OlliOlli, as we've said before, isn't really a skateboarding game. The aesthetic provides a lovely minimalist visual style to navigate the tiny pixel skateboarder through, but there's no open world to explore and experiment in, nor is it filled with free-form choices. Mechanically rock-solid, OlliOlli is a 2D on-rails experience with meticulously designed levels and that 'one more try' mentality associated with score attack gaming. The addition of a skateboard just makes it all seem cooler.
That applies the same on 3DS as on Wii U, so if you want a full, detailed review of the modes and concept we suggest checking out our Wii U OlliOlli review; in this case we're going to be focused on what makes this one different on Nintendo's portable.
OlliOlli is well suited to the handheld format (not surprising considering it was first released as a PS Vita title) and any worries about resolution or tiny graphics should be swept away; the clean presentation and smooth framerate has translated across perfectly well. Those of you with shiny New Nintendo 3DS consoles may be slightly disappointed to find that OlliOlli takes no advantage of any of the additional features or controls, but perhaps adding something for the sake of it would have been detrimental to the overall experience.
There are no 3D stereoscopic effects to be had, either, which is a shame; when the game is so obstinately 2D it's arguably no great loss. The touchscreen isn't utilised for anything other than the occasional move lists and listing out the level challenges, which is functional but nothing to get too excited about. StreetPass functionality is nowhere to be seen, and any high scores achieved will remain within the 3DS online eco-system - there's no cross-over with the Wii U version.
Thankfully, gameplay on the Nintendo 3DS is super smooth and responsive, and the button layout seems more comfortable to play than it did even on PS Vita. (we tested this out on both the XL and standard consoles). The circle pad will take some hammer but there's no need to be forceful to gain a response, and throwing in different tricks means it's not always the same direction being smashed. You could of course simply use the d-pad if this is a concern. Rest assured, the Nintendo 3DS version plays beautifully.
It's also worth noting that purchasing either the Wii U or 3DS version nets the other for free, so owners of both Nintendo formats can pick up the set for a single, reasonable price when using one Nintendo Network ID.
It's clear when playing on Nintendo 3DS that OlliOlli was designed to be convenient to play in short bursts. It's a great game to pick up and play for just 5 minutes making it ideal for short journeys, but equally it's unnervingly easy to sink a few hours in due to that one-more-try sensibility.