To start off, I have no real idea what Scott Pilgrim is. I’ve heard of the movie, but I never knew about the comic. It was a safe bet to assume a comic existed (why else would any movie be made?), but I just don’t know anything about comic books.
So even though I think the movie looks decent, I was getting excited this week for that release. I knew the video game was hitting the PS Store and the preview I saw from E3 had me stoked. Old School Beat Em Ups are back, baby!
Right from the onset of the demo, my friend and I were stunned by what we saw. A hilarious and short cutscene that explained what Scott was doing and who he was doing it for. Apparently Ramona is to kill for.
So when we pressed start, we laughed even more at the “Super Mario World” inspired overworld. There were even warp pipes! That aside, clicking X on the first level didn’t prepare us for the awesome we were about to digest.
The music in this game is just…wow! It’s chiptune, but in a style similar to NES games. It definitely gives me nostalgic memories of playing Mario, Zelda and even that craptastic Crash Test Dummies game. It fits perfectly into the retro motif that Ubisoft went for.
The co-op play allows you to choose from one of four different characters, all based on the comic’s “Sex Bomb-Omb” Band. You get Scott, Ramona, Stiles and Kim. Each character has a different feel and even different unlockable combos and special attacks (think Streets of Rage’s C specials).
The controls are leaps and bounds above old-school Beat Em Ups (not to say that this is better). You have two attacks (Jab and Heavy), a jump and a block button (to my knowledge, I can only think of 1 previous game with a guard). You can string together combos and juggle enemies when you get multiple people in corners.
Not going too retro, though, Scott Pilgrim also allows leveling up (something that Castle Crashers showed can be fun). Leveling up allows even more combos to unlock, along with grabs, throws and the essential “Back Attack.”
Progressing through the first level, the enemy types are decently varied. You have the basic grunts, some heavier guys that require brute force and even mini-boss-esque baddies that will take a pounding before dropping (these types get much more varied in later stages).
After killing enemies, you are given coins (in the form of Canadian currency, for fans of the comic) that can be redeemed for health items and extra lives. This gives the game the classic Mario style of collecting coins along with the more modern/RPG style of loot drops. It makes for an interesting game when you have no lives left, but a crap ton of money.
Dying is a rather interesting affair. Taking another cue from Castle Crashers, you are given the ability to resuscitate your fallen comrades by walking over them and pressing O. Even if your buddies do spend all of their lives, they can steal one of yours and continue to help.
One interesting addition is the existence of a “Special Meter.” Instead of wasting your HP to use Special Attacks (like Final Fight’s Jump/Attack combos), you are given another bar that will deplete over time after you spend the attack. If you decide not to waste this meter, then when your HP reaches 0, you are given about half of your life back (sometimes more) without dying.
Different difficulties exist, but we didn’t seem to fins “Supreme Master” too challenging. Even starting from square one, if you’re an old school fan, this will not be out of the question for you to pound through on Hard.
In short, this game is a blast. It works for numerous hours on end, as well. My friend and I put in about 4 hours before we were spent for the evening. The charm and character that this game has is just awesome.
The main downsides about this title are a lack of online co-op play and no ability to drop in/out mid-game. We also ran into a few crashing issues and glitches on Level 4, something that irked us quite a bit.
Still, for a $10 download, this game is a must for old-school fans. I’m not too sure if devotees to the novel will enjoy this, but seeing as how Scott Pilgrim is targeted towards old-school gamers, I’m sure you guys are covered.