We live in an era of reboots and revivals. And while many of the attempts to bring back fan-favorites may have been better left in the past, there are some exceptions. Sometimes, a bit of nostalgia, when timed and executed right, is just what we need. And that is certainly the case for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition.
For those who may not have played the original version of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (like me, I will admit), here’s a bit of background. This 2D, side-scrolling, arcade-style, beat-em-up game originally debuted back in 2010, the same year as the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Inspired by both the movie and the Scott Pilgrim comics, the game was available as a digital-only title for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Then, Ubisoft de-listed the game in 2014, making it nearly impossible to play if you didn’t already have it downloaded. For years, commenters on YouTube lamented its loss, frequently noting how great it would be on the Nintendo Switch system (I’ll tell you now, they were right).
Flash forward to 2020, the game’s 10th anniversary, and Ubisoft announced Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game — Complete Edition, a relaunch of the game for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia.
The revamped game, which officially drops on Jan. 14, draws material directly from the movies and comics. You can play as Scott, Kim, Stills, or Ramona — who each feature different strengths and skills — and sometimes even as Knives Chau or Wallace Wells. You make your way through different areas of a map, facing increasingly difficult adversaries on your way to defeat each of Ramona’s seven evil exes, leveling up and learning new moves as you go.
After spending a few hours beating up baddies in this pixelated world on my Switch Lite, I will simply start by saying that I love the game, and I think it can offer something different for everyone, depending on what you want from the experience. The story mode is, by all reports, almost a carbon copy of the original game, providing a nostalgic tug for die-hard fans. However, there are new, extra gaming modes in this version, offering a new play experience for those who have already beaten Scott Pilgrim the first time around.
The game features three levels of difficulty (“Average Joe,” “Rough & Tough,” and “Supreme Master”) which means that a fairly novice gamer like myself (read: basically button-smashing) can make their way through, while more skilled players can really put their combo-move abilities to the test.
The concept of the game is straightforward and easy to pick up, but there is still plenty of skill involved, as you learn what moves work best on each type of attacker, master new fighting techniques, figure out how to collect money and decide which power-up goods to spend it on, discover hidden “subspace highways,” and more. Then, you can play it all again as another one of the four characters, leveling them up and mastering their unique skills. Generally, there are enough stakes in the game that you’re immediately invested, but those stakes aren’t so high that running out of lives and starting a level over feels like a major deal. (Although, I will admit that losing your last life right as you are about to take out an evil ex is a major bummer!)
One aspect of this game that I didn’t get to try out — though I certainly plan to following its release — is multiplayer mode. Separate from the main story mode, you can play levels as a team, along with four friends (or four strangers!) online. Playing the levels cooperatively opens up a variety of new actions, such as transferring lives, lending in-game money to other players, and working together for Super Attacks. Based on my experience playing the game solo, I expect these elements to be a welcome addition. It is worth noting, however, that you need a free Ubisoft account to access the online features.
Overall, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game — Complete Edition was a very pleasant surprise for me, as someone who had no experience playing its predecessor. I expect it will become a go-to title for me this year, and I’m excited to discover even more of what this game has to offer — and to successfully vanquish all seven evil exes!