10 years ago there was this cultural phenomenon starring Scott Pilgrim in his battle against his current girlfriend’s 7 evil exes. Licensing and digital platforms can be a tough scene and Scott Pilgrim vs The World the Game, the tie-in to the film, and the comic series were lost just 4 years later. IT’S BACK BABY AND WE DEEPLY IN THE L WORD WITH IT.
As mentioned in the intro, Scott Pilgrim vs The World follows the story of the Comic/Movie, to the point it expects you to be familiar with it as there are no cutscenes and nothing to explain what exactly is going on. Fortunately for fans, you’re treated to an interesting way of telling the tale, certain iconic events happen and even smaller bits you wouldn’t expect like Wallace stealing Stacey’s boyfriend during the Matthew Patel fight!.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World uses a pixel art style with bucket loads of charm and detail. The world is brimming with personality and at the time of its release was a real trendsetter, since it’s been copied with titles like AVGN, River City Girls, and many many other indie titles but Scott Pilgrim manages to remain top of its class with its 16bit charm infused with all the blast processing in the world.
So you can’t talk about Scott Pilgrim vs The World without talking about the soundtrack, created by Chiptune legends Anamanaguchi anyone who’s played or been around the game before will instantly fall back in love the second iconic “Another Winter” hits. The fact the soundtrack still slaps as hard as it does, 10 years on is testament to just how well made it is, I don’t usually have Chiptune on my commuting playlist but the soundtrack is now the staple point of the journey.
So it looks and sounds amazing but does the gameplay hold up, it does but the legendary status of the game may hold it back somewhat. Scott Pilgrim vs The World is essentially a hybrid of River City Ransom and Double Dragon, it has the RPG lite elements of River and the stage progression and lives system of a Double Dragon game.
The game is set across 7 worlds which set up the battles between Scott and the League of Exes, starting naturally with Matthew Patel and ending with Gideon himself. Following standard Beat Em Up conventions, you’ll walk to the right of these stages, fighting a bunch of nameless goons, collecting change from them, and wielding everything as a weapon, all in the name of love!.
The game has a leveling system that has various stats tied to it as well as moves, what this means is the first few levels start off quite slow and limited in how you approach the combat. Once you’ve progressed a bit and built up some coins for the better items you’ll find you’re having a much smoother and more fun time, juggling foes and not spending so much time dying!.
The game also contains all the DLC that originally released which means Knives and Wallace also join the playable cast of characters as well as additional play modes such as Dodgeball and a Zombie attack mode.
The game shouldn’t take too long to see the end of its 7 stages once you level up a bit and deal with the difficulty, there is an unlockable character you get for completing the game with everyone and the additional DLC should see you more than get your money worth out of the playtime.
The multiplayer in the game is fantastic on couch co-op as this has always been the heart and soul of the genre, online is available too but as of writing this review, it has been a rather clunky affair involving crashing and bouts of crippling lag.
The gameplay is tight and the presentation has skyrocketed Scott into the hall of fame of beat em ups. Wonky pacing aside, Scott Pilgrim vs The World still manages to be one of the essentials of the genre where its charm has only recently been matched with River City Girls. It is beyond great to see this title finally available again and I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who enjoys brawlers or retro games in general.
Still one of the very best beat em ups, released at a steal of a price. We are totally in L Word with this one.