Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is a 2D, side-scrolling beat-’em-up that plays very much like popular arcade beat-’em-ups from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The gamewas originally released in 2010 in conjunction with the feature film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (which was, in turn, based on a bestselling graphic novel series).
This version has now been rereleased as a Complete Edition for current consoles, such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, along with PC and Stadia applications. (It’s also backward compatible for the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles.)
Gamers play as the titular teen, Scott Pilgrim, who sets out to gain the love of the pretty Ramona. But in order to win her heart he must not only fight his way through scores of heavy-hitting foes that stream into the scene, but best Ramona’s seven evil exes—each with his or her own special abilities or powers. (And you thought your high school romantic life was tough!)
There are a variety of sub-space areas and mini-games that can be discovered in this version—that range from dodgeball contests to dealing with zombie hordes. And gamers can also battle as Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Knives Chau, and other characters from the original comic series, while also playing with up to three friends in a multiplayer mode.
Gamers who enjoy this old-school, button-mashing fighting style (similar to games such Final Fight or Double Dragon) will find the retro-styled Scott Pilgrim a relatively easy title to slip into. Players can engage one-button light and heavy attacks, as well as the ability to slide-kick and throw objects in any given direction.
This is a classic, arcade-style fighting game, so pounding foes over and over is the main objective here. Gamers punch, run and slide into attacking enemies and objects, and they can pick up baseball bats, bottles, brooms, knives, swords and a variety of other objects to beat and slash at their foes with.
Enemies bash Scott with similar objects, and in some cases throw knives, shoot laser beams and the like. Foes can come in the form of monsters and vampires, too.
That said, there’s nothing graphic in this 2D, low-def, cartoony mix other than the implied red bloodiness of zombie characters who lurch in with half of their brains exposed and some enemies that run around while on fire. Fist and weapon impacts flash on the screen and fallen opponents disappear.
There’s no foul language in the game. But some characters do flip middle-finger hand gestures in your direction.
There’s also some light sexuality here. Scott and Ramona smooch after several of the boss battles. And one of Ramona’s exes is a teen girl (though we don’t see them interact). Some of the female characters standing around in clubs or rock concert scenes can sport low-def emphasis of their curves. And we see a clone’s bare backside while battling through a cloning lab.
This T-rated game is as retro-feeling as it gets. That can be a little frustrating at points when the controls are a tad clunky and leave you swinging at empty air rather than connecting with the opponents flooding in next to you. On the other hand, those old- school visuals take all the wince out of the thumping violence. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition has its challenges, but it never feels too tough or too graphic for younger gamers. And it never ventures into the edgier side of its graphic novel roots either, apart from the relatively minor concerns noted above. Compared to many other much more graphic games aimed at teens these days, this throwback is mostly the right kind of retro
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.