Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft ChengduGenre:
Fighting Action Players:
1 (4 Player Co-op)Rated:
T (Teen)Release Date:
August 10, 2010Screenshots: LinkPrice:
Anthony CaraSeptember 3, 2010
- I am going to preface this by saying I LOVE Scott Pilgrim (and have since long before the film). Whether you loved or hated the movie its very existence is clearly a good thing, or this delightful little game would never have been made! Scott Pilgrim VS the World: The Game is both superior to the film on which it is based (in terms of reverent treatment of original subject matter), and also an incredibly well made homage to every 2D sprite based brawler from the nineties.
If you are unfamiliar with the Scott Pilgrim story, it is essentially this: Scott Pilgrim falls in love with a girl named Ramona Flowers, but in order to pursue a relationship with her he must first defeat her seven evil exes. At this point, I would note that the story plays out in a very silly, amazing, and surreal fashion. The world of Scott Pilgrim is basically the normal, real world, but occasionally a fight might break out and the loser may burst into coins. While grabbing a drink at a bar you might happen upon a glowing save point in the corner. Maybe after you discover something important about your true feelings, a flaming sword will pop out of your chest – but again, totally normal world! To put it simply, Scott Pilgrim is like a video game. This is actually pretty funny… because Scott Pilgrim VS the World: the Game actually is a video game, so this whole surreal aspect to the story loses some of its humor. My oversimplification of this story does not do it justice- go buy the books… trust me on this one, they really are amazing.
Whether you are familiar with the Scott Pilgrim universe or not, this game has plenty to offer on its own merits. Ubisoft has expertly crafted one of the most sophisticated and enjoyable 2D brawlers since Castle Crashers! Every ounce of the game’s style oozes nostalgia and there are constant references to beloved classics at every corner. The retro music is absolutely gorgeous and the tracks for certain levels bear striking resemblance to some old favorites. The 8 bit sprites resemble Kunio-kun and his buddies from River City Ransom (as do the shops), the shadowy lair of the Katayanagi twins reminds us of that horrifically painful spike level from Double Dragon 2, and even the way the world map looks is oddly similar to Super Mario World!
The game is pretty easy to get into. You boot it up, choose the difficulty, select a character, choose the first level, and start fighting your way to the boss. Along the way there are numerous things to enjoy such as environmental hazards, countless weapons, shops, hidden passageways, secret shops, and even a really tough extra boss. After you defeat the final evil ex, you enjoy a brief ending scene and then the longest end credits you will ever see! There is also a bit of replay value to be had in some of the secret features. Beating the game with each character will unlock a hidden character, and if you want to earn 100 percent completion for the game, you will have to complete it at least 4 times.
Let’s be honest, the brawler genre is not exactly the most wildly original or entertaining. They quickly become dull and repetitive, and if you are playing alone it can be even more painful. Like Castle Crashers, Scott Pilgrim implements various ways to fight the tedium and it encourages players to really dive into the game again and again. The aforementioned River City Ransom similarity does not end with the visual style. Like the classic NES title, this game offers RPG elements with level gaining and stat growth. As you defeat enemies you gain levels and learn new skills. This happens quite quickly, and most players can reach the level cap toward the end of one play through. Maxing out the stats is simply a matter of buying the right items for the right stats. The money collecting and level gaining gives a sense of accomplishment that may even encourage some light grinding in the beginning just to balance out the difficulty of the game. Once everything is maxed out at 100 however, the game does seem a bit too easy. If you can get some friends to join you, I strongly encourage it- your enjoyment level goes up exponentially with each additional player.
One problem with the game is it can be easily exploited should players choose to do so, and sometimes it can glitch. Enemies can easily become trapped off screen leaving frustrated players stuck in one area and unable to move on until they punch off in the distance at the unseen foe until he perishes. This glitch seems to occur most often in the Chengdu Garden stage. Various other exploits involve an endless juggle by continually striking an enemy bouncing off the edge of the screen, having a friend block all enemies while you pick them off one by one and of course the well known money duplication trick.
A random yet noteworthy aspect of the game is its old school community feel. Unlike most games that have been out for a month, there is no definitive Scott Pilgrim guide. The secrets and tricks are being discussed on message boards and at the time of this review, certain hidden elements remain undiscovered! Without spoiling it for anyone, there is definitely plenty to look forward to in this game! I very rarely fight my way to the end of any brawler and stay interested, but I have already beaten this game twice and I’m well on my way to that final 5 percent completion!
With a price point of just $9.99 I absolutely recommend this game! If you are a Scott Pilgrim fan you will enjoy it much more, and if you just love video games in general this is a great purchase. If you don’t like the genre, then by all means steer clear; however, if you are even slightly curious check out the demo and see what you think!
As a fan of the IP, I want to give this game an 11/10, but as an objective reviewer, I feel it’s certainly worth an 8.5/108.5/
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