In an era where indie games were beginning to really challenge studio games in quality and popularity, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 received Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game. Scott Pilgrim ended up being a beloved indie darling with a cult following that I just somehow missed out on. After four years of being out, the game was delisted due to licensing issues. With the success of the movie and recent resurgence of beat’em ups like Battle Toads and Streets of Rage 4 releasing, it was time to re-release this love-struck adventure to the masses.
If you haven’t played Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game, it is a 2D side-scrolling beat ’em up set in the world of Scott Pilgrim, where you battle through levels set in his hometown of Toronto Canada to fight his girlfriends, Ramona Flowers, Evil Exes. If you have seen the 2010 movie Scott Pilgrim, you pretty much have the plot. After years of being unavailable, Ubisoft has released Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game Complete Edition just in time to start off 2021. Here is my review.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game Complete Edition comes with all of the extra content from the original release including extra game modes like Boss Rush, Dodgeball, which is literally you punch or throwing a giant beach ball at enemies, Survival Mode, and Battle Royale, (not the Fortnite kind) and extra characters like Knives Chau and Wallace.
When you first begin, you choose your character at level 1 and start battling through the levels. As you level up, each character unlocks different types of moves and abilities to use throughout battle, like a jump kick, or back elbow, etc. The more you play and progress your character’s level, the stronger you get and the better the combat feels throughout the game. As you battle through levels like Shopping District, you can visit shops and buy snacks to take on the go to recover health, items to make you stronger, and even find Wallace’s secret shop to buy extra lives. I found the loop of battle, leveling up, fighting a boss, and getting that KO screen when you beat the boss extremely satisfying. Leveling especially was exciting, playing as Stills, for example, meant I got more powerful punches, rolls, and it made fighting beefier thugs so much easier.
As you battle through the game to defeat Ramona’s Evil Exes I really found myself enjoying the fights, environments, combat system, and the visuals of the comic book brought to life version of Scott Pilgrim. I did feel there was an odd spike in difficulty for some levels compared to others. An example is World 2, where the enemies were extremely frustrating to fight early on with my character not highly equipped with an arsenal of moves. In particular, the enemies that were dressed as dinosaurs and robots with lasers. I was eventually able to get through the rough patch and get past it, but even replaying it on hard mode I instantly felt my fun meter dip when I hit that World again. The next paragraph will contain spoilers if you haven’t played, so warning about spoilers for a game that came out ten years ago!
The issue I had was with World 7, which is pretty much the final showdown with Gideon, the final Ex Boyfriend. Going in blind with three lives, at max level, I struggled to get through the initial first two phases of the World. There’s a pathway after the first phase of Gideon that relies heavily on knowing where you are landing or stepping, there are also giant drops of red goo or blood that have splash damage which can also knock you off the platform. Needless to say, that was the next area of struggle to get through, but I did it.
Then I got to Gideon’s next phase, which I thought was the last! Another embarrassing amount of tries, I struggle to get anywhere near taking him down before I put the controller down and take a break. Luckily that was the break I needed, I hit a perfect run for the first phase, got to what I thought was Gideon’s last phase, beat him, and to my dismay and disbelief that wasn’t even it. A there’s still another section and boss battle! If you happen to still have any lives by then do not die because you will have to start over! This World is too long!
Aside from my issues with World 7, being able to hit my stride and get through that entire level really felt incredible and it was nowhere near my frustration with World 2. I would play World 7 over and over again if it meant I never have to play World 2 again. This might sound like I do not like the game but I love this game. I finished the final level, watched the credits, and instantly started a new game with Ramona Flowers on the next highest difficulty. I tried out the Extra Game modes, Dodgeball is fun to try out a couple of times but didn’t really hook me. Battle Royale requires me to have local players to fight in a ring, so I could not try this out, unfortunately. Boss Rush is great! I made it through 9 bosses in ten minutes. The online functionality was limiting on the Nintendo Switch, I tried about ten times to join an online game with no success, but I wasn’t too let down since I was enjoying my time replaying the original levels more than the added modes. I was not expecting to love this game the way I do. I haven’t felt this way since I played Hades in 2020. I am glad that I missed out on Scott Pilgrim the first time around because I don’t know if I would have appreciated it as much then, as I do now. Beat ’em up’s are generally not the type of games I enjoy, however Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game has probably changed my mind. I am motivated to play more games in this genre.