Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Scott Pilgrim is an awesome comic series soaked heavily in retro video game culture and indie rock ‘n roll in which the main character must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes. The upcoming movie adaptation starring Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, looks amazing. After playing the tie-in video game we’re extremely hopeful that the trifecta of greatness will be complete. We’ve played the download-only PlayStation Network game from Ubisoft and came away very excited.
Before Xbox 360 owners freak out too much, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is only a timed exclusive on PlayStation 3. How long 360 fans must wait after the August PSN release is still frustratingly unclear, but hopefully Ubisoft will let us know soon if we’re talking weeks, months, or even the dreaded year.
The game is a four-player brawler featuring Sex Bob-omb bass player Scott Pilgrim, love interest Ramona Flowers, and Scott’s bandmates Kim Pine and Stephen Stills as playable characters. Ubisoft teased other unlockable characters, modes, and levels, so don’t give up hope on playing as Knives Chau or Young Neil just yet. Unfortunately, there is no online play.
In an early build we played, the game was capped at two players: Scott and Kim. The levels follow along with the book volumes, as world three takes place inside the club where our heroes take on rival band The Clash at Demonhead just like in Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness. It begins outside when an overly stretched limo pulls out and TCaD’s Envy, Todd, and Lynette blow past us amid a flurry of photoflashes. A rush of crazed fans plows over us, during which it’s totally acceptable to punch them right in the head.
Combat covers all the brawler bases with two attack buttons, blocks, throws, counters, ground strikes, weapons, jumps, dashes, and grapples. You can also taunt, summon a mystical ninja, and resurrect knocked out players, which you don’t really see in brawlers. As you defeat enemies, you’ll gain experience and cash. The former grants you new moves upon leveling up (like an air recovery or spin attack) and the latter can be spent at River City Ransom-esque shops integrated into stages. Items like food and accessories are available here alongside straight up attribute boosts to strength, defense, speed, and willpower. Both Scott and Kim had entirely different movesets, which has us excited to see what Ramona and Stephen can do.
Fighting feels tight and the art and animation are slick. With Paul Robertson at the helm of art direction, the impressive pixilated visuals come as no surprise (see: Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006). This blends right in to the retro soundtrack courtesy of chiptune band Anamanaguchi.
After beating down loads of goons, we finally make it up to the stage to fight the band and drummer Lynette Guycott comes out swinging with her deadly bionic arm. After some punishment, she tags in lead singer Envy Adams, Scott’s ex-girlfriend. Once they’re both down for the count, Ramona's third evil ex-boyfriend, Todd Ingram, summons his magical vegan powers and chases us through the backstage area. We have to bash down 10 walls in a row while running as fast as possible or else the angry vegan will crush us. Once we make it to a dead end, Todd challenges us to a quick Guitar Hero-style bass-off, and then we blast into a full on boss fight. We beat on him for a bit until he unleashes screen-filling veggie attacks that can only be contained by the Vegan Police. One he’s stunned we take him down for the count and catch a glance of the comic book-style cutscenes.
As Scott Pilgrim fans can already tell, the game is extremely faithful to Bryan Lee O’Malley’s series. While we played a very early build that still needed plenty of polish, the building blocks are there for a game that could not only impress fans with plenty of inside references, but also draw in people who appreciate a good brawler with solid mechanics, slick pixel art, and high replay value.
Stay tuned for more Scott Pilgrim news at E3!