Review: Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game
Publisher:
Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre: Side Scrolling  Beat Em Up
Release Date: Out Now (PS3), August 25th (Xbox 360)

Now, before we start, I want to point out one main factor about this game. It’s a movie tie-in. Don’t turn away in disgust just yet though, because you may be surprised. Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game, or just S.P for short, is a surprisingly enjoyable experience for a tie-in. Fans of retro beat em ups will adore this title. Hit the jump for the full review!

I’m going to be honest. Before this game, I didn’t know what Scott Pilgrim was. I’ve heard people mention it but never bothered to look into it until now. The story is simple but entertaining, even for those who haven’t read the comic books. Scott Pilgrim is a boy. Scott meets Ramona Flowers, a girl. Boy and girl fall in love but there’s a catch. In order to be with Ramona, Scott must defeat her evil exes, all seven of them. So according to this game, you need to defeat people to get with someone. Not the most ideal way to do things but hey, why not? It’s unique.

S.P is a very, very simple game. It’s a side scrolling beat em up, and a very retro one too. The game makes use of some beautiful spriting and an insanely catchy soundtrack. It feels like an old arcade title but modern. The main goal of the game is to make your way through various levels and reach the end of stage boss. Each level is pretty straight forward but kind of unique. With its own hazards and enemies to tackle. I’m going to assume that they’re based on locations from the comic, I’m not really too sure.

When I say S.P is retro, I really mean it. As any good beat em up should be, it is very challenging, even for veterans of the genre. Sometimes hordes of foes can get a bit too much, but fear not! S.P features a level up system, which will allow you  to learn new abilities to help make life easier. Scattered throughout the game are shops, where you can buy health items and upgrades. These can be very pricy so watch your money!  Even with upgrades, the game can be a challenge so don’t worry about difficulty spikes. This game was made to be tough.

The combat is very simple, very simple indeed. You have the normal options of punch, kick and jump, aswell as access to plenty of items. You’ll be using baseball bats, cardboard boxes (solid snake not included) and even swords to fight your way through the levels. As I previously mentioned, you unlock new abilities as you level up, which really comes in handy. The abilities range from grabs and aerial attacks to counters and item boosts. Each character has a special move they can activate, with the cost of some energy. These aren’t exactly powerful but they can get you out of a tight spot.

One thing that made this game complete for me was the amount of video game references included. There are so many and most of them easily recognisable. The map screen just screams Super Mario Bros. 3! You’ll be seeing references from other series such as Megaman, Street Fighter and even Kirby. There’s also a little something in there for the Mario Kart fans. You’ll know it when you see it, trust me. It’s always nice to have some little references, even if it’s something ridiculously stupid. I’m looking at you Speedy the Porcupine.

S.P will have you playing for quite a while. A single playthrough will  take you around 8-10 hours but there’s so much more to do and discover. Hidden shops and passageways are all around, just waiting to be discovered. The hidden shops are home to some very rare items that will help you on your journey. The hidden passageways, called Subspace Areas, are a sort of bonus level. The paths are filled with Super Mario style coin blocks and flying piggy banks just waiting to be cracked open. The game features a co-op mode which allows up to 4 players to tag in as either Ramona, or Scott’s friends Kim and Stephen. The greatest addition, however, has to be the zombie survival mode. Yes that’s right, you get to fight against zombies. How awesome is that? You get to fight waves and waves of zombies until you lose your health. A very fun time waster.

Unfortunately, the co-op mode is local only. Which means no playing online with friends. The game is so good and an online mode would have made it even better. I’m sad to say that it was indeed a missed opportunity. That aside, Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game is a title you should most definitely look into. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the world of Scott Pilgrim or a long time fan, this is a game anyone can have fun with. It really helps show that you don’t need high-definition graphics to make an enjoyable game. I, for one, welcome more games of this genre.

Final Score – 9/10

Possibly one of the best games available online. Lack of online play is disappointing but the game makes up for it with some solid gameplay and fantastic visuals and audio.

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