Normally I try to avoid resurrecting things I love; they are never quite as good as you remember them, plus the moaning and biting is pretty off-putting. However, Scott Pilgrim is most definitely the exception to this rule.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game is a classic side-scrolling beat-em-up that feels very familiar to most 90s gamers.
Chock full of gaming references, Scott Pilgrim is a love letter to arcade beat-em-ups like River City Rampage, Streets of Rage and Final Fight. But don’t let the retro setting and style fool you, this is a brilliant game in its own right.
Originally released as a download-only title on the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2010, the game was delisted on all digital stores in 2014… until now. Fans have begged Ubisoft to resolve whatever licencing issues were preventing it from coming to modern platforms and finally, it’s happened. After years of waiting patiently, fans can now get their hands on a re-release of the iconic adventure.
The game is loosely based on the comics by Bryan Lee O’Malley (which later became a cult film) in which geeky, slacker Scott Pilgrim from the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada has to fight and defeat the seven evil exes of his love Ramona Flowers. While the plot is simple, it’s also very reminiscent of early video game tropes which normally involved rescuing a girlfriend or princess from evil.
The comic-inspired pixel art has never looked better. Due to the 2D 8-bit art style, the game has stood the test of time better than most and has held up remarkably well, with stylised visuals that fit the game perfectly.
Anamanaguchi’s pumping chiptune soundtrack is thankfully also intact, providing the perfect soundtrack to the game’s 8-bit aesthetic and the rush to beat down your foes.
Fight your way through hordes of enemies including zombies, ninjas, robots and – most unbelievably – vegans, in themed stages that culminate in epic, challenging boss fights as you take on the League of Evil Exes who are varied enough to be unique and enjoyable.
You can play as Scott, Ramona, Kim or Stills and the complete edition also includes DLC characters Knives and Wallace. Each character has their own strengths, weaknesses and special moves.
Defeated enemies drop coins just like in the comic, and just like NES classic River City Rampage, you spend that money on food and items that enhance your stats making you much more powerful through increasing your Strength, Speed, Defence and Willpower.
Throw kegs, bottles, snowballs, cups, tripods and anything you can get your hands on while trying to land killer combos and put your foes down for the count. The game has a great sense of humour, and you’ll see influences from iconic video games everywhere, creating a fun and winning combination.
As you level up you unlock new devastating signature moves like area-of-effect attacks that drain gut points but come in handy if you’re surrounded. You can also summon allies to help you beat down bosses and can coordinate with other players to perform devastating combo attacks.
Timing is crucial. Knowing when to block and when to use a special attack can turn the tide, as once the enemy has you on the ground they will do their best to take cheap shots and whittle down your health.
One of the best things about this is release is that a physical version is also being released by distributor Limited Run Games, ensuring that if the game is ever delisted again fans with physical copies will still be able to enjoy this legendary game.
Scott Pilgrim is a steal at only £11.99 on the Nintendo Switch eShop and well worth the asking price to experience such a fun, furious fist throwing fest. It’s an offering that lets old school fans relive one of the best side-scrolling beat-em-ups ever made.
The biggest addition to this version is the 4 player co-op as well as online multiplayer, meaning you and friends can clean up the streets of Canada one punch at a time.
The best way to play Scott Pilgrim is in with friends, and while multiplayer can get pretty hectic while fighting foes and scrambling for coins, it’s what really makes Scott Pilgrim shine.
My only real criticism of the game is sometimes having to grind for money and experience at times just to get through a suddenly difficult area. Sadly, there’s not much in the way of new content either. The addition of DLC characters Knives and Wallace and modes like Dodgeball and zombie-fighting, never ending Survival Horror mode are appreciated but it does feel like a slightly missed opportunity. However, it’s a small price to pay to be able to play Scott Pilgrim again.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game is an absolute gem. While I wish more content had been included, it is awesome to see this game return from digital limbo and show it still has what it takes.
It leans hard into its comic book and video game influences but also has some clever tricks up its sleeve, which is why it’s aged so well and still feels fresh to play.
The game can be frustrating and chaotic at times, and difficulty can be all over the place but grab some friends and you’ll fall in lesbians all over again with this brilliant, resurrected classic all over again.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game is out January 14 on Nintendo Switch, PC Xbox One, PS4 and Google Stadia.