2D beat-em-up games used to be a healthy part of my gaming diet. I played a ton of the Ninja Turtles arcade games, Double Dragon and the X-Men arcade game back when the genre was in its prime. Watching the trailer for the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World game for the first time sent my mind back to a warm and mushy place where walking to the right and hitting the only attack button available was the coolest thing ever.
When I first played the demo, I only had 5 minutes with it before I got pulled away from my XBOX 360. Based on that first impression, I would have bought it in a heartbeat. Recently though, I played through the whole demo, and I’m starting to get cold feet.
Let it be said that I love the game’s presentation and it’s a lot of fun in short bursts. However, what gives me pause is the potential lack of gameplay, pacing of the levels and lack of online co-op.
Beat-em-ups generally have a very simple fighting mechanic. This one starts out like your standard beat-em-up from yesteryear, but I know that as you level up, you earn more moves. The demo doesn’t really give you a taste of what everyone can do, but earning new moves may be enough to get me through beating up hundreds of hipster henchmen.
The demo for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is the entire first level, which I think ran way longer than it should have. It’s not the demo’s fault. The game just appears to be designed with long levels in mind. For this type of game, I would prefer the levels to be shorter so that I don’t burn out on the experience too quickly. After playing that first level in full, I had my fill and didn’t want to go back for more.
This last issue is a real heartbreaker. The lack of online co-op is a real missed opportunity for this type of game. There’s something to be said about playing this style of game with others in the same room, but not giving players the option does suck. Ubisoft set a precedent that they can do it, as last year’s Turtles in Time remake had online co-op. Why this game doesn’t have it is a mystery.
At $10 on XBOX Live and PSN, I still might pick it up in spite of my real and perceived issues of the game. That price sounds reasonable for the package and I can still see myself enjoying this game for what it is. For those that have played the full game, is it worth the price of admission?