Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game is back and is ready for a fight! Will this oldie stand in the hall-of-fame of remasters with the Bluepoint masterpieces or is this another shameless port? Let’s find out!

*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Ubisoft for review purposes*

Release Date January 14, 2021
Genre Fighting, Beat-em-up
Platforms Xbox One, Switch, PS4(reviewed), PC, Stadia
Developer Ubisoft
Price $15.00
ESRB Rating Teen
Players 1-4 Local & Online Play

I have kept all screenshots to some of the early hours to avoid spoilers.

Before I truly plunge into a critical review of the game, I think it is necessary to know a bit about the colorful history of this particular game.

A History

Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is a repacked old game based both on a comic and the film in which that comic was adapted. If that sounds like a complicated scenario for this game to fall into, oh boy it’s really only scratching the surface. This game was first released to coincide with the release of the cult hit film for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 console generation. In a time of cash-in and poor licensed games, this one truly stood out and had its fair share of lovers before it was delisted by Ubisoft (the game’s publisher). Having never had a physical release, the game was now lost to history. Until now that is.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game – Complete edition (I’m going to keep the name dropping to a minimum because wow what a mouthful) is a classic-style co-op beat-em-up game in the realm of Streets of Rage and River City Ransom – very special attention to that last one. It collects the original 2010 game and its character DLC into one package for audiences for the game’s decade anniversary.

The Review

The game collects the comic’s and film’s fan-favorite characters to play as in a lovingly crafted pixel-comic-art-mashup!

To me, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is made up of two parts that seem at near-constant odds with one another: The Gameplay/systems and darn near everything else.

For the sake of this review, I am going to begin with that aforementioned “Everything Else” to give a nice intro into what this game really is and start on a rather positive note.

Everything But Gameplay

The game pays lip-service to many classic video-game histories. Here is a shot of the game’s classical overworld map.

On almost every level it is apparent the love and care that went into the creation of the game. The comics series and film seamlessly blend videogames and other nerdy mediums into itself so it was only natural that the game should build itself on the shoulders of this as well. The game features pixel-perfect art in the style of the original comics. The game follows the general concept and story of its namesake as well! I guess I should give you a small glimpse into the story then huh?

Scott Pilgrim centers around a kid in Toronto, Scott, who finds himself falling in love with the mysterious Ramona Flowers. The only problem is if he wants to continue to date her he must have to fight her seven evil exes to the death! The game then follows Scott (or whatever character you would like to choose) and journey through the comics’ and film’s lovingly crafted locations to ultimately fight the several evil ex bosses.

Every square inch of this game is filled with references not only to the series itself but to numerous beloved video games, film, and comic books. Seeing nods to your favorite fandoms come to life in a wonderfully realized art style almost never got old. There was a particular early boss encounter that first pretended to be a Guitar Hero guitar face-off before one of the characters smashed through the game to smash him with a guitar. This is just one of the nearly unlimited clever references.

Where it carves out its own personality however is not only in that beautiful and original art style but its banger of an OST. The soundtrack in the game is filled with earworms, mellow shop music, and lightning exciting boss tracks that I have found myself humming and even listening to outside of the game itself.

The Seven Evil Exes take the form of some extravagant and referential boss fights.

The Gameplay

The environments are decently varied to have interesting layering such as this bar venue.

Sadly, where this illusion broke for me was when it came to the gameplay itself. Since the original version of this game dropped ten years ago, the video game industry was graced with a beautiful return of the beat-em-up genre complete with a modern update in the forms of the absolutely amazing Streets of Rage 4, River City Girls, and even the criminally underrated Mother Russia Bleeds. These games proved that this archaic genre could be refreshed – sadly Scott Pilgrim didn’t get this modern treatment. The game plays exactly like River City Ransom which came out in 1989. While originally groundbreaking, this loop didn’t age particularly well with SPVTWTG (yes that is truly how long the acronym for this game is) feeling sluggish and frustrating. While it is fun for a few minutes to jump in with some friends, you’d be hard-pressed to find a game that isn’t fun when consumed in such a manner – I thought the Gauntlet remaster was good for this exact reason. Even at its lowest difficulty, however, this game is beyond infuriating to play on your own. Each enemy has the ability to lock you in place if they land a hit, leaving you unable to hit, block, or even move until they stop kicking your ass. While I eventually learned to manage, there wasn’t a time where I was succeeding that felt like I didn’t have to exploit the game in some way.

I understand how such a game would have been a breath of fresh air back in 2010 as licensed games were nearly unheard of and it was novel to play a beat-em-up once more. However, in the modern age, this is no longer the case, and with very minimal effort to update these mechanics or even optimize them (I found multiple game-breaking bugs even within the first couple hours of play), money can simply go to something better at this point. The game’s length doesn’t support this point either with a campaign beatable within four hours.

Echoing that homage to River City Ransom the game comes packed with shops full of references to buy health and buffs.

Conclusion

While the game has much to offer for your eyes and ears, your hands will be sadly disappointed. This was a great experience back in 2010 and I am excited that it is no longer D-listed, but time has not been kind to what ultimately now feels like a clunky experience. If you are a fan of the original game or series I could see this being a good buy, but even for those looking for a co-op jam, they best look elsewhere. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition is far from being a truly bad game, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed and wished I could have used much of the time on the plethora of beautiful indies we have at our disposal today.

Pros Cons
Stellar Music Tired Gameplay
Lovingly Crafted Art Bugs
Fan-service Short Length

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