The beat’em up genre bears a litany in its legacy of esteemed titles that have paved the way for some interesting gaming experiences, throughout the years. With remasters and reboots striving to reclaim their spot at the top of the brawler category, there has been one glaring omission due to technicalities and loopholes. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game bursted onto the scene in early 2010, launching alongside the comic’s live action film adaptation, for both PlayStation 3 and XBOX360. The title garnered global acclaim from critics, due to its similarities drawn from established fighters such as Final Fight, River City Ransom and Streets of Rage. The serialised comic book franchise was a juggernaut, with Scott Pilgrim & The Infinite Sadness ranked as Publishers Weekly’s #1 Comic book of 2006.
Series creator Bryan O’Malley was awarded multiple accolades, most notably “Best Emerging Talent” for the first volume of the Scott Pilgrim comic, along with Best New Talent, Best Cartoonist and Best Graphic Album of Original Work by the Harvey Awards. With the comic wrapping in July of 2010, and the Edgar Wright adaptation coming in a month later, Australian Video game animator Paul Robertson was contacted by Ubisoft Montreal in hopes of designing the video games’ artwork, after his work on 5th Cell’s Drawn to Life series for the NintendoDS. Both O’Malley and Wright had a hand in the video game, also appointing Anamanaguchi in composing it’s extraordinary soundtrack. O’Malley himself illustrated a storyboard construct of the campaigns streamlined narrative that was loosely based on the entire comic series, all which Robertson adapted with his team of six.
Not so long ago...
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition entails everything you know and love about the original release, but also includes all the DLC you may have missed when it was readily available on the PlayStation Network and XBOX Live Store before it was delisted in 2014. Beginning the game, you have a choice of three difficulty settings “Average Joe” (Easy), “Rough & Tough” (Medium), and “Supreme Master” (Hard). Upon choosing which you prefer, a callback to Super Mario Bros. 2’s character select screen appears with your choice of one-in-six characters to portray; Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Kim Pine, Steven Stills, along with Knives Chau and Wallace Wells – both who were originally DLC unlockables, now included here. Upon selecting your character, we’re immediately taken to a fictional map of Toronto, Canada; Scott’s hometown.
After years of begging developers, publishers, outlets and artists, we finally have it in our hands once again. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game - Complete Edition is essential gaming.
The map is constructed similarly to Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, with warp pipes and indicators leading you on your path in obliterating Ramona’s Seven Evil Exes. Respective abilities and fighting techniques are given to each character from base manoeuvres to specials. You may unlock more styles to add to your existing repertoire after earning enough XP. Utilising Baseball bats, trash cans, Stop signs and any foreign objects that may be laying within the vicinity come with their advantages. Defeating swarms of baddies will allow Scott to pick-up any loose change they drop, counting towards your piggy bank to use in shops that you may pass by in certain levels. You may either boost stats, which in turn earn you more abilities and replenish health. A floating character icon will add an extra life (1-UP) to your try count.
Heart Points and Gut points are used for an assist from Knives, or Mr. Chau respectively. Subspace, an alternate universe from the real world acts as a Bonus area, allowing the player to collect more coins, engage in friendly combat, and revive fallen friends during co-op play. You can share your health or money within the Subspace area, allowing you to prolong your overall groups lifespan. The Subspace in narrative hearkens to Super Mario Bros. 2 Subcon world, otherwise known as Muu or The World of Dreams. The world within the comics and film adaptation is used for quick transportation. Subspace can be found hidden behind marked doors which lead to either the next level, or chapter within the game. Keeping the old school spirit alive, cheat codes are also available to more-or-less toy with, including “Sound Test”, “Boss Rush” (which acts more like an endurance mode) and a Survival Horror Mode.
✔️Pays homage to the golden age of gaming.
✔️An astounding beat’em up with an established legacy.
✔️Anamanaguchi’s soundtrack is phenomenal.
✔️An alluring aesthetic, rich in old school flavour.
❌No new content other than the inclusion of DLC.
❌It may pack a punch, but it’s quite short.
From the first fist thrown and last kick leftover, players unequivocally have praised chiptune artists Anamanaguchi, for their astonishing work in compiling one of Video Gaming’s most esteemed soundtrack’s to date. From heavy hitting tones that initiate the Frozen Suburb’s astounding melody, Another Winter has placed itself within gaming’s most notable opening themes, delivering an – at the time – unique take on the 16-bit overture with heavy rock inspiration, expeditious tempo and intensity. There are tracks that contrast the overall feel of confrontation, with subtle nuances of relaxation with Subspace, and intimacy between Scott and Ramona. An exceptional amalgamation between sight and sound makes for a hall of fame worthy demonstration in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World’s experience.
While 8-bit and 16-bit brawlers, and indie titles are nothing out of norm these days, Scott Pilgrim’s 2010 release certainly helped resolve this realisation that there was purpose behind the title’s simplicity; even sparking a renaissance for many independent title’s that adorned the aesthetic. It was revolutionary for the gaming space which had been oversaturated, and privileged with some of the greatest in cinematic demonstrations such as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which had released only a few months prior. Scott Pilgrim reminded gamers that scaling back, and experiencing something simple can certainly present meaningful adventures within gaming. The title’s popularity had skyrocketed due to the particularly rare, and uncommon theme of successful video game adaptation from excellent source material. The live action movie of course heightened expectation.
A mastery in design had to fit Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’s overall delivery, with the comic itself having a reputation in streamlined and sleek environments. Understanding the franchise’s prolific statement in the gaming world, it needed to respect its boundaries, and take into account what really matters to gamers, yet include some of gaming’s greatest facets and callbacks. A plethora of Easter Eggs are littered within the game such as Question blocks (Which are $ blocks here), Castle’s crumbling from Super Mario World, Kirby’s Warp Star, and Mega Man’s beam of light all make appearances and these are only a few examples of the Ubisoft’s appreciation to gaming of yesteryear.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Complete Edition is beat’em up, brawling perfection. It’s the one glaring oversight of the past generation. A title that should have been readily available, a lot sooner than seven years later. None-the-less, it’s the ultimate experience for people who love a mindless button masher, with incredible visuals and a monumental muster of excellent melodies. A true love letter to the golden age of gaming, wrapped into one compact, yet compelling campaign. Lovers of the film, should definitely play this. Collector’s of the comic, should most definitely play this. Those that may have owned the title on PlayStation 3, should undoubtedly repurchase it and experience it like never before. After years of begging developers, publishers, outlets and artists, we finally have it in our hands once again. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition is essential gaming.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game is a side-scrolling beat ’em up game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Chengdu and published by Ubisoft, based on the Scott Pilgrim series of Oni Press graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley.