One of the biggest fears that fans have is when video game adaptations of popular comics or movies are announced. When Ubisoft first released Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game based on the highly popular comic and (now) cult hit movie, it was received with critical acclaim. It nailed the aesthetics and delivered a highly fun beat ’em up experience with co-op. Now, almost a decade later Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition has been released for modern consoles, featuring all the DLCs and content. Does it still manage to hold up? let’s find out.
AT A GLANCE
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4(Reviewed), Xbox One, Stadia, Amazon Luna
Release Date: January 14, 2021
Final Score: 9/10
For those who do not remember what Scott Pilgrim was about, it was a reinterpretation of the 2010 film, based in turn on the Bryan Lee O’Malley comic. In the game, you played as Scott Pilgrim, who had to face the seven evil exes of his new girlfriend Ramona Flowers.
The game is split into classical beat ’em up stages, from a sidescrolling perspective. You move around using your joystick or D-pad and beat up any sucker that comes your way. Defeating enemies yields coins that can be used to buy stuff from the store that affects your attack, HP, etc. You also earn XP by defeating enemies, which in turn unlocks new moves.
Despite the linearity in the levels, there’s a surprisingly large amount of interactivity possible. Almost anything can be used to smash bad guys, from garbage cans to snow balls. There are also hidden levels that you can run into if you are particularly aware of your environments.
Combat is well executed in the game, from hitting an enemy on the ground to grabbing them and throwing them at a group to just dishing out punches, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game feels fun. There is a bit of variety to the moves that you unlock over time, and different enemies use different tactics, so you will have to adjust your moves in order to counter them.
What doesn’t feel fun is that you will need to grind a fair bit, especially if you are playing alone in order to comfortably clear the later stages in the game. Sure beating up enemies never gets boring, so you won’t mind the extra excuse to go back and throw some punches, but constantly having to go through the same stages over and over again just because an enemy turned out to be too much of a damage sponge can get quite tiresome. The grind becomes even more apparent when switching characters, as the XP is not shared, effectively requiring you to go through the same process of grinding out levels if you wanted to enjoy playing the game with another character.
There are also 0 tutorials in game, and it can get confusing for a newcomer to execute some of the more complex moves. Especially since some of the more basic movesets are also locked between levels early on. Controlling Scott early on felt a bit sluggish as a result, but once I had unlocked some moves, it quickly changed the gameplay drastically.
Higher difficulty levels are handled well in this game, as the enemies start reacting more aggressively and intelligently instead of just having more HP. This results in more intense sessions, where you might have to change your tactics in order to overcome a rather tricky enemy. Of course, you still have to grind, and the higher difficulties might end up causing you to grind even more, but the main fun of the game comes from being able to overcome these satisfying fights and for that reason I recommend going with at least the middle of the difficulty scale.
Difficulty is however not scaled based on how many players there are on your team, so co-op can save you quite a bit of hassle. Solo players can still enjoy and do all of the content available, but it’s a much harder journey to the finish line without a bit of teamwork.
Despite being based on the movie and comic books, and even featuring the evil exes as bosses, there is no narrative to be found here. This is a bit disappointing, as I feel a bit of story could have really helped in moving things forward. Instead the game completely relies on its addictive gameplay loop to keep you hooked.
Scott Pilgrim: The Game’s charm also lies in its cutesy and charming pixel visuals as well as the excellent soundtrack that accompanies you on your rampages. The game environments are brightly colored and well detailed, and has an unique charm to it that helps in bringing the world of Scott alive.
As the name implies Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Editions brings all DLC and updates released for the game. This includes bonus Scott Pilgrim characters and an online multiplayer mode.