After its long disappearance fans had almost given up hope. However, to paraphrase Oscar Isaac, somehow Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game has returned! Nope, not the comic. Nope, not the Edgar Wright film! The beloved 2D brawler, a sort of Streets of Rage for hipsters. However a lot has changed since 2010, so how does Scott’s pilgrimage hold up?
Battle of the brands
As soon as the game boots up you’re immediately greeted with incredibly vibrant and cheery pixel art. A brilliant representation of the comics original art style as well as being unbelievably gorgeous in motion with excellent clarity. The diverse range of environments and enemies are a highlight, especially the second stage set on different movie sets.
While your eyes are being dazzled, your ears get the VIP treatment too. The music is sublime, a funky assortment of chip-tunes that just feel terrific to brawl to. Composed by Anamanaguchi it’s a sheer delight that this music is getting a new release.
The Chaos Theatre that is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game
The actual fighting is underwhelming, a functional yet uninspired riff on the classic beat-em-up formula. A truly abysmal levelling system that gate-keeps vital moves is a stunningly bad design decision, leaving a terrible first impression. Getting knocked down is intensely frustrating, your character remaining stuck on the ground interminably. Object physics are bizarre, you can accidentally take damage from the slightest object thrown. Including some of your own!
Many of these issues are solved through unlockable moves but the annoyance of having to obtain them is very off-putting. The variety in playable characters offsets this somewhat, Ramona Flowers being a particular highlight. Smashing goons with a mallet will never grow old.
I Fought the World but the World Won
These concerns are mostly alleviated in the co-op mode. Like all games of the genre, its enjoyment is exponentially increased the more players join in. Co-op allows you to breeze through some of the worst sections whilst sharing the best parts with up to four players. Sadly the online is unreliable so you would be best off playing together in person. Extra modes such as Boss Rush and Dodge Ball are addition multiplayer highlights.
While it’s great to have a title like this preserved and it is still an exemplary example of a good film tie-in, Scott Pilgrim doesn’t really stand on its own as an entry in this genre. Indeed this rerelease is like meeting an old ex, despite some fond memories you realise just how little you really had in common after all.