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E3 10: Hands-on with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

3:00 PM on 06.16.2010 // Chad Concelmo

All this week I am going to be giving ridiculously quick hands-on impressions of all the games I see on the E3 show floor. Since I think everything is a little amazing, they will be rated, from least to most favorite: 1 (A Little Amazing!), 2 (Kind of Amazing!), 3 (Pretty Amazing!), 4 (AMAZING!), and 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!).

I was surprised -- nay, shocked! -- to some of the negative reaction surrounding the videogame adaptation of Scott Pigrim vs. the World. I get that some people may not be a fan of the graphic novels, but to hate on a game with such gorgeous retro graphics (designed by PAUL ROBERTSON, no less) that no one has even had the chance to play? That just seems weird.

Luckily, I got a chance to actually play the game today on the E3 show floor, and I can comfortably declare it is really, really good. There. Now it's official. Haters be gone!

As most of you know, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (released exclusively for PSN on August 10th) is an old-school 4-player co-op beat-em-up with retro graphics in the vein of River City Ransom and The Simpsons Arcade Game. If that is not enough for you to be excited, well, I guess you are a "hater" and should probably stop reading now.

Gameplay-wise, everything felt just like it should: D-pad or analog stick controls your character, square button does a light attack, triangle does a heavy attack, and the x button jumps. The basic controls have been seen before, but it is all the little details that make the game really shine. You can level up your character by defeating enemies and gaining experience points. When leveling up your character, Scott, Stills, Ramona, or Kim learn a new move. Simple, but awesome. You can also collect money that can be purchased at stores for food that will boost your stats. There are even brilliant bonus levels hidden in stages containing huge flying piggy banks full of money. Even cooler, these bonus stages are designed to show off old 8-bit game glitches on the screen, like all the interference and gibberish you used to get when the NES cartridge wasn't pushed all the way in the slot. So cool.

The only reason this doesn't get a perfect score from me is because when I asked if it would obviously be online, the Ubisoft rep said "no." Only local multiplayer. That is fine for me -- I love playing with friends in the same room -- but I know this is going to turn some people off.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World doesn't do anything new, but it is absolutley beautiful and highly polished. It also manages to have a good sense of humor about its style, which I really aprpeciate. I can guarantee I will be downloading this on day one.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (AMAZING!)

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Chad Concelmo,
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