Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition still rocks years later with little change to what made it great in the first place.
I never got to experience Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game when it released back in 2010, but I was fully aware of its devout following. Many of you will remember the game was delisted back in 2014. Combine that with the lack of a physical version at the time and I was worried that I was never going to be able to play what people consider one of the greatest indie-feel experiences. Of course, the elephant in the room is does this beloved darling still holds up over ten years later? For me, the answer is more or less a yes. Based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition is a side-scrolling brawler where you and up to four players can team up to take down Ramona Flower’s league of evil ex’s.
From the moment you select your character, Scott Pilgrim presents you with charming pixel art and animations. But this expands past just the characters and is implemented into the levels themselves. From a colorfully lit shopping district to a television studio set there are several diverse locations. And Anamanaguchi’s wonderful soundtrack perfectly characterizes the entire package.
Whether it’s Scott, NPCs, or the enemies that you’re beating to a pulp, each character is filled with a personality that is completely unique. This, of course, extends to the combat. Some enemies will be ruthlessly aggressive. Others, meanwhile, take a more careful approach, attempting to bait out your attacks before throwing a counterblow.
Combat is engaging. It feels like a traditional 2D fighter where executing the right move could lead you to a lengthy combo. On the other hand, missing blow leads to the game punishing you swiftly. Despite that, movement can be clunky at times, causing characters not to act accordingly to your commands. As your character levels up they naturally gain a new ability. This evolves them like a fighter in a fighting game who is getting the missing parts to their kit. It’s unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Leveling up doesn’t boost any stats, but it still feels like I became stronger by increasing the number of ways I could approach enemies in combat.
With this being my first time experiencing Scott Pilgrim I did not realize how challenging it can be. While there are only seven main levels throughout, I found myself getting through the first two with relative ease. Then I hit a massive difficulty wall causing me to grind both experience and money to level up and buy the correct items to make my character stronger. I say correct items specifically because the shops are frustrating to deal with. Stores sell food to restore health and accessories to increases a character’s stats. However, you don’t know exactly what each item does until after you buy it, making every new purchase a leap of faith.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition has seven playable characters all with their own move set bringing plenty of replayability. The game isn’t necessarily long. That said, due to how the shop is designed and the polarizing increase in difficulty, it becomes much longer than it really needs to be.
The most fun way, and what could be considered the best way, to play Scott Pilgrim is in co-op mode. Either in online or couch gaming fashion, co-op feels like the way Scott Pilgrim was meant to be played. It feels more balanced in difficulty and more joyous with having friends fight beside you, removing most of the issues that playing solo presents you with.
Outside of the main story, there are different game modes to explore. Sadly, these are a relatively mixed bag. Battle Royal is your traditional versus mode. For me, the most fun modes are Boss Rush and Survivor Horror, which is comparable to a horde mode. Dodge Ball, on the other hand, is boring and near pointless when thinking about everything else Scott Pilgrim has to offer.
I had high expectations for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition and, even with my grievances, I can see why it is so beloved all these years later. It imbues the heart and character of the Scott Pilgrim IP with plenty of content for both new and returning players to enjoy. The big difference this time is that Scott Pilgrim is here to stay thanks to the “Power of Love.”