The Beat ‘Em Up genre tries to fight its way back into our hearts with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - the latest downloadable offering from Ubisoft.

Before deciding to purchase Scott Pilgrim vs. The World ask yourself one question - do I want to play 'River City Ransom' with better graphics and a phenomenal soundtrack? If the answer is yes then don’t even read the rest of this review. Just go onto XBL or PSN and purchase this game immediately. If you are not really sure or have never even heard of 'River City Ransom,' then feel free to read on.

Fighting your way through T. Dot
In this game you are Scott Pilgrim and you are madly in love with the girl of your dreams, Ramona Flowers. The only issue is that in order to be with her you first have to fight her seven evil ex-boyfriends. There are seven levels in total and at the end of each level you’ll fight one of Ramona’s dastardly ex-lovers. On the way to each boss you’ll have to punch and kick your way through all kinds of random baddies, from your run of the mill thug to evil zombies and everything in between.

The sweet stench of Nostalgia
As I mentioned earlier, this game is pretty much 'River City Ransom' with a little bit of 'Streets of Rage' sprinkled in for good measure. The combat is pretty much what you’d expect from an old school brawler. You can jump, punch, kick, and pick up and throw objects strewn about the environment. As you level up you’ll gain new moves as well. Just like 'River City Ransom,' enemies will drop money when they’re defeated that you can use to buy power-ups and upgrades for your character. You’ll definitely need those upgrades, especially if you’re playing alone, as this game is pretty tough. Even on the lowest difficultly setting enemies seem to scale at the same pace you do and the game remains fairly tough all the way to the end. I played through most of the game alone and I had to keep going back and playing earlier levels to be able to get through the level I was currently on. The game is definitely geared towards co-op and that’s where this games biggest issue lies.

I have no friends :(
I’m about to break into my thirties and most of my friends aren’t playing video games anymore. I still have a bunch of pals who I game with, but for the most part, it all happens online. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World doesn’t accommodate guys and gals like me at all. There is absolutely no on-line option whatsoever. That is the biggest mistake they could have ever made. They didn’t stop there however. I invited one of my friends over to join up with me after I’d finished a few levels only to find that there’s no drop in/out local co-op. The only way to beat this game with a friend is to sit down together and beat the whole thing in one sitting. Genius, pure genius.

I know that Ubisoft was trying to go old school on this one, but they didn’t have make the entire multiplayer component archaic as well. The issue with beat em ups is that they get boring really quickly when you’re playing them by yourself. They are way more enjoyable when you’re playing with someone else, and by Ubisoft making it so difficult to do so, it makes the game kind of unplayable for me. Maybe if you’re still in high school and have a lot of gamer friends dropping by your house on a regular basis this won’t be so much of a problem. Unfortunately people that age probably won’t appreciate all the nods to old games that are found here.

Chip-Tunes FTW
The only two things that really kept me going while I was slugging through this game were the incredible art style and ear-pleasing soundtrack. The art and cut scenes are all presented in 16 bit glory and the sound track harkens back to my days of loading up Megaman on my NES as background music while I cleaned up my room. The music in this game is that good. Anamanaguchi should be commended on the amazing job they did. I hope we get to hear more from them soon.

I’ve always loved beat em ups. Whether it was playing 'River City Ransom' on my NES or hanging out at the arcade playing 'X-Men,' they’ve always held a special place in my heart. When I look back on it, the thing that made them so great was always the ability to play them with a friend. Unfortunately, Ubisoft forgot this important fact when they made this game and have made playing with a friend way too difficult. There’s a fairly good game here that’s just marred by a terrible co-op system. If you create a game thats geared towards co-op, its probably a good idea to make playing together as easy and seamless as possible.

Final Score: 6.0

Reviewed by MikeBaggley | 09.03.10

  • The ability to level up your character
  • Lots of great throwbacks to the 8 and 16 bit eras
  • One of best soundtracks ever
  • No online co-op
  • Offline co-op isn’t jump in jump out
  • Game difficulty seems to be tailored for co-op play which makes the above issues even more apparent
  • The game tries to win our hearts with nostalgia but throws away all the modern game conveniences we have become accustomed to

Summer of Arcade: Final Fight: Double Impact (8.0)


Scott Pilgrim
vs. The Wold
The Game


Ubisoft Montreal

Beat em' Up

US Release
August '10


Player 1-4
In-Game Dolby
HD 720p
D/L Content
800 MS Points