REVIEW: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game









It’s a great time to be a fan of Scott Pilgrim right now. Volume Six has been out for about a month and wrapped up the series nicely. Reviews coming in from critics and fans who’ve attending pre-screenings of the movie are overwhelmingly positive. And now, thanks to Ubisoft, we have Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game to indulge our deepest 16-Bit fantasies.  

A love letter to games like X-Men: The Arcade Game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Castle Crashers, Scott Pilgrim is a four-player brawler in the most classical sense. Up to four players can fight across Toronto as Scott, Ramona, Kim Pine, and Steven Stills in the pursuit of the Seven Evil Ex’s. All four characters control relatively the same: two basic attacks, an area attack, and the ability to call down Knives Chau as a support character, with new moves and combos unlocked as you defeat enemies and gain experience. Defeated goons drop coins (of course) which can be spent in any number of fine establishments on items to increase your stats, making Scott Pilgrim vs. The World a vastly improved update to the classic NES game River City Ransom.

But with the old school charm and flavor comes old school gamer difficulty. Enemies will trap you on both sides and beat you silly, you’ll accidentally hit yourself with thrown weapons, and you’ll probably at least once call an Evil Ex “cheap.” Even on the easiest difficulty, expect to have a bit of trouble progressing till you gain a few levels and increase your stats.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is chock full of enough references to make any classic gamer squeal with delight. From a parody of the iconic arcade “Winners don’t use drugs.” splash screen to the Super Mario Land style overworld, there’s never a moment in Scott Pilgrim where you won’t spot some classic video game or comic book reference. Pixel artist Paul Robertson should be applauded for managing to cram in so much homage into one game as humanly possible.

Every gem has it’s flaw however, and Scott Pilgrim’s most noticeable one is the lack of online multiplayer. However, knowing how notoriously short development times are on tie-in games, Ubisoft should be commended for dropping online play to make an amazing solid gaming experience. If you can get four friends into one room, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World becomes an instant party game hit. The game increases the number of enemies based on how many players are present, making for huge chaotic battles that will have everyone in the room laughing and arguing over who gets to pick up the last baseball bat. Of note, while the number of enemies increase, the health of the bosses does not. After battling through a massive stage, four players will take down an Evil Ex relatively quickly. It makes for a pretty satisfying play experience, actually.

For fans of the book and old school brawlers, I can’t recommend Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game enough. It’s everything you ever loved and remember about those classic arcade games wrapped up into one well-balanced and beautiful package. And with multiple endings, secret characters, and hidden locations to discover, Scott Pilgrim will keep you mashing buttons and evil boyfriends for a long time.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is currently available on the Playstation Network for $9.99. The game arrives on Xbox Live Arcade on August 25th.

Graphics: 5 Stars | Gameplay: 5 Stars | Overall: 5 Stars

Bonus Round: Check out the original pitch video for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game.


My name is Josh Richardson, and I’m a Scottaholic. Check out more game news and Scott Pilgrim impressions on Twitter.


  1. Excellent review for an excellent game. I am having so much fun playing this. Played through once with Kim, looking forward to playing more.

  2. Great review. I have read none of the books but I’m looking forward to checking out the game. I purchased the Turtles in Time game from ubisoft that was ported and really enjoy it so I can only imagine I will enjoy this game as well. I’m sure I will pick up the SP books in time do you think playing this game will diminish the experience of reading the books?

  3. Any chance for this to be available for the Wii or PC?

  4. @SpiderTitan at present, no. If it sells enough maybe the Wii, but it’s very unlikely.

  5. Please note that one of my faves, Anamanaguchi, provided the soundtrack for the game.

  6. Great review Josh.  I’m a little concerned about the solo difficulty but I think playing it in the dorm will make taking down cheap bosses quite a bit easier.  Can’t wait to download this on 360 and get the Anamanaguchi soundtrack as well.

  7. Awesome review Josh!

    I love the original pitch video. So cool. 

  8. Everything about this game looks really cool.  Enjoyed the Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man references.

  9. …or I guess I should say ‘nods’ not ‘references’.

  10. I played the PS3 demo.  It’s definitely a solid title with plenty of charm.  The game is really hard on single player unless you have leveled up.  It’s nice that you keep your stats regardless of how much you die, but I have flashbacks of my youthful rage at games where I died at the final boss only to have to play through the whole level again.  This game is old old school.

  11. Love this game. It’s 16-Bit perfection!

     The game creators obviously love this era of games. And it (obviously) fits in with the Scott Pilgrim universe perfectly.