System: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Amazon Luna, and Stadia. Publisher: Ubisoft. Developer: Ubisoft. Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch. Re-Released : January 14th 2021.
"Scott Pilgrim is dating a high schooler" Scott Pilgrim began its life as a graphic novel series written by Canadian author and artist, Bryan Lee O'Malley, that ran over six volumes between August 2004 and July 2010. The story centers around the titular Scott Pilgrim, a bass player from Toronto, Canada who falls in love with Romana Flowers and has to defeat her seven evil exes to date her. The series is known for its meta humour, video game asthetic and its love of everything Canadian. The graphic novel series was adapted into a motion picture that was released in August of 2010, starring Michael Cera and directed by Edgar Wright that also garnered critical success as a faithful adaptation of the source material including stellar comic book inspired scenes and incredible, catchy musical performances. At the same time as the release of the final sixth volume and the release of the movie, in August of 2010, the world was introduced to Scott Pilgrim vs the World: The Game which was released digitally on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to mostly positive reviews as a "fun, arcade style side scrolling beat em up" akin to Street Fighter and heavily inspired by the NES title, River City Ransom. The game prospered for four years until December of 2014, when the game was delisted from the PS Store and Microsoft store for what appears to be licencing reasons but to date, there has never been an official reason given. Then, in September 2020, after multiple fan requests and even the author Bryan Lee O'Malley himself publicly showing support, Ubisoft announced Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game – Complete Edition, a remaster of the original game including both DLC packs' contents, for a January 14, 2021 release on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Amazon Luna, and Stadia.
"He punched the highlights out of her hair!" The game loosely follows the story of the graphic novels and the motion picture in that you, the player, and up to 3 friends, have to defeat Roman Flowers seven exes. There are 7 levels in the game, each one containing 2 sections and a boss battle at the end. The player(s) must reach the end of each level and defeat the boss in order to pass that level and can choose from Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Kim Pine or Stephen Stills (or also unlockable character Nega Scott and downloadable characters Knives Chau and Wallace Wells). Gameplay is heavily influenced by side scrolling beat em ups like Street Fighter, Double Dragon and again as mentioned previously, River City Ransom in which the player(s) fight bad guys in each stage of a level, before being able to progress through to fight the next section of bad guys using a variety of moves and environmental weapons found within the stages all leading to the final boss battle. Upon defeating each bad guy littered throughout the stage, each enemy will drop coins, based on Canadian currency and the amount given is dependent on the type of bad guy beaten. This currency can then be accumulated and used on a number of items found in the various stores in each level to increase your characters stats.
"You once were a ve-gone, but now you will be gone" Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game also includes minor RPG elements in the form of stats, which are broken up into four sections. Strength, which is for your attack power, WP, which is your Will Power and basically is your magic meter, Defense, which reduces your incoming damage and increases your health meter and finally Speed which increases the speed of your attacks and how quickly you recover. Buying items to increase stats can change how quickly you can defeat enemies and progress through the more difficult sections of each level, depending on how you play, and which stat you focus on. Stats can be upgraded by purchasing items from the various shops littered around each stage that give you certain boosts. "To go" Items can also be purchased via these shops like food items that boost health when needed most. These are fully up to the player to decide when to upgrade and what stat to focus on depending on areas you are struggling on, and need a bit of an edge. For instance, raising your power to 100 will see you defeat most enemies with a quick 1-2 combo and help progress through the level quicker.
Each character can reach a max of level of 16, and each stat can be maxed out at 100.
"Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it." Personally, as a fan of the graphic novels and the movie, this game is incredible. It's faithful to the source material and its influences that it's a perfect fit in the series of Scott Pilgrim. The music alone will keep you coming back as its retro vibe along with its 16 bit sound are a pleasure for the ear and not only makes every level feel alive, but keep you amped, even in times of frustration. As you play through, you will discover hundreds of subtle nuances that keep you coming back for more from the way certain crowd characters react, Easter eggs and even just to admire the set design of each level. Many movie/comic book games miss the mark completely but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game hits the nail perfectly in the face. The gameplay is an aspect that did not need to be linked to the movie or novel series as it is something not explored in too greater detail in either of the previous mediums but due to the retro game style feel as a side scrolling beat 'em up, this plays exactly how you would imagine a game based on Scott Pilgrim would play as, and it ups the enjoyment because of that. Gameplay is challenging and only becomes harder, forcing you to really watch your stats and grind certain areas to unlock new moves and stats to then be prepared to tackle the harder stages but this just means once you defeat an Ex to end the level, it is so satisfying that you yourself will be punching the air in celebration.
"Bread makes you fat?!?" All in all, I would give this game a solid 9/10. My only issues are certain areas can become very repetitive and if you max out your characters, most stages become cake walks. The plus however, is once you max out a character, you can choose another character to play as and then start fresh as you level that character up all over again, adding a certain amount of replay value. If this game had seven evil exes I had to defeat before playing this, I'd strap on my converse and kick some ass as it's well worth the effort. But luckily, you don't need to as this is available now via Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Amazon Luna, and Stadia.
I also highly recommend checking out the graphic novel series and the movie first to fully appreciate all the references and call backs and just because they are awesome too.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to providing more content via Sky Punk Media in the future! But for now, Aaron out!