Getting the Girl with Scott Pilgrim & Co.
I missed the whole Scott Pilgrim craze somehow when I was younger. It was definitely big when I was in High School but I was following more of a Mosher/Emo crowd and we turned our greasy noses up at “hipster” stuff because all we wanted to do was – to quote “Sex Bob-Omb” – think about death and get sad and stuff.
Now, of course, I regret it. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a really neat-looking comic and I don’t think I’d be remiss in saying that the movie is one of the best teen-targeted films pretty much ever.
The cheesy special effects and pretty unique editing techniques still stand up today and the film is just an all-round fun time. Apart from that, though, I haven’t experienced much else of the franchise, I certainly never gave this game any of my attention when it came out 10 years ago.
Now, though, as a somewhat-adult man with serious FOMO, when I heard the game was being re-released with a Complete Edition I had it purchased faster than you can say the L-word. No, the other L-word.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Platinum Review
Boy Meets World
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a Streets-of-Rage-style side-scrolling beat-em-up and I have, admittedly, never been any good at them. Even on the easiest difficulty, I struggled to make it to the end of the first level. I still did, even picked up a trophy along the way, but it was a bit of a struggle.
Part of me wants to say it’s not entirely my fault, the game feels a little hard to control sometimes. Movement is insanely slow unless you double-tap a direction, at which point the character will move way too fast. This also doesn’t work for vertical movement which feels really clunky. If I want to move from the bottom of the screen to the top, I have to very slowly walk upwards by holding .
If I double-tap assuming it will make me run in the same way that double-tapping does, the character just does a weird sort of hop and then begins moving slowly again. When there’s an obstacle on the same z-plane as you and you need to move around it to avoid it – such as a giant cannonball rolling towards you or an entire fleet of muscle cars – it’s really difficult to actually make that movement with any sort of speed.
Add that to the fact that whenever you get hit you just lie on the floor like a sack of potatoes for 5 seconds and things start to get a little frustrating. I wouldn’t say that this ever improved throughout my playthrough, either, I’d just say that I learned to cope with it and likely compensate by jumping a lot more.
Additionally, there’s a lot of clutter and detritus in the game’s backgrounds, which can be picked up and thrown, which is nice, but half the time I would hit them by accident, causing them to shoot off to the edge of the screen, hit something, and then come flying back at me at the speed of light, knocking me over and making me drop any weapon I might have had while I lay there looking like an idiot for a few seconds.
In the game’s defence, it took me a crazy long time to discover that was the block button – partly because you can’t block with a weapon, partly because I’m an idiot – so that played a big part in my issues.
Another disappointment I have is with the story… In that there isn’t really one. Those familiar with even just the film can absolutely follow the story, who is who, what is going on, and why. But a lot of the story is actually lost and so the game doesn’t stand as an alternative way of experiencing it.
For example, one character in the series called Todd has insane psychic abilities due to the fact that he is vegan. It’s a funny moment in the movie and there are even vegan police who show up to shut him down whenever he abuses his vegan powers.
The boss fight with Todd in-game plays on this, he has vegan psychic powers and uses them in the fight, and the Vegan Police even show up and give him a telling-off when he begins to really abuse these abilities. None of that would really make sense from an outsider’s perspective. You’d have to already know the story in some sense before experiencing the game, which is a shame because a lot of people will miss out.
I will say, though, the game is a lot of fun despite the somewhat-mediocre gameplay and lost story. The music is amazing, the visuals are 99.9% charm, and of course, it has that familiar Scott Pilgrim sense of humour which endeared so many people to the franchise in the first place.
Thanks to that, even when I found myself spending a lot of time laid out on my back watching my lives tick down, I was having a blast.
Still, those who hope to platinum the game will find they’ll have not only an easier time doing so, but more fun in the process, if they cheat at least 5 out of their 6.5 playthroughs of the game.
Pulling Out the Cheat Codes
There are just two cheats I used for my platinum journey. One would give me a “Power of Love” Sword at the start of every level. The sword was very OP, but actually stupidly easy to lose. A lot of the time an enemy would end up grabbing it from me and then I’d get what I deserve for cheating, I suppose. Nonetheless, it proved very valuable in my Six playthroughs by ensuring they were as quick and painless as possible.
The other cheat was called “Noble Sacrifice”. It actually just kills you but leaves behind $50 in exchange. So you’re in effect trading lives for $50. This can be exploited though, of course. If you load the game in multiplayer mode by having two controllers, you can enter the cheat code on Player 2’s character, knocking them out and spawning $50 in coins, but you can respawn them by mashing over their body.
This means you get $50 in exchange for nothing at all. $50 for free everytime you enter the cheat code. In order to fully level up a character you need a total of about $700, so what I did was to farm money from Player 2 for about 15 minutes straight until I had enough money, and then went into the video store.
There, I paid off Scott’s late fees ($504) which gave me access to the DVD rentals. I rented several copies of “Seven Shaolin Masters” to max out Scott’s stats, and several copies of “Alone and Disturbed” to max out Scott’s level. With a fully-levelled Scott Pilgrim, equipped with the “Power of Love” sword, reaching the end of the game and fighting the (frankly, disappointing) final boss was a breeze.
Honestly, though, that last boss fight is just… dumb. At one point during his second phase, I was getting punched off a cliff every time I spawned. Over and over with no time to avoid the attack in-between. Even when I blocked, the attack pushed me back far enough to fall off the cliff anyway. I was stuck in this loop until I’d lost two whole lives before I got out of it by sheer luck and finished the boss off with no spare lives left.
Every other boss fight is a lot of fun and they all have unique quirks and attack patterns to look out for, just that last one was a joke.
Five More Times
After beating the game once with Scott, I then had to do the same with Kim, Stills, and Ramona so that I could unlock Nega Scott. I didn’t need to complete a playthrough as Nega Scott but I needed him for a trophy called “Chau Down”. See, when you press , you summon a “Striker”, which will either be Knives Chau or a member of her family. The Chau Down trophy requires that you see all 4 of these Strikers at least once.
One of them is Nega Knives, who only shows up when you press as Nega Scott. That’s it. That is all I needed Nega Scott for. Three additional playthroughs just to press once…
Anyway, during these playthroughs I got a lot better at the game, and the controls and random objects stopped being such a headache for me. I actually got pretty good at completing the story fast, but that’s a given when you have to do something three times in a row.
I also came across a new problem, though… The game is pretty buggy. It seemed to happen most of the time in the “Fire Escape” and “Dragon’s Den” stages, but through all 6 of my playthroughs it must have happened at least once on 60% of the stages in the game. Essentially, my character would become suddenly unable to interact with doors or trigger events.
This meant I’d make my way right to the end of a level and not be able to enter the final door or trigger a boss fight, so I’d just be forced to restart the game. I wouldn’t mind really but since my first playthrough I didn’t have a single run where this didn’t happen multiple times.
Seems even small titles like this aren’t safe from the Ubisoft curse!
I was getting pretty fed up of the game by this point, I probably should have spaced my playthroughs out a bit more but it is what it is. For two of my playthroughs, I was actually just watching the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie on Amazon Prime because I was so fed up of the game. Those playthroughs took a bit longer because they didn’t have my full attention but it was better than nothing.
Once I’d got the Chau Down trophy I needed to complete my Wallace and Knives runs, as each of them had a trophy tied to completing the game. With Wallace, I simply needed to reach the end, but with Knives I had to do so in 90 minutes.
Not as difficult as it sounds, really. After playing the game through so many times I was able to do this in around 50 minutes.
This was hands-down the worst part of the trophy journey. This game has horrendous net-code so that even if you and your friend are playing on a decent internet connection (In my case, I was on 5G and MrZhangetsu was on Fibreoptic) you’ll experience horrible lag, irritating glitches, and just have a bad time in general 90% of the time.
That mythical 10% is the off chance where you actually have a good lobby and can play the game. Now, as if hitting that sweet spot isn’t difficult enough, for one of the online trophies you need to complete at least one level as each character. This wouldn’t be so bad but you have to exit the lobby to change character. Meaning that you need to roll the dice again for the hopes of a glitch-free, lag-free run so that you can just get to the end of a level.
One other online trophy asked that we each achieve 200 cumulative kills while playing online, which was a lot more effort than it seemed, but luckily we never had to leave the lobby to change character so once we had a good connection we were able to keep it until the 200 kills had been achieved.
Due to the general issues I was having with the game’s atrocious online mode, though, this part which I thought would just take about 20-40 minutes ended up being 2 and a half hours of sheer frustration, it’s really put me off recommending this journey to others.
After all that, I came out of it with just two trophies to collect. One asked that I bounced on the heads of enemies 10 times without landing as Knives Chau.
Thinking I was being very smart about it, I wasted 20 minutes in the Survival Horror mode trying to get this trophy by bouncing on the heads of an infinitely-spawn horde of zombies, but this proved to be near-impossible. The available space in the level wasn’t enough for me to get 10 consecutive hits because I was able to take out groups of about 4-5 zombies in a single bounce.
Add that to the fact that the zombies take an eternity to get up off their rotting asses, and I just had to throw in the towel. I then moved to the “Subspace Highway?” stage in level 7 and got the trophy by bouncing on the boss’ folded arms 10 times.
That just left one more trophy, which I knew would be easy but hadn’t got around to. This one also involved using Knives. I would need to catch 25 thrown objects by hitting . Sure, I could have just played story mode over and over hitting everytime something airborne dared to move, but I decided I wanted to try and be smart about this one too.
I loaded up the “Battle Royal” mode which pits two characters against each other and whipped out my second controller again. With Player 2, I could just grab an object nearby and press to throw it. In the exact same second, I would press with Player 1 to catch the object as soon as it is thrown.
I then repeated that back and forth until the trophy popped and the Platinum with it!
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Trophy Guide
Well, if my complaining hasn’t put you off getting the platinum for yourself, the game is still pretty fun all gripes aside, so grab our trophy guide with both hands and get that plat!
That concludes my Scott Pilgrim review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!
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