Any time a game has to include the tagline "The Game" after a colon that's at the end of the actual name of the game, I tend to be worried. Usually this means that the game is based on something from another form of media or entertainment, like a show, movie or comic book. This of course usually means that it is a recreation of something in video game form, which if we have learned anything over the years, is usually a really bad thing. Especially when ":The Game" is based off of the latest summer blockbuster movie.
But what happens when ":The Game" is based off of a movie (more indy than blockbuster) that is based off of a comic book? Well, you get Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, which thankfully, isn't a bad thing in the grand scheme of things. It quite handily strikes down any preconceived notions you may have had about the game prior to playing it, and disproves the notion that every game with the subtitle "The Game" is a throw-away quick money grab disguised as a real video game.
Scott Pilgrim is awesome, and he is awesome in any form he is presented in. Thankfully, everyone playing the game gets to reap the benefits from this truth. Because the game is awesome too, and even more fun to play.
It pays homage to the old school, side-scrolling beat 'em up genre perfectly, but adds its own twists to the style in a way that makes it feel refreshing, interesting, engaging and an absolute blast to play. There are RPG elements thrown in to the mix, with the option of upgrading your abilities to better serve you in battle. And when I say "option," I mean it's an absolute must, as this game gets hard quicker than you would expect. Sure, it is probably designed to be played co-op, with up to three more people, for solo gamers like myself, it's more than just a challenge to struggle your way through the world. While the difficulty is frustrating, it never feels like it lessens the amount of fun I'm having playing the game, which is a true testament to this universe. Fun is fun, no matter how you spin it.
The real star of the show though is the game soundtrack. Now, I'm not usually one to slobber all over a game's soundtrack, as for some reason that stuff gets lost to me when I'm playing games. Good/bad voice acting I'll take note of, but the soundtrack of the game? It's just usually background noise to me, unless of course the game is actually created to harbor the creativity of a music in one way or the other. But in this game, the soundtrack shines through the lack of voice acting and beautiful and creative level design, adding tempo and personality to the flow and play style. It's fun and energetic, and takes you back to a place in gaming where everything was just simple and fun, when games were just games.
Thankfully I was able to put prejudices aside long enough to give this game a shot. While it makes me want to go back and read some Scott Pilgrim comics and watch the movie again, and even see if the soundtrack is available to download from anywhere, the game itself was fun and enjoyable, despite the multiple near-rage quits.
Not bad for a game with ":The Game" in it.
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