Greetings mortals. I am DracoJames102 and I am here to give you a review.

In the late 2000s, a Canadian cartoonist named Bryan Lee O’Malley published a series of graphic novels called ‘Scott Pilgrim VS. The World.’ These novels followed the story of a 23 year old boy living in Toronto called Scott Pilgrim, who is in a relationship with a girl called Ramona Flowers. But in order to keep dating her, Scott must fight and defeat the league of evil exes, which was formed by Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends who were determined on sticking a knife in Scott and Ramona’s relationship. In my opinion, the comics are really good. They managed to tell a decent story with likable characters, great artwork, awesome fight scenes and a moral about letting go of self-obsession over somebody.

These graphic novels were so popular they spawned a big blockbuster movie and a video game adaptation that was released for the Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network, both of which were released in 2010. For this review I am going to look at the video game adaptation of this oh-so-popular graphic novel series. Will it be a faithful adaptation or will it be added to the stinking pile of garbage where the movie licensed video games lie? This is my review of ‘Scott Pilgrim VS. The World:The Game.’

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‘Scott Pilgrim VS. The World:The Game” was developed and published by ‘Ubisoft’. The game does follow the story of the original graphic novels, but very loosely. In fact, the only bits of story we get in the game are the opening title animation and the short animations that play when you complete a level. Other than that, that’s pretty much it. Although it does not give us much story development, it is still pretty faithful to the original material, which I appreciate.

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‘Scott Pilgrim VS. The World:The Game’s gameplay style is a 2D side-scrolling beat’em up game. You start off with four playable characters. You can play the game with up to four players. You can play as either Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Stephen Stills (the leader of Scott’s band, Sex Bob-Bomb) or Kim Pines (Sex Bob-Bombs drummer).

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You go around the level beating up the countless amount of enemies that want you dead for some reason. They may be part of the league of evil exes, but it is never really established. You use the square button (this is for the PS3 version, I don’t own an Xbox 360 but I’m sure the control layout is the same) to use a basic attack, triangle button to use a heavy attack, circle button to block and the ‘X’ button to jump. You can use either the D-Pad or the left analogue stick to move around the level. If you double tap them, you can also run and you can also deal an attack while you are running. I prefer using the D-Pad as I feel it is more comfortable when playing 2D games. The ‘L1’ button lets you use a special attack which costs guts points to use. You can press the ‘R1’ button to summon Knives Chau (Scott’s ex-girlfriend and seriously, who names their child Knives? Are you asking her to become a serial killer?) as an assist character to help you. Her effect depends on which character you are playing as. Along the way, you can pick up weapons or projectiles by pressing the square button when you are right next to them and you can use them to beat up your foes using the square button or throwing the item at them using the triangle button. In the left corner of the screen you have a life counter, a health counter and a gut point counter. You start off with three lifes and 100 health and gut points. You can use your gut points to perform special attacks or if you lose all of your health, half of your gut points will restore some of your health. The amount of health is restored by half of the gut points given up to restore the health. If you lose all of your health and your gut points, you lose a life and if you lose all of your lifes, you go back to the over-world map where you can choose which level you want to go to.

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The controls are pretty simple and easy to pick up. The only problem is when you first start playing, you will start off very slow and weak. You won’t be able to hit enemies very hard and the speed is not too slow but still pretty sluggish. This is because ‘Scott Pilgrim VS. The World’ also has some RPG (role-playing game) elements thrown into it. You have four categories determining your overall stats. You have a strength category, a defence category, a weapon skill category and a speed category. Along the level, you can encounter shops that can sell you food and either items that can either heal your health and gut points or increase your stats by a little amount. To buy the items, you need money. How do you get money? It’s simple. Every enemy you kill will explode into coins. Imagine if real life was like that. Everybody killing their family and friends all for the sake of being a rich scumbag. If that was the case, I’d be just as rich and tyrannical as Rupert Murdoch. Anyway back to the RPG discussion, you can also gain experience points by defeating your enemies. When you gain enough experience points, you level up and learn a new technique such as countering your enemies’ attacks, double jumping, throwing your enemies or learning one of two special moves each character has. You get the other special move by buying it in a secret shop in Level 6. It does take a while to grind experience points and coins to properly level up and increase your stats, but the gameplay does get better the more you level up. But if you don’t feel like wasting your time and in-game money increasing your stats bit by bit, there are two secret shops in the first level that can increase your stats tremendously. The first shop is run by Scott’s cool gay roommate, Wallace Wells, who can sell you items that give you extra lifes, items that give you a ridiculously high amount of stat increase and food that will not only instantly revive you with no cost to your gut points, but will also give you a ton of experience. They are pretty expensive however, but the increase to your stats is well worth it. The other shop in the first level is the video rental shop where if you pay off Scott’s late fees of $504.25 (a nice little reference to the comics), the items are not only just as good as Wallace’s items, but they are very cheap. So save up your imaginary coins and visit those places if you can.

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The game has some other pretty cool secrets and unlockables which add some re-playability to the game. Each level can have a secret pathway called the Subspace Highway which allows you to skip most of the level and give you some free cash. You will notice a Subspace Highway entrance when an object is marked by a star. Once you have completed the game with the four characters you can start off with, you unlock Nega Scott (an evil version of Scott Pilgrim) as a playable character. Mr. Chau (Knives Chau’s father) can be unlocked as an assist character, but his appearance on the world map is random. Whenever you see him on the world map, be sure to go and fight him. But be careful, lose one life to him, the fight will be over and you have to wait for him to reappear on the world map.

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The game also contains a ton of other video game references much like the comic books have. For example, the enemies bursting into coins is a reference to the game ‘River City Ransom’, the third evil exes band is named ‘Clash at Demon-Head’ and some of the items that you can pick up are references to ‘Super Mario Bros. 2 USA’. Even some of the character exits when they have completed a level are references. Kim Pines flies away on a warp star like ‘Kirby’ does and Steven Stills jumps into a warp pipe from ‘Super Mario Bros.’

At the end of each level, you fight one of Ramona’s evil exes. Each battle is very unique in its own right. For example, the first evil exe fights with mystical powers and hot hipster demon chicks, the second evil exe who is an actor fight s using skateboard stunt doubles and the fifth and sixth evil exes fight you with a giant Japanese robot. The boss battles are enjoyable, but if you want to stand a chance against the later bosses, obviously you need to raise your stats more because some of them can be annoying, mainly the third boss battle and the sixth boss battle.

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After trashing the final evil exe Gideon Graves at the Chaos Theatre, the ending depends on which character you completed the game with. Some of the endings are pretty entertaining to watch, mainly Kim Pines’ ending and Nega Scott’s ending, but other endings such as Scott’s ending is a bit lack luster especially since Scott is the main character of the franchise. What do I mean by that? Play the game yourself and find out.

Apart from the main story mode, ‘Scott Pilgrim V.S The World The Game’ has a few extra modes for multiplayer purposes, but I do not really find them that interesting. The first is a dodgeball mode where you have to use a giant beach ball to knock out every opponent in the arena. I don’t like this mode because it can take forever to knock out the opponents especially if the opponents are at maximum level. There is also a battle royale mode where you use your skills to bring your opponents health down to zero or keep them out the ring long enough to win by default. It’s an interesting concept, but I don’t think that it works for a beat’em up game. It’s nowhere near as fun or immersive as other fighting games like ‘Dragonball Z Budokai 3’ or the newly released ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’.

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‘Scott Pilgrim V.S The World: The Game’ also has downloadable content that you can buy at low prices. Shortly after the game was released, Knives Chau was released as a playable character that you can purchase for an extra £3. The most recent downloadable content was Wallace Wells as a playable character along with an online multiplayer feature all for £6. The online multiplayer was good, but Wallace Wells brings nothing new to the game as a playable character. His ending is also completely uninteresting. It does not even have any text explaining what happened after he beat Gideon. Knives’ ending had text in her ending and her ending is probably my favourite ending in the game simply because she looked cute and the expression on Scott’s face when he sees what’s going on around him is just priceless to me. I won’t spoil the ending for you so again, play and find out the ending.

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The graphics of the game are retro. It goes for classic 16-bit aesthetics much like the days of the ‘Super Nintendo Entertainment System’ and the ‘Sega Mega-Drive’. Everything still stands out from one another and the game is nice and colourful and the character sprites are spot on from the comic books.

Musically speaking, the game contains an awesome soundtrack. It definitely sounds like a classic 16-bit game, but the music is still really catchy and they fit each setting pretty nicely.

Control-wise, I like it but I have my problems. The controls are smooth for the most part, but some aspects of them are inconsistent. For example, they work pretty smoothly when I am on the ground, but I jump up in the air, I cannot influence my direction in mid-air. You can slow your speed down when you use your double jump in the opposite direction but it is still really stiff. Another problem I have is that each character, with the exception of Ramona, share the exact same fighting style as each other with some differences. Scott and Nega-Scott have the same fighting style, Kim and Knives share the same style and Steven and Wallace share the same style. This comes off as pretty lazy to me as I feel that every character should have their own fighting style so that each of them are unique and suit each different gamer’s satisfaction need it be a power character, a speedy character or an all-rounded character.

So overall, I feel that ‘Scott Pilgrim V.S The World: The Game’ was a very faithful adaptation to the source material. It manages to capture the essence of the original comic book and creates a well executed game that both the fans and the casual crowd can enjoy. I may have some problems with it, but I can still recommend this game to you. Heck if you like the game enough, watch the movie or read the comic books. You will not regret it. ‘Scott Pilgrim V.S The World: The Game’ is definitely a good solid beat’em up game.

Final rating: 7/10

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