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"It's Good 2 B King."
Tagline

Ollie King (オーリーキング Ōrī Kingu?) is a arcade skateboard racing game developed by Amusement Vision and published by Sega for arcade cabinets and their Sega Chihiro hardware. It had a limited cabinet release developed by Sega Mechatro in 2003 in the United States and United Kingdom and would get a full release in 2004 in Japan. The game was developed by the same team that worked on Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future. The game is best known for its soundtrack being composed by Hideki Naganuma.

Plot[]

Ollie King 9

The playable cast of characters for Ollie King.

Throughout the world, word emerges of a global hardcore downhill skateboarding tournament known as "Ollie King". With the rules so lax as if there are no rules, the only rule upheld by its competitors is to get to the finish line as fast as they can with style. Hosted in three major cities around the world, from sunny and hilly Hyde and Lombard of San Francisco, California, USA; the chill and trippy streets of Picadilly Circus and Parliament in London, United Kingdom, and the floating majestic Fushimi Castle and Fushimi Inari-taisha of Kyoto, Japan, what the tournament lacks in locations, makes up for it in its challenge by its extreme layouts and intensity to reach first place, with room at the top for only the best thrashers and boarders to prove their worth. Six boarders from around the world, Phillip "Grinner" Jones, Tez Tanaka, Miguel Diaz, DiDi Summers, Scott Ripper, and JB Bullet, may have what it takes to be crowned "Ollie King".

The races are commentated by an energetic announcer to match the excitement of the races.

Gameplay[]

Ollie King gameplay

Grinner racing against the Kyoto rival gang member.

The gameplay for Ollie King is similar to the 1997 Sega game, Top Skater. Ollie King is played by a cabinet skateboard setup that mimics the experience of riding an actual skateboard. The player can use their weight to mimic certain things such as squatting if they lean backwards or standard trick known as an "ollie" if they lean forwards. Tilting left or right allows the player to steer their character.

The player is allowed to pick one of the six characters mentioned above, with each one coming with their own unique stats. The main goal is to finish in first place in a series of downhill races in San Francisco, London, and Kyoto. Each area has a difficulty rating range of 1 to 5 stars. In the cabinet release the game has three difficulty modes known as "Kids Mode", "Normal Mode", and "Expert Mode".

Similar to other extreme sports games, now with a racing twist, Ollie King's gameplay consists of focusing on good reflexes to maintain speed and to do tricks for styles. Throughout the courses there are grind rails, ramps, and halfpipes. The racing aspect of Ollie King comes from a checkpoint system, similar to most arcade racers, encouraging players to finish sections in a certain time limit. In single player there will be opposing skating teams that try to halt the player's progress. If the player is not careful they can "wipe out", which are triggered by falling beyond a safe drop, crashing into a wall while at high speeds or having poor balance on rails.

Ollie King gameplay 2

Tez Tanaka performing a "Method" trick, which is a A rank trick.

In terms of tricks, Ollie King has a trick ranking system that goes from "D, C, B, A, S, SS, and X". The type of tricks depends on the performance of the player. S to X rank tricks can only be performed via big ramps and large air space. All tricks depend on speed and reaction time, however, specific tricks such as aerial ones require ramps or downhill areas that give enough space throughout the air, and grinding depends on the player to balance their board properly. Since Ollie King is an arcade game, it requires coins for the player to keep playing so they can advance to the next area. The game can be played up to four players via 3 other arcade cabinets linking together.

Development[]

Ollie King was first revealed in 2003 at the JAMMA arcade show in Tokyo.[2] While at the show information on the game was scarce leaving people to speculate what it could be about besides limited things such as Smilebit being the developers of it. Later on in an interview, it was revealed that the idea of Ollie King spawned from ideas during the development of both Jet Set Radio games. Masayoshi Yokoyama, the director of Ollie King, would state that Masayoshi Kikuchi asked "Wouldn't it be fun to make a skateboarding game with Jet Set characters?" during the development of Jet Set Radio Future. Additionally, Kikuchi himself would reveal that there were plans for a skateboard enemy in Jet Set Radio, but the idea got rejected.[3]

During development, the team got motions from Japanese skateboarder Junnosuke Yonezaka, whose older brother had a hand in Top Skater. Certain things like the graphics were chosen due to arcades having "realistic pictures", according to Yokoyama he wanted to try out the world of JSR in an arcade and believed the style would be "fresh and have a presence". During testing, various things were experimented throughout such as a giving the game a "trippy feeling", having the buildings expand and contrast during the beat of the music, character shadows moving on their own, and over-the-top production and extreme camera angles. With all these ideas, Yokoyama admitted that while cool, he could not figure out what the game was trying to be.[3]

One the most difficult parts during development according to Yokyoyama, was the budget for the game. He admits in the second part of the interview that he struggles on "how to make a good game within a budget".[4] The total development time ranged from a year and a half from the planning stage, while production lasted for half a year. Certain things like budget and time were discussed, but with zero compromise. Kikuchi would state: "For example, if we had a year from now, the only thing we would do is increase the number of stages."[5]

In terms of stages, Kikuchi suggested that Kyoto should be picked over Tokyo due the latter already being used as a "motif" in both Jet Set Radio games and to appeal to foreigners. San Francisco was chosen to represent America due to the west coast being the "sacred place" for the sport. Additionally with the downhill surfaces of San Francisco, Kikuchi had no problem picking it with Yokoyama mentioning that Sega of America being located there. After settling on Kyoto and San Francisco, Yokoyama wanted to have a stage in Europe. Eventually London was chosen as the European location due to it having a "cool image" and skateboarding being popular over there according to Kikuchi.[5]

Soundtrack[]

Main article: Ollie King Original Soundtrack

Ollie King's soundtrack was solely composed by Hideki Naganuma as mentioned at the top of the page. According to Naganuma, the first half of the soundtrack has a rough "rock/punk" sound while the later half is more "techno/pop". He would provide additional commentary on the songs. The song commentaries can be read here.

Reception[]

While Ollie King did not have much reviews between 2003 and 2004, the Australia division of GamesTM gave a preview take in 2003, where the game had limited availability, giving it some praise but ultimately questioning how well it would be received when the final product arrived.[6] In April 2004, the same division of GamesTM would review Ollie King. Throughout the review they would praise certain things such as the presentation, similar to critics that reviewed Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future, but would criticize the gameplay and its lack of satisfaction and called it a "one-trick pony". The review ultimately end up giving the game a mixed score with a 5/10, describing it as "Smooth but rather unsatisfying".[7]

Credits[]

For the game's credits, see Ollie King/Credits.

Gallery[]

For more images and videos relating to Ollie King, see: Ollie King/Gallery.

Beta elements[]

For the cut content of Ollie King see Ollie King/Beta elements.

Trivia[]

  • Just like Jet Set Radio, Ollie King would also get a mobile game titled Ollie King ME. However, it was not a typing game, but instead a 2D sprite isometric take on the game. Similar to the Game Boy Advance version of Jet Set Radio.
  • The ranking system of Ollie King would seemingly be reused in the Sonic Riders series with small differences, such as dropping "D" as the lowest rank, in place of "C", and added AA/A+ instead, but would still keep "X" as the highest rank.

Notes[]

  1. In the files for Ollie King the attract mode file for the game that displays Amusement Vision's logo is titled as "smilebit.txb", indicating that Smilebit's logo would have been showcased off instead.

References[]

  1. Ollie King on the Cutting Room Floor.
  2. 2.0 2.1 IGN Staff (September 11, 2003) JAMMA 2003: Ollie King. IGN. Retrieved on December 2, 2023.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ollie King Interview, Page 1.
  4. Ollie King Interview, Page 2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ollie King Interview, Page 3.
  6. Preview | Ollie King | Arcade. GamesTM Australia (2003). Retrieved on August 17, 2023.
  7. Review | Ollie King | Arcade. GamesTM Australia (April 2004). Retrieved on August 17, 2023.

External links[]

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