Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition is here, and it’s ready to make you think about death and get sad and stuff! A decade ago, the world was madly in love with two-fisted bass guitar player Scott Pilgrim, who was as brilliant at fighting as he was at ruining his own relationships. Creator Brian Lee O’Malley’s Canadian hero found greatness on the silver screen via a brilliant Edgar Wright-directed film before the main series even wrapped up, and even managed to crack out a fondly-remembered beat ‘em up on the Xbox 360 and PS3 era.
It’s a game that was largely left to gather dust as new consoles arrived and the industry moved on, but for diehard fans who kept their aging machines around just so that they could brave the streets of Toronto one more time, there was hope that Scott and the rest of Sex Bob-Omb would make it to newer machines in the future.
That day has finally come thanks to dedicated campaigning from true believers, as Ubisoft has returned to the stage for an encore. On the surface, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World still plays exactly as you remembered it: It’s combat is deep and mistakes are harshly punished, the visuals are a 16bit blast-processing punch from the past, and Anamanaguchi’s soundtrack is still an absolute highlight. I’ll never get tired that that Nightclub track, NEVER.
At the same time, how do you judge a game with the hindsight of a decade when its original shape and form has been so perfectly well-preserved? Scott’s quest to rescue his love Ramona Flowers from her Evil Exes isn’t without its faults, as the game can be incredibly frustrating to play the first time you boot it up. If you thought Dark Souls was unfair, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World genuinely feels like you’re being put through the ringer by an army of unhinged vegans who want to funk you up.
Character speed is either leisurely stroll or speed metal on cocaine, grabbing a weapon can be an absolute chore, and enemies can be absolutely cheap bastards to deal with in every level transition. But the key note to hammer out here is that perseverance is rewarding. No other beat ‘em up managed to nail its combat cadence like Scott Pilgrim did so many years ago, where you bounced around between enemies using a combination of tactics, powers, and guts to get past punch-sponge hurdles.
Progress means evolution, and in time you’ll notice how your skills improve dramatically. More abilities, more resilience, harder punches, it’s all there and waiting to be unlocked. Make no mistake, that initial path to power feels like an odyssey where you’re severly handicapped and even the thickest of lens in a rose-tinted set of spectacles can’t hide that aggravating initial difficulty, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game feels genuinely rewarding when you scale that digital Everest.
Once you start turning enemies into juggling balls, rope in a few mates via the inclusion of online or local co-op and start wrecking the joint, Scott Pilgrim plays terrifically: A hyper-energetic rush to the finish line enhanced by visually memorable boss fights and a kickass soundtrack that quickly sinks its hooks into you.
As for what’s actually new, aside from the aforementioned expanded online co-op and the inclusion of Wallace Welles and Knives Chau, there’s nothing else to actually mention. Scott’s still a dick, I’m always in a mad rush to collect some coin from anyone who dared cross my path, and if Canada truly is populated with Vegan maniacs who have watched way too much Akira anime, then I’m down for that digital tourism when borders eventually reopen.
Last Updated: January 14, 2021