Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (Available on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade)
ESRB Rating: T
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft Chengdu
Release Date: August 10th, 2010 (PSN), August 25th, 2010 (XBLA)
Parent Talk: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is based on the comic book series of the same name. Because the comic [and movie adaptation] is so rich in video game references, an actual game was the next logical step. It thrives on cartoonish, exaggerated fight scenes, and does without gore. There is profane content (one of the characters offers a profane gesture) and suggestive themes, but the game has a colorful flair that makes it more lighthearted. Younger gamers can enjoy the game because of its simple controls and colorful visuals, but parents should take a look before committing to downloading. Teenagers and older players will absolutely love the game because of its references to old-school games and engaging “beat ‘em up” gameplay.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’s recent movie adaptation sparked a newfound curiosity for the series in people not well-versed in comic books. Now many gamers and nerds love the universe, thanks to its likable characters, video game references, and over-the-top fight scenes. A Scott Pilgrim video game was just a matter of time, and it rocks so hard. Taking cues from classic brawlers such as Final Fight and River City Ransom, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is an addictive and fun experience. Even those unfamiliar with the franchise can easily enjoy this ode to the old school.
Amazing use of a license. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World features rich characters, witty humor, and awesome fight scenes. The game perfectly capitalizes on the series’ strengths. The game follows Scott’s quest to win the heart of Ramona Flowers by defeating her 7 Evil Exes. Thrown in the mix are tons of references (Mega Man, Mario, and Kirby to name a few), loads of colorful and humorous enemies (ninjas, zombies, aliens, you name it), an amazing soundtrack, and awesome retro-inspired graphics. The presentation is just perfect.
+ Awesome soundtrack. This is one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard from a download game. Scratch that, it’s one of the best in a PS3/360 game to date. Even if you are not a fan of chiptunes, the wonderful soundtrack can win over nearly anyone. Chiptune band Anamanaguchi delivers a high-energy list of tunes worth listening to outside of the game. It is THAT good.
+ Colorful pseudo 16-bit graphics. Scott Pilgrim’s stylized look pays homage to the classics without feeling like a forced trip down memory lane. It’s pleasant to look at, especially for the retro-gaming enthusiast. The character sprites are particularly cool, with a wide variety of animations and emotions.
+ Fun. Scott Pilgrim is easy to understand and jump into. Local co-op for up to four players makes the experience all the more enjoyable and a leveling system/unlockable move set gives the game more depth. The game is difficult enough to make co-op satisfying, whereas single-player comes off as unbalanced. The difficulty is more manageable with more players, so it’s obvious that the game was designed for multiplayer. The controls are incredibly easy to master. There’s no excuse for playing poorly. You just have to beat up all on-screen enemies progress to the right. During the campaign, players can buy healing items and learn new moves, which makes defeating enemies easier, but then more difficult enemies crop up. Classic.
– No Drop-in. Players can’t drop in or out in the middle of play. This omission isn’t detrimental to the experience, but it’s annoying for the friend(s) who want to stop over and jump in immediately.
– No online. Modern gamers demand this, and it makes no sense for it to be missing. Because of the unbalanced single player, calling upon friends becomes necessary at times. Gamers who, for any reason, don’t often have friends over to play games may feel frustrated by this oversight.
– Mild glitches. This is minor, but worth mentioning. On a few occasions, the screen wouldn’t shift to the next area despite taking care of all the enemies. I’ve not heard this to be widespread, but it happened twice to me, and you should know.
Unbalanced. Like I already mentioned, the presentation is very well-done, but the difficulty is out of whack. While “beat ‘em up” games are more fun when played with friends, the developers should have upped the difficulty, enemy damage, and number of enemies in relation to player’s party.
Despite its problems, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is a fun title that does its license justice. My criticisms are more nitpicks than deal-breaking flaws, so take the negatives with a grain of salt. The soundtrack is solid and multiplayer is a blast. The art style is fantastic and the game’s shortcomings are overshadowed by its great accomplishments, especially considering the scant $10 investment. I recommend this one as a “Must Download.”