Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The GameESRB:
Platform: Xbox 360
Graphics 8 | Sound 8 | Gameplay 8 | Tilt 10 | Overall 8.5
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a graphic novel series recently turned into a movie and it has now made its arcade debut via Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network. Being more familiar with the movie trailers rather than the novels or the movie itself, I wasn't 100% sure what to expect from the title aside from learning that the game is an arcade style fighter with local multiplayer, and it takes place in Toronto. With that in mind I jumped into the world of Scott Pilgrim to see what the cult following of fans have fallen in love with.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was designed in tribute to the old school arcade style games alongside the likes of Double Dragon, Final Fight and Street Fighter. At first glance you might look at the graphics and not feel impressed because of the chosen stylization of the game, but playing through will reveal a great deal of detail that will often cause a chuckle or the thought of, “That was really cool.”
The arcade style is really well done and has been upgraded to have the graphics a lot smoother in texture and graphics that low a lot better. The playable characters of Scott, Ramona, Kim and Stills all have unique appearances. You are also able to change the colours of the characters’ clothing, and in the case of Ramona her hair colour is changeable as well. The supporting cast of characters includes seven evil ex-boyfriends along with a wide range of enemies such as street thugs, ninjas, dogs and even robots that have the same fine detailing as the major characters.
Scott Pilgrim takes you to the streets of Toronto and those familiar with the city will notice a few recognizable landmarks such as the C.N Tower, Skydome (Rogers Place), and you even get to play through a movie set at Casa Loma. By playing through the levels you definitely get the feel that you are in Toronto with familiar sights like Chip Wagons, TTC Transit and the virtual Entertainment District is very similar to its real counterpart. The in-game currency is easily recognizable with all of the Canadian coins, save the penny, making their way into the game.
The graphics do a great job of creating the charm of Toronto and the old school arcade feeling. Had this game been done in any other graphical format it would have taken away from the artistic value of the title.
The sound effects throughout Scott Pilgrim vs. the World are rich, plentiful and aid in bringing the retro feeling to the overall experience of the game. The typical pow, poof and oomph sounds common in fighters like Scott Pilgrim make their appearance along with others like coins falling to the ground, the TTC bus revving off as it drops off enemies or dogs barking. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast array of sound effects throughout Scott Pilgrim vs. the Word.
The music is really well done and I enjoyed the themed music for certain areas of the game like the Subspace Highways that makes you feel as though you are in the middle of soundless outer-space but at the same time provides simple background music as you move through the highway. Another example of great music is in The Frying Tengu which is a Japanese restaurant full of Ninja's, complimented by a hybrid of techno and a traditional Japanese melody played on a stringed instrument.
Scott Pilgrim is one of those games where it is easy to learn the controls and is quite addictive to the point where you feel like you've been playing for about 10 minutes, but really 2 hours have passed and it is time for you to go off to bed. The controls are typical to a fighter game where you control your movements with the d-pad or analog stick and your kick, punch, jump and special move buttons. The d-pad is the most efficient choice for movement because it is easier to perform your combination attacks. With most fighters combinations of the buttons and the movement will allow you to perform other moves and in the case of Scott Pilgrim you earn a new move for each level 1 through 16.
Each playable character: Scott, Ramona, Kim and Stills all have their own unique set of moves they earn throughout gameplay adding a bit of variety for each character. The controls work really well and you could get by button mashing the whole way through the game, except for when it comes to the boss battles. During these battles you may wonder if they can actually be defeated at times, but if you persevere and use the moves you collect as you level it will be a whole lot easier for you.
Along with each character having his/her own set of moves they all have different endings when you beat the game which makes it encouraging to play through all of the characters to the end. With each character having his/her own unique ending fans of the novels and movies may not be too happy with how the story unfolds, but remember that this game is not a carbon copy of either the novels or movies. The game does take the spirit of Scott Pilgrim and puts it into an amazing arcade fighting game that is truly awesome.
Part of what makes these types of fighters really enjoyable is co-op multiplayer which Scott Pilgrim does have with up to four players. Along with working together through the missions you also compete with each other for the most money gathered and of course you battle for the most enemies knocked out. This brings a bit of a competitive edge, along with the enjoyability that comes from playing with some friends. The downfall in this department is that there is no online multiplayer available. With this extra bit added to the title I am positive I would have lost a lot more sleep playing this game hours upon hours.
Overall though the gameplay experience is quite enjoyable and does offer some replay value with local co-op, unique character endings and combat moves to earn. However, the lack of online multiplayer does take away from the overall experience especially with the technology we have today.
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