy months over Big Publisher AAA sequel released outside of Q4. 


Even though OlliOlli won an award, how many indie games and smaller budget games didn't even have a review from Gamespot? It's not even interesting to see the months where you are surprised due to no big publisher release because so many indie games aren't even really covered by GS. I mean, I can take a look down the Steam releases of the last month and see how many were covered here. (Not counting Early Access games)

RighteousNixon
RighteousNixon

Game of the month award? Whats next, game of the week award? Lame is the only word that comes to mind. Gamespot continues to sink in quality. 

slefo29
slefo29

I think the 2007 PS3 exclusive, Haze, should be game of the month. 

Haze lol. Who remembers that turd game? 

souls454
souls454

easily on my must play list. Game looks great. 


Wish it were on PS3, though. Tearaway aside, not much reason else to get a vita right now.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

i like this feature.approved

julienz15
julienz15

Why doing a game of the month article when even OlliOlli only got an 8? In a month there aren't many games to nominate for this.

tightwad34
tightwad34

You pick the slowest month of the year to start a game of the month award? Pretty lame but at the same time I guess it lets you guys ease into it without idiots flaming too hard.

CleanPlayer
CleanPlayer

I gotta check this out, all I've heard is rave things about it

Samslayer
Samslayer

I really like the idea of a Game of the Month, nice job Gamespot. Now the choice in OlliOlli is warranted, but it also shows just how freaking slow this January was for games! 

themanitou23
themanitou23

I'm sure we are all very impressed by how the GS staff delves into the obscure as far as awarding game of the month/year/decade/all-time goes and I'm very happy that all 700 people who have a vita now have an awesome exclusive game to play.

DIGN
DIGN

Game of the month goes to PS Vita? lmao, shows you how bad the PS4 is.

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

I like the idea of game of the month. Its like what magazines used to do. 

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

game of the month huh? wonder when we'll get a game of the week. Still, i guess there's nothing else going on really.

Sozialminister
Sozialminister

Some really good games nominated. Seems like nextgen consoles are still lacking :)

manmanpotty
manmanpotty

I bet the people who are complaining about OlliOlli being GotM have never played it.

merrickx
merrickx

If this can get Game of the Month, they should head over to Newgrounds.com.

limbo12
limbo12

@pacocasares  Jeezus, I just want to turn you upside down and take your lunch money.

Sir_Bozack
Sir_Bozack

@RighteousNixon  I like the thought of a game of the month award. Praise shouldn't be hoarded and divvied out annually. And I think it's more logical than a game of the season award (even though companies break their sales down quarterly). Things like this make Gamespot feel more like a magazine, and I like that. Any game that isn't a smash hit or an installment of a blockbuster franchise needs all the good quotes and awards they can get, and Gamespot is providing that -- outside of their reviews -- MONTHLY.

I say right on!


And then there's my bias from a lifetime of skateboarding to this months winner. Skate games need more press.  


But hey, the internet grants us all the option of ignoring whatever we dislike. 

JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

@tightwad34  You do realize that January begins the year... Why do a Game of the Month thing at all of January never gets considered.  A pretty asinine thing to nitpick if you ask me. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@darkljolly  

I doubt that you will keep that demeanour when the next Game of the Month is not a VITA game. ;)

jons6891
jons6891

@DIGN  by that logic it also shows how bad the xb1, wii u, ps3, xb360, ds, pc, and any other platform that saw a release this month. then again, it might just show that ollie ollie is a really fun game and that january was just a slow month for game releases. 

hoyholyhoy
hoyholyhoy

@DIGN  Or maybe the fact that like one game came out on PS4 in January?

TomMcShea
TomMcShea moderator

@bluefox755 @julienz15 Didn't Link Between Worlds get a 9? Either way, 8 is a great score, so I don't see a problem with it.

darkljolly
darkljolly

.@Gelugon_baat @darkljolly  Don't care. I'll take any victory as possbile.

darkljolly
darkljolly

@tightwad34 @darkljolly  Me think you are one of those ''5" people that care from the way you reacted.....................................


Don't be mad bro. Be the better man.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@darkljolly I am not butthurt about anything. I couldn't care less what game wins what award. I was referring to the fact that you feel the need to pointlessly rub it in to the 5 people that care. What does that do or prove? Nothing at all. Though I do think your comment was pretty funny.

OlliOlli More Info

  • Released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 3 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • PlayStation Vita
    • Unix/Linux
    OlliOlli is a 2d skateboarding game that mixes addictive one-life gameplay with over 120 tricks and grinds with 100 deviously crafted levels & 250 challenges across four gameplay modes.