Review of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition.
In January 2021, the game Scott Pilgrim vs received a second life. the World: The Game, originally released back in 2010 on Xbox 360 and PS3, and then quickly disappeared from digital stores (and never saw a physical release). The game was timed to coincide with the release of the Edgar Wright film based on the Scott Pilgrim comics by Canadian author Brian O'Malley. Her disappearance is due to problems with the license, and her return is due to numerous requests from fans.
O'Malley's comic strip, even in isolation from the movie" Scott Pilgrim vs All", is an ideal scheme for a video game, especially for a fighting game. The main character needs to defeat the seven evil exes of his beloved girl, in the process of pumping both as a person and as a fighter.
There are excellent retro graphics in the spirit of a comic book, a soundtrack from the great chiptune band Anamanaguchi, which you can listen to in Wright's film, and a general structure borrowed from the cult 8-bit beat'em up River City Ransom — you need not only to walk and fight, but also to swing.
At the same time, the individual stages of the game surpass both the film and the comics in color and scope. One of the levels looks like FLCL or something else from the most insane and high-quality Japanese animation — a giant raging robot hovers over a burning Canadian town... Well, and fights with the "former" in terms of the quality and number of animated objects on the screen are approaching Cuphead — not only one-on-one fights and mobs, but also a variety of purely platform-based hazards unique to each of Ramona Flowers ' guys and non-guys.The level design here is sophisticated, often abandoning the beat'em up formula with a top-side view in favor of precise platforming with jumps and monsters and threats that kill with a single touch. All this is done by Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition is an extremely visually fascinating game-almost an interactive cartoon, which is interesting to watch even in the stream, even over the shoulder of the player.There is only one problem: the creators of this splendor absolutely do not know how to make games in general — and beat'em up, one of the most difficult genres to perform, in particular. Their intentions and approach are most commendable: they captured the spirit of the O'Malley comic, which referred not only and not so much to fighting games, drew beautiful pixel art, and used excellent music. But all this does not mean that "Scott Pilgrim" can be played.
As a big fan of the comic book and the movie, I've been looking for something to catch on to in the mechanics of the game to understand the excitement of other fans and give it a higher score. But Scott Pilgrim doesn't work as a beat'em up, River City clone, arcade, or RPG. It is equally bad when playing at the lowest and highest level of difficulty (which, it should be noted, is still an achievement), when playing in a single player and both online and offline co-op.As a beat'em up game conceived extremely ambitiously, there is even a controversial for the genre mechanics of the block. Usually, the hero's blows are able to block the enemies, but the hero himself does not have such a possibility, and the few representatives who tried to make the same set of movements for the hero and the enemies (for example, Super Double Dragon on the SNES) failed miserably and are now considered as the worst examples of the genre.
In other words: if you are being hit from both sides and you try to block them instead of hitting back, there is clearly something wrong with the game mechanics.
"Scott Pilgrim" gives the hero both a block, and a huge number of techniques and blows, which are either useless, or, on the contrary, much more useful than most other techniques. This is multiplied by the River City Ransom grind mechanic, in which the character is initially very weak, and the opponents are very strong and have a large health reserve. To properly pump up, you need to either die a dozen times on the first level, or learn the structure of the level and very quickly and competently grow techniques and characteristics through lunches in eateries.Again, this all sounds good in theory. In practice, it turns out that at the lowest level of difficulty, at the beginning of a very long level without checkpoints (at the end of which there is still a battle with a complex and unpredictable boss), you are locked on the screen with 5-6 opponents. They refuse to die from dozens of blows, but they really like to block all your attempts to break damage from them.
At the maximum level of difficulty, everything is the same, but more extended in time. It is assumed that you have either studied the game, or are much more persistent — after all, the score here will go not for dozens, but for hundreds of replays. I really like complex, merciless games for the player, which the creators of "Scott"also focused on. But these games work because the basic mechanics are clear and honest. Even in the most hopeless situation after a defeat, you blame yourself, not the designers.Their creators have such a deep and subtle understanding of the essence of the gameplay that this knowledge is felt even on the most difficult bosses and humiliating jumps on platforms with simultaneous attacks of enemies moving along randomized trajectories.
The secret of the shortcomings of "Scott Pilgrim" is simple: some people drew the game and came up with its mechanics, and brought them to life completely different. The art was done by the famous Australian animator Paul Robertson (who drew retro graphics for the Edgar Wright film), and the techniques of Scott and friends with boss patterns were invented personally by Brian O'Malley (so they feel a huge, multi-genre erudition). But the actual game was made by a third team — an internal Ubisoft studio, which was located in China and generally specialized in mobile versions of not even mahjong, but " Uno "and"Fields of Wonders".
As a result, we get such things as monstrously stupid behavior of enemies who are dangerous only due to their number and unkillability. Most people don't protest at all if you knock them down, then pick them up and use them for a few minutes as a blunt object to destroy other enemies. But others use the most dishonest and dirty tricks to infuriate the player — the aforementioned blocks, grabs, special attacks and surprise attacks. The structure of the platform levels of "Scott" copies the famous Double Dragon 2: The Revenge on the NES, in which you could also die with one move and start replaying again-and this did not depend on your fighting skills. The difference is that the characters of Double Dragon II moved very precisely, obviously interacting with objects on the screen — even the most deadly ones. In Scott Pilgrim, the characters are so clumsily integrated into the picture that they can't directly interact with such an important platformer object as a ladder. You can not go on it or somehow get caught and hang on — just jump in a specially designed high jump.As a result, the game very quickly ceases to be a beat'em up with elements of grind and platforming and turns into a pure mockery of the player. Here it imitates not those legendary complex games that are still played with pleasure, but those aberrations that are spread by Angry Video Game Nerd and his colleagues in their retro reviews: eight-bit arcades about Bart Simpson, Silver Surfer, terrible movie adaptations from LJN, and the like.
Perhaps in 2010, there was still some sense to endure these frustrations for the sake of music and pictures — although I strongly doubt it. By 2021, not only the reference in all respects Streets of Rage 4, but also River City Girls, which has much more subtly felt the mechanics of River City and surpassed Scott Pilgrim in animation, managed to come out. And this is not to mention the fan reinterpretations of favorite games of the level of Sonic Mania, against which the graphics and music are already beginning to look shameful. I do not know who with a clear conscience can recommend the reissue of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game. Better games exist in literally every direction that its creators have tried to bring to life. It does not even work as an interactive cartoon based on your favorite comic book and movie — because even at the easiest level, a normal person will not be able to comfortably pass it, and the audience gathered on the couch or stream will not be able to watch it. It remains only to regret that so much fan energy was spent on returning such an unfortunate item to the stores.