Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

As a modern brawler in retro garb, Scott Pilgrim does suffer from a few of the beat-em-up genre's more notorious pratfalls

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Ubisoft Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Ubisoft Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Ubisoft Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Ubisoft Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Exceptional old-school beat-em-up gameplay, wonderfully detailed pixel-art, stellar soundtrack

Cons

  • Visibility issues are grating, no online co-op, item-based levelling system requires occasional grinding

Bottom Line

Avoiding the typical trappings of a licensed adaptation, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a stellar throwback to the 8- and 16-bit beat-em-up era that inspired both the original comic book and the recent movie.

Would you buy this?

Cast as an old-school beat-em-up in the mould of side-scrolling staples Double Dragon, Final Fight, and River City Ransom, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is, at its core, a love story. A love story between the eponymous Scott and pink-haired delivery girl Ramona Flowers, yes, but more a love story between a bygone era in gaming and the developers and artists that have so thoroughly and thoughtfully crafted this title in its stead. Each treacherous tier in Pilgrim's quest to win Flowers' affection is evocative of the geek culture that so influenced it, references to the classic games that inspired Bryan Lee O'Malley's original pages and Edgar Wright's silver-screen adaptation peppered into every inch of pixel art.

Choosing from Ramona, Scott, or Sex Bob-Omb band mates Kim Pine and Stephen Stills, up to four players will punch posers, headbutt hipsters, and eviscerate evil-exes through the game's seven lively levels, following the fight from Toronto's snow-capped shopping district up to a memorable final confrontation at the stronghold site of the Chaos Theater. The game's co-op brawling is an absolute blast, boasting ample opportunities for team-ups, revives, and delightful character interactions well worth the lost couch acreage. Pixel artist extraordinaire Paul Robertson and his talented team highlight each character and level with enthusiastic detail and fluid animation, and the retro-infused chiptune stylings of Anamanaguchi serve to craft one of the best original game soundtracks in recent memory.

As a modern brawler in retro garb, Scott Pilgrim does suffer from a few of the beat-em-up genre's more notorious pratfalls. Visibility issues, while hardly game-breaking ordeals, offer occasional frustrations in the form of missed punches and wasted special attacks. It's a problem that's plagued games like Scott Pilgrim since the genre has been established, and while standing a few pixels south of a target leading to a fistful of air is grating, it's infrequent enough of an annoyance to really ding the overall experience. The lack of online co-op is also worth noting, as getting three willing friends in the same multiplayer lobby, much less the same room, isn't always the easiest of tasks.

A lobar of love to an arcade genre mainstay, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is a stellar achievement on numerous levels: Not only is it an enjoyable, pitch-perfect retro-inspired experience in its own right, but its somehow escaped the nigh-mandatory shackles other "comic-to-game" and "game-to-movie" titles have so suffered from. As a "comic-to-movie-to-game" of sorts, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a resounding triumph, and well worth its measly $10 price-tag.

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