Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game
Remember when arcades and home consoles were full of wonderful 8-bit and 16-bit beat-em-up games? You’d spin a quarter down into a machine to give life to a character whom died within a few minutes only to spin another one back down for an extra life. That feeling, along with a friend, and usually pizza somewhere else, seems to be lost for the upcoming class of gamers. Scott Pilgrim’s role is to create new nostalgia on old styles of gameplay. With an awesome soundtrack by chip-tune artist, Anamanaguchi, and graphics straight from the Genesis and Super Nintendo golden days, the game is definitely a hit.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Scott’s in a band called Sex Bob-Omb (familiar?) and meets a girl named Ramona. Ramona has a past and requires that Scott beat up her seven evil boyfriends in order for them to date. The thing is that Ramona’s evil boyfriends all have insane powers that make them worthy of video game bosses. Take Todd Ingram, for example. He has the potential of being a sort of Super Saiyan from Dragon Ball Z with incredible strength due to him being a vegan. It’s weird? Yes, and very funny. The series translates really well into the video game universe since part of O’Malley’s series is based on a lot of culture from video games. And if you haven’t seen the movie, give it a shot too. It is almost identical to the books and a very entertaining watch.
As far as story, unless you’ve read the books or watched the movie, you’re really only going to get a glimpse of the background of each character. There’s hardly any story aside from the fact you’re fighting Ramona’s boyfriends and that you love her. That’s just part of the nostalgia factor though. In Double Dragon, aside from you knowing your girlfriend was kidnapped, did you really need to know why the brothers were busting faces of multiple people to get to the bosses?
When you first start up the game, the nostalgia hits you in the face. From the chip-tune music to the Super Mario Bros. 2 spoof character select screen, you know you’re in for a very 16-bit ride. Throughout each level, there’s a lot of secrets to discover. One of the first hidden areas leads you through a graphic glitched stage much like you’d experience if you had a dusty cartridge loaded up in your old consoles. It’s a funny secret and again, nostalgic.
The game supports 4-player co-op, but it’s couch co-op only. There’s no online play, which is truly a bummer and probably the only thing that disappoints. It’s a bit bizarre that it lacks online support, especially in this day and age. This shouldn’t stop anyone from buying the game. The single player is fun just for the gameplay and the music.
You play through seven total levels, each with a boss at the end. Each level represents something related to the boyfriend you’re going to beat up. From the snowy-streets of Toronto to a bar room to a train station, you’re constantly in battle with random foes. Beating up the random enemies throughout each level helps you level up, giving you access to new moves. Coins dropped by enemies also allow you to shop for materials that help further boost your strength or defense. There’s also random weapons are laying about each level to help you get to the bosses for each level too. When you finally reach a level’s boss, prepare to learn weaknesses and use more defenses. The game isn’t overly difficult but doesn’t just hand you a win. Much like any beat-em-up, the true challenges are the bosses and Scott Pilgrim‘s bosses don’t hold back.
The game is only a few hours long, but there’s at least a healthy dose of replay value. Your characters save their stats and skills so you don’t have to worry about unlocking everything each time you come back. The achievements and trophies are challenging too, if you’re into that. And if friends come over, this is an excellent game to play in groups. It’s quick, easy to play, and down-right fun.
Reviewed on PlayStation 3.