Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Review — A Little Outdated But Still Fun

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game returns, and while it has flashes of fun, it sometimes struggles to feel up to date, even as a remaster.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game has had a cult following since it released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010, but it was made more evident after the game was pulled from digital store listings back in 2014.

Ever since, fans have clamored for the game to return in some form, and they have gotten their wish with this new remaster, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game — Complete Edition.

While it is generally a fun game, it ultimately feels stuck in 2010.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game Review — A Little Outdated But Still Fun

The bulk of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World lies in its Story Mode, which follows Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers as Scott sets out to defeat Ramona’s seven exes across seven different levels. These levels are set up on a world map in a Super-Mario-like fashion, where completing one level opens the next, and you can return to previous levels whenever you wish. 

Unlike the original release, which only allowed you to pick between four characters, there are six characters to choose from at the beginning in the Complete Edition, bringing the original's DLC characters, Knives Chau and Wallace Wells, alongside Scott, Ramona, Stephen Stills, and Kim Pine. 

The beat ‘em gameplay central to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is pretty simple and familiar. You have your standard light attack and heavy attack buttons.

Enemies drop money that you can use to purchase equipment to boost your stats, as well as food to restore your health and experience points to level up. Equipment, such as the 101 Push-Ups book, gives you a small permanent increase to your strength to help you take out more enemies faster, while the Winifred Hailey record raises your defense to reduce the amount of damage you receive.  

Additionally, each character can be leveled up, maxing out at Level 16, learning a new technique with each level. This leveling system does, however, feel imbalanced, where some techniques should be learned or unlocked earlier in the game when compared to others. 

For example, the Air Recovery skill isn’t available until Level 15, yet having it available sooner would help counteract enemies capable of knocking you into the air repeatedly. 

I eventually warmed up to the system since I felt like I was actually progressing as more attacks and skills unlocked, ultimately allowing for more interesting combos, but a tweak to its pathing would have been nice. 

Though Scott Pilgrim vs. The World can be played as a single-player experience, it feels more suited to co-operative play. 

Some areas are flooded with a massive number of enemies, and if you’re playing solo, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed. It's true for even the standard difficulty, and it's made more apparent when enemies stunlock you before throwing out more devastating attacks. It wasn’t until I purchased a very expensive item that gave me a permanent +50 strength increase that the number of enemies being thrown my way became much more manageable.

Unsurprisingly, online multiplayer with friends is pretty fun — when it actually works.

Up to four people can play in one session, either online or offline, making certain parts of the game easier. Together with your co-op teammates, you can execute moves unavailable during solo play, such as combined attacks, reviving each other when your HP hits zero, and even stealing lives from each other without permission.

However, my group and I ended up having to cut multiple gaming sessions early and restart entire levels because of glitches and game freezes. 

One instance saw me walk out of a shop and — nothing. But the music kept playing. A friend walking out of the same shop was met with a black screen that just stuck there. I also had issues where an NPC would be introduced, only for a cutscene sequence to stall and not progress. My friend, who was in the same group as me, said he didn’t see the NPC’s sprite appear at all! 

Local multiplayer runs as smooth as butter compared to online multiplayer, so it's unfortunate that freezes and glitches compromise an otherwise fun online component

While Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game — Complete Edition may stumble in other areas, it's replayability isn't such an area. 

There are several different difficulty settings, and each character you clear the Story Mode with has a different ending. Additionally, there are extra game modes outside of the Story Mode that include Boss Rush, Survival Horror, Battle Royal, and Dodgeball.

Boss Rush sees you fighting each of the game's bosses until you're defeated. Survival Horror pits you against hordes of zombies, and you must survive as long as you can. Battle Royal is a free-for-all brawl between players until only one is left standing. And Dodgeball is similar in the sense that a ball-like object is placed in the center and players must pick up and throw it at other players to deal damage, with the last one standing the winner.

Up to four players can join, but unfortunately, these extra modes seem to be only available in local co-op.

Another area in which Scott Pilgrim vs. The World shines is with its soundtrack. The music is incredibly catchy and gets you pumped to take down Ramona’s seven exes. The 8-bit art style is also charming but sometimes looks low-res when it’s blown up on the big screen — and some areas, such as the opening credits sequence that displays the publisher's and developer's logos, are low resolution even in Switch's undocked handheld mode. 

Pros

  • Good amount of replayability
  • Charming art style
  • Great soundtrack
  • Online multiplayer and co-op is very fun when it works
  • No noticeable framerate dips or long loading times 

Cons

  • Incredibly inconsistent difficult curve
  • Online play is prone to glitches and timed out disconnections
  • Visuals are sometimes blurry and have low resolution

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game  Complete Edition feels a bit outdated and inconsistent. It’s pretty much the same game as the 2010 release with the DLC included and online functionality added, but it doesn't take the chance to add to the overall experience or make the most of newer hardware.

Despite having to grind stages for money to buy stat-boosting equipment, a single-player mode that's more suited to multiplayer, and a number of irritating glitches, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is fun to play in short bursts and a nostalgia trip for all of those fans anxiously awaiting its return. 

[Note: Ubisoft provided the copy of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game — Complete Edition used for this review.]

Our Rating
6
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game returns, and while it has flashes of fun, it sometimes struggles to feel up to date, even as a remaster.
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Contributor

Published Jan. 13th 2021

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