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Playstation 3 Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

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When Scott Pilgrim vs. the World saw release in theaters, critics praised it as being unlike any other movie that had seen release. A fitting compliment, considering that its combination of comic-based prompts and video game sound effects separated it from the established fare; however, this uniqueness failed to equal box office success, as the film has yet to produce a monetarily leading weekend.

Scott Pilgrim’s video game debut, sharing the same title as the eponymous movie, does not possess the same level of uniqueness as its film counterpart. While the trappings of the comic book are there, from the visuals to the general plot, they are all accessories to a foundation that strongly resembles a popular game from the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System: River City Ransom.

River City Ransom itself drew inspiration from popular beat-em-up titles like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage, but included unique aspects such as leveling up your characters through purchasable items such as food and books. This is also true in the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, where the main character, his band-mates (Stephen Stills or Kim Pine) or his object of affection (Ramona Flowers) travel through seven levels defeating foes in order to get to the end of the level.

Scott and his friends will have the opportunity to purchase food, drinks, and special items to improve their stats in areas such as weapon dexterity, defense, and strength. Improving these attributes is vital, as the game’s end-level bosses represent a significant challenge.

These bosses are Ramona’s seven evil exes, whose fighting styles and attack patterns should prove familiar to those whom have seen the movie or read the comics. These foes are no less formidable in the games, and they will use all manner of tricks and treachery to make sure that you will not live to see the fruits of your efforts. Luckily, Scott and his friends also have their own slick maneuvers that they can call on, such as super moves and assists.

Should the game’s adversaries take you down, you can always get back up, provided you have enough heart points to do so; should your heart points give way, you can always resurrect yourself if you have a decent amount of guts points. If enough are available, they turn into auxiliary energy. Run out of guts and heart points, however, and you will lose a life; running out of lives will summarily halt your quest to defeat Ramona’s former paramours.

Nevertheless, while the quest present in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game may prove difficult, at least the presentation will make the journey worthwhile. The game’s visuals are hand-drawn and in many ways resemble the Scott Pilgrim comics, a plus for those familiar with the source material. The music, composed by the band Anamanaguchi, is extremely catchy and provides nice background ambiance when you are defeating foes.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game proves a nice companion piece to the movie and the comics and manages to appeal to fans of both the source material and the games that it pays homage. While flaws are present, such as a lack of online play or drop in/out co-op play, as well as a too-short length, they do little to ruin the experience.

GameXYZ is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes.


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About Jason Townsend-Rogers