Developed and published by Ubisoft, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition is a remastered version of the fondly remembered beat ‘em up from the PS3 and Xbox 360 era. As a big fan of the film adaptation of creator Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel, I’ve always wanted to play through this game. Unfortunately, thanks to the game being delisted from digital stores in 2014, I never got my chance. However, thanks to a host of dedicated fans, Ubisoft has brought the game back to be enjoyed yet again and it still holds up pretty nicely.
The story follows Sex Bob-omb bassist Scott Pilgrim as he meets and falls in love with Ramona Flowers. However, in order to be with Ramona, Scott must first defeat her seven evil exes. That’s pretty much the premise, but this is mostly told in a single scene at the start of the game. The plot acts as more of a backdrop for the various levels you’ll play through, in addition to providing a reason to fight and defeat the enemies in your path.
When starting up, you’re given a selection of characters to choose from. Each character has their own health bar, guts bar, and signature moves. From the get-go, you’ll face groups of enemies and these can be quite challenging, even right at the start of the game. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World can actually be a little unforgiving at times, which might be a little off-putting for some players. Throughout the game, you’ll be faced with enemies who both hit you with cheap shots and then there are others who are absolute damage sponges. Then there’s the matter of how slowly your character moves during the earlier levels. Despite all of this, the game is still a blast to play and actually becomes much more enjoyable as you level up and increase your stats. New manoeuvres also unlock at each level, save for one or two, keeping the combat quite interesting.
Speaking of stats, these can be increased by purchasing items found in the many, and sometimes hidden, shops throughout the game. Each and every enemy you defeat drops coins, which can then be used to buy items that make you stronger. The only caveat is that you don’t know which items boost which stat until you’ve actually purchased them, making it a bit of a gamble, especially when it comes to some of the pricier items.
Scott Pilgrim allows you to increase your stats to either hit harder, take more damage or move faster. Increasing them substantially can turn your character into a powerhouse, capable of dealing with enemies much more efficiently. Before it gets to this point though, it can be quite a challenging grind just to get past a section in a level, but can be so rewarding when you emerge victorious.
The game also features co-op, both local and online, for up to four players. While it can become a little chaotic with all four players on screen, this is possibly the best way to experience what the game has to throw at you.
What’s new in the Complete Edition, you might ask? Well, aside from the main game and the original roster of characters, you gain access to the Wallace Wells and Knives Chau DLC, which allows you to play as them and access their respective moves.
Visually, the game looks great and runs at a smooth 60fps. It has a 16-bit aesthetic while also doing an incredible job of depicting the art style of creator, Bryan Lee O’Malley. You’ll visit a host of different levels and also fight a range of different enemy types.
The audio is pretty great too! The game’s soundtrack is composed and performed by Anamanaguchi and delivers some incredibly catchy tracks that complement both the flow of the combat, in addition to the overall visual style. The sound is also so retro and is quite reminiscent of the music heard in games from the 8-bit and 16-bit era.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition is great. While it does have some shortcomings such as the punishing difficulty and the gamble when it comes to buying stat-boosting items, it’s such a rewarding and enjoyable experience when everything clicks. It also looks and sounds great thanks to the use of colour and the super-catchy Anamanaguchi soundtrack, respectively. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition is a bit of a love letter to the beat ‘em ups of old and worth picking up if you’re been feeling a little starved of the genre.
The Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition, which includes Knives Chau and Wallace Wells downloadable content, is available to download on PlayStation 4, the Xbox One family of devices, Nintendo Switch, Stadia, Windows PC and UPLAY+, the Ubisoft subscription service.*
This review is based on the PlayStation version of the game which can be purchased here for £11.99
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