A lot of companies are jumping in the retro bandwagon and Ubisoft just hopped in! Thanks to them, we now have Scott Pilgrim vs. The World to play!
I never even heard of Scott Pilgrim up until a few months ago. It's an indie comic that started back in 2004 and it has gained international acclaim. Recently, it was made into a movie and now a game. I really wished I knew about the series sooner...
Anyway, the premise of the game follows the comic. Scott falls in love with a girl named Ramona Flowers. But, in order to date her, Scott must dispatch Ramona's seven evil ex's.
The gameplay is fully presented in a 8-bit fashion. Pixelated characters and environments fully cover the screen and it's displayed in a way that will not make your eyes strain. It's smooth, slick and the character animations are very well done.
You can play as Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Kim Pine or Stephen Stills. Kim and Stephen are Scott's bandmates for their group Sex Bom-Omb; the latter part being a reference to an enemy in Super Mario Brothers. The game supports up to 4 players at the same time but it's for local co-op play. So, that means no online multiplayer for you, as you need 3 of your friends to play on the same system you're on. In the age of online enabled games, the lack of an online component is considered a major disappointment.
When you play Scott Pilgrim vs. The World for the first time, you may be reminded how the overworld is laid out; a Super Mario World reference. There are seven places to go to and there is a boss within each place. The boss being one of Ramona's evil ex's of course.
In a leveling system that's reminiscent of River City Ransom, every character has their own style of attacks and special moves. There is a light attack, heavy attack, striker (Knives, Scott's previous girlfriend, is the striker and assists differently for every character by either attacking enemies or providing health) and a mega attack. That's done when all four characters on screen taunt at the same time to deal massive damage to enemies. Characters have HP (Hit Points or health) and GP (Guts Points for doing special attacks and keeps you fighting if you're out of HP).
For every bad guy you beat up, you get money. Money is crucial to the game because you need it to crank up your stats, just like River City Ransom. For example, you get a cup of coffee and it not only gives you some HP, but can also boost your strength (attack power), will (increases striker and special attack damage), speed (running speed) or defense (reduce damage taken).
The music is by far, the most memorable aspect of the game. Guitar riffs mixed with chiptune music (8-bit music) makes the music electrifying and it just can't get out of your head.
You can blow through the game with 3 of your friends in a few hours. If you are winging it solo, it's going to take a bit longer. Did I mention that this game is hard? Even if the difficulty is on easy, you will get punished. But, at least you'll have fun doing so.
Overall, Scott Pilgrim is a great game for those who like the book, loves 8-bit games or even throwback titles. I recommend this for anyone seeking an old-school challenge with a modern twist.
Clean and smooth 8-bit presentation. Amazing soundtrack by the band Anamanaguchi. Character designs and animations are crisp and hilarious. Different characters to choose from with their own unique fighting styles. RPG elements keep the game fresh.
Punishing difficulty could drive you crazy. Grinding may be necessary to get through the game. No online multiplayer.
Platforms: PS3 & XBOX 360 Genre: Action Release Date: August 10th for PS3 and August 25th for XBOX 360. Players: 1-4 (Local Co-Op only, no online multiplayer) Difficulty: Hard. Do not expect this game to be a walk in the park.