“Scott Pilgrim: The Comic / The Movie / The Game” by Mr Riddler

Riddle Me This: Look at the last two words of the Title of this Article.

HAHA! Ok Since I’m being forced to do an early review of the Movie, the Downloadable game and The Comic this should call for a change in format, but screw that!

WHAT I EXPECTED!
The Comic
I honestly saw the trailer for the movie before I ever heard of this indie comic series. Ragdoll was the first to show me the trailer and another friend of mine, let’s start calling his Squid, was the one who told me that the comic series was good. Squid is a trusted source on comics. Really he’d gotten deep into the Marvel universe before I did, and I’d taken his word on comics to read for a good time now. when he told me that Scott Pilgrim is good and changed everything on his facebook to Scott Pilgrim I knew I should probably try this out. It’d been quite a while since I’d read a romantic comedy comic book (Not since I read through “Love Hina” back in high school,) and it was a bit of a deviation form my normal selection which is “Spider-man,” “Punisher War Journal,” “Batman and Superman,” etc. None the less I gave this a shot since I was going to see the film. I never expected to write a review on the film, however. Mostly because I have other writers for that. hint hint nudge nudge to Leader K whom I haven’t seen post in a few weeks.

The Movie
I’ve never really reviewed a movie and know nothing about the technical aspects so from an uneducated typical American movie goer. I liked the trailer. I was very excited that I was allowed to screen the movie a week before it came out and that got my hopes incredibly high. I’ve been dying to see Scott Pilgrim the movie simply because it looked like the only movie this summer that was actually going to meet my expectations of awesome blended with hilarity. Word on the street was that the comic series was incredibly nutty and off the wall with game references abound and the movie was an exact copy of that. Let’s not forget, however, that the Watchmen attempted to make a movie that was an exact copy of the comic as well and we all know how well that went over. Maybe Scott Pilgrim would have more luck. Or should I say, I was counting on Scot Pilgrim vs The World to have more luck.

The Game
If you pay attention to my facebook, and I know you do, and if you don’t look to the right and click that little thumbs up there, then you’ve seen me post trailers and game videos from the beat em style Scott Pilgrim video game. I was pretty sold on this when I saw the videos that were displayed at E3. I really wanted to play this. I spoke to the part of me that still plays the Dungeons and Dragons and X-men arcade games and that part of me that wasted $15 on Turtle in Time on the PS3, even though I know I will never have 4 friends over that all want to play that crap. I believe that button mashing beat ’em ups were gods way of saying punch the #%@* out of something without actually punching the @#%^ out of anything… except your controller. I’ve always loved them since I was a kid and I’m hoping that Scott Pilgrim will not be the exception. Without spoiling my thought on the movie, I hope, I want to add that after watching the screening. I’m super stoked to play Scott Pilgrim vs The World The Video Game.

WHAT WE GOT!
The Comic
This is a Romantic Comedy that centers around a guy named (you guessed it) Scott “mother f’in” Pilgrim. Scott is a bit of a douche towards the beginning of the comic who is on a rebound search for love, but you won’t know about the rebound part till later. He starts off in Scott Pilgrim #1 “Scott Pilgrims’s Precious Little Life” by dating a cute Asian girl that is still in high School named Knives Chau and is age 17 while Scott is 22. Apparently, this is OK in Canada where the comic takes place. (Also I’d like to say that Knives is a badass name. If I have a daughter someday, she will be named Knives.) Either way Scott’s over this Asian chick fast because he meets literally the girl of his dreams Ramona Flowers and promptly begins to pursue her without breaking up with Knives. I told you that he’s kind of a douche. (It’s OK you can keep reading I’m not even to the meat of the story yet this is all still set up.) Skip over some romancy drama between Scott and Ramona, and things start to get weird. Up to this point in the book it’s been pretty straight forward. Scott is in a relationship and is in a band. He spends time discussing his feelings with the band and there are a few chuckle spots here and there but over all it’s pretty normal. Scott’s a little scatterbrained and quirky, but nothing really strange has happened. Hold onto your socks though because we’re taking a massive left turn when through the roof shoots Ramona’s first Evil Ex-Boyfriend, and we’re suddenly revealed that “Scott is the best fighter in the county everybody knows that.” From here things go super crazy. Scott find out from Ramona that he must defeat her 7 Evil Exes if they continue to date, and oddly enough Scott is so love struck, he accepts. Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life from here on out becomes a massive video game reference from the 64 hit combo that he’ll deliver to this Ex’s face to the Ex bursting into coins at the end. Honestly, if the comic had stayed the same way that it had been going I probably would have lost interest and not finished the series but with this sudden twist I was loving it. Things just get stranger from there as Scott’s Band continues to play music you’ll see bands with strange special powers that can knock out audiences or play music without instruments, and as Scott goes through Ex’s each has a strange and interesting power like the Psychic Vegan or the Lesbian Half-Ninja.
Story spoilers aside I really did enjoy Scott Pilgrim. It was a great Read. Yes, Scott opens up as a douche, but I’m sure we were supposed to perceive him that way so we can watch him grow as a character and as a person. Scott starts out as a free loader and a bit of a lecher, possibly on the path to becoming Ramona’s 8th evil Ex. However, this all maybe part of making Scott a relateable character. In this light we can probably all remember a time when we were in a bad phase, and took advantage of people. In Scott’s case it was because he was so heartbroken that he didn’t even realize he was doing it. In our cases it may just be because of trauma, stress, or because you’re obsessed with riddles and need the whole world you know that you’re better than them. Either way, as we see physically displayed in the Later books Scott does make a life change and face off against himself in a struggle to regain his self respect and move towards becoming a better person.

The Movie
If you did read the comic, then don’t expect this to be exact copy. I know the trailer hints that it maybe since it looks very off the wall but the movie takes quite a few liberties for the sake of cutting a 6 volume comic into a 2 hours film. They’ve defiantly taken liberties when it comes to the relationship between Scott and Knives. They’re diving a bit deeper into their romance which I personally don’t think was ever a romance as much as it was Scott was heart broken and Knives had boobs so it worked for now, but Hollywood saw it differently. Side stories were cut out of course and so was a good deal of the gay moments that existed. Oh did I forget to say that in the comic review? Scott’s roommate is gay and can turn Scott’s sister’s boyfriend gay, Scott’s friend’s roommate is gay and will turn one of Scott’s friends gay, and Scott (because he is a lazy bum) spends 2 volumes sleeping in the same bed with his roommate because he can’t afford one of his own. Though they do play with this a bit in the movie they did cut a lot of the serious gay moments form the comic. Not that the comic throws “I’m liberal” in your face but it has gay characters as a fact of life. Men like other men sometimes… just it’s icky when they do.
Majority of the characters are in the film even if it is just for a brief moment. They’re all represented decently, as well. My biggest concern when it came to actors, however, was Micheal Cera and it should be yours too! No I did not see Superbad. No I will not see Superbad if you tell me to. The first movie that I saw with Micheal Cera in it was Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist which is a very good movie, but for the sake of fairness I’m not pushing it on you in return for you not pushing Superbad on me. deal? deal. Well in Nick & Norah Micheal plays Nick, a single guy that just went through a massive heart break and also plays in an indie rock band. I know! That’s probably why they picked him. Either way, my major problem with Micheal Cera when I first saw him as Scott at the beginning of the movie is that he can’t be as weird and off the wall as the Scott from the comics. In the opening of the film, just like the opening of the comic, it’s very boring. Micheal’s doing the same awkward, speak softly and carry a stick the size of a small lizard routine that he’s done in all of his films. I’m glad to say that he does step up as the movie progresses. No he does not pull a Youth in Revolt and become a completely different person but he does play a good “rendition” of Scott Pilgrim. Again, it’s not an exact copy from the book. Micheal says the same lines but not in the same way that I would have thought Scott would say them, but that may just be me. Personal Advice: Give him a chance. Micheal Cera may surprise you believe it or not.
As opposed to just being in a band that is attempting to become an underground success in the non-sitcom way, now there is a battle of the bands that Scott’s band will be going through during the film to show a growth and progression that we don’t see in the comic for them which will inevitably become a comment on “selling out.” It was at this point that I made a realization that I probably should have made while reading the comic, but the Evil Exes represent labels. Holy F’in Moly it only took me forever. Keep an eye open for this, though. Scott is of course your indie crowd and Ramona, as she grew had gone through each phase as she grew up which his displayed with each Ex. Emo/Wrath, Actor/Greed,  Jock Vegan/Vanity, Japanese Techno Otaku/ Sloth – Envy, Goth Chick /Lust (What Scott referred to as Ramona’s sexy phase), Business sellout /Gluttony. Yeah I know I added in some deadly sins there too because in retrospect they might work? I don’t know correct me if you see a problem I guess but the labels thing for sure. Keep an eye out whne you watch the movie, and believe me you should watch this movie.

The Game
Ok so I know I said in What I Expected that this game would be like Turtle in Time and I really was expecting it to be. Turns out that Scott Pilgrim vs The World The Game is more like Castle Crashers. You remember that game which was Downloadable for the Xbox360 a few years back. Just like Castle Crashers. It’s 4 player co-op on a single console. Beat em up Style and delightfully adorable. Everything is smiling form the traffic cones to the large hammer that Ramona swings about. The game play is simple enough. Square to Punch, Triangle to punch harder. Circle is block, and X is jump. R1 does a Spinning attack that uses up a little stat called Guts, which for the sake of simple understanding I will call mana. L1 also uses up mana and summons little Knives Chau to either heal, stun or attack. There’s a neat little leveling system but it’s pretty much just so you can learn new combos to progress. Where the real growth comes from in character stats is with cold hard cash. Yes just as in the comic and the movie, when people are defeated the burst into coins. The coins are then used in stores to buy Hipster hats and Concert T-shirts that you can’t really wear but instead add points to your character stats; making this adorable beat em up into a semi RPG. I really can only say semi because it is not really RPG. It’s incredibly dumbed down so you don’t have to worry about the real RPG elements like stat handling and money management. This just tells you buy all you can and watch the numbers go up. Even Dungeons and Dragons the arcade game which had a beat em up style allowed you equip and de-equip items by choice or allow you to customize a bit more to your character aside form just changing shirt colors, but because this can be chalked up to keeping a closer range to the Scot Pilgrim source material I’ll let it slide…. for now.
The story is the same. I’m told it once and that’s enough. The opening sequence seems to just skip all the bullcrap and jump you right into the story though. Scott sees Ramona, they kiss with little hearts then BAM you’ve got work to do because 7 evil ex-douche-bags are waiting to get their asses beat. Simple enough for a game and pretty much what happened in the comic and movie. because the game was made last it also carries jokes form the comic as well as the movie. You’ll know what I mean if you see the movie and read the comics. Without reading the comic or watching the film, however, I highly doubt you’ll fully understand what’s going on for majority of the game. Then again if you haven’t really been following Scott Pilgrim then why would you be interested enough to try out the game?
This game is far from perfect, but it’s leaps and bounds beyond most games that are crapped out because a movie of the same title had just been released. That’s really saying something as well since Scott Pilgrim is a 16-bit 2D side-scroller. It does suffer some major flaws, and the first one that comes to mind in glowing hot letters is the difficulty curve. Jesus Christ! Having RPG elements and leveling present in this game would lead me to believe that maybe MAYBE I just done something wrong. missed out on buying a missile launcher or some kind of invincibility power up, but playing this with a team of 3 people for 3 hours and we’d had to replay levels 4 – 5 times each just to make it to the end and beat the evil Ex. I can see how extending the game time by making it harder may look good on paper but it just doesn’t really work out. By sheer will and determination displayed by The 59th Sound we pressed on and kept playing. I’m not so inclined to do so on my own and when I eventually had to kick them out of the cell and continue on by myself the game was hard enough to drive a crazy man sane. At least with multiplayer you are able to heal a friend and save his life, but when playing single player you have but 1 life to live and when it’s over you move to the next one and when you reach 0 that’s it. Game Over. Back to the Beginning of the whole F’in stage. No Checkpoints. No Quick Saves.

MULTIPLAYER!
The Comic
Books are hard to read when other people are sharing it. You both read at different speeds and you’ll find yourself either saying “no no wait go back” or “hurry up I’m done already.” In other words. Multiplayer on a single book sucks. Multiplayer on multiple books is awesome though because then you can talk about it with your friends when you’re done. Of course if you’re both in the same room then you maybe become annoyed when the other just starts randomly laughing. God do I become annoyed in here when SOMEONE starts randomly laughing in his cell! You know who you are!

The Movie
The movie is fun to watch with friends. does it make it better though? maybe maybe not. I could tell you that this is a fun date movie, there is some cheating in it so if you’re trying not to send the wrong signals you may wanna be cautious. The ending will be a bit confusing, as well. From what I heard It was written to end one way but then Hollywood up and changed it so that it would better match the ending of the 6th comic book. I personally liked the way they ended it here, but again if you and your date disagree on who you think Scott should end up with then.. meh. Maybe not a good first date movie but it’s something that you can enjoy with friends, or your girlfriend I know I’m taking Ragdoll to this sucker on Friday night.

The Game
This game should be played in multiplayer. It just makes the overall experience better with a smoother story and more laughter to be had. I personally played through with Ragdoll, The 59th Sound and … Clay. We got to choose form a roster os Scott, Ramona, Kim (One of Scott’s friends and the drummer the band) and Stephen Stills (Guitar in Scott’s band.) They each of their own special and quirky humor to their attacks, but they all generally do the same thing with the exception of the Knives summon. A few game mechanics that I didn’t mention in what we’ve got is the ability to revive a fallen co-op player by standing over them and hitting Circle over and over. If you do it fast enough they’ll regain almost all their health and you can fight on without losing a life. Of course with this ability comes more bad guys but really I’ve only noticed an increase of 1 – 2 baddies per room for each new member of the team you add in. So more people means a smoother play through. When playing with friends you can turn friendly fire on and off depending on how much you want to hate your friends by the end of the night, and there is a SUPER CO-OP ATTACK that you can do in co-op when everyone taunts they perform a rock shows and call a giant beats to defeat enemies. Or that is I think it’s supposed to defeat enemies. Whenever my friends and I used it which was 3 or 4 times it always just kinda roared in the background and then went away without hurting anything. I don’t know but it looked cool at least.

CONCLUSION:
Scott Pilgrim as a series is awesome. Is it a modern day Watchmen? No. The Comic has nowhere near the significance as the Watchmen nor does it have a message more than commentary on social labels. As a movie however it will defiantly surpass the Watchmen. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the Watchmen movie and I think making a 1:1 adaptation of a movie was great and I own the 4 and a half hour ultimate edition, but I’m sure that Scott Pilgrim will be much more successful. This will probably be attributed to the fact that it’s more of a family film and it’s a comedy and all that jazz. Also it will probably make as a more successful downloadable game because, let’s face it, The Watchmen game really sucked. Sure you can play as Rorschach and Nite Owl in their Prime and break arms but that’s all you do for 3 hours and theres very little else to do or even look at. Scott Pilgrim on the other hand, is a delight to play and is just plain adorable.

Overall Rating:
The Comic

I only Say Rent it because if you can get it from a library or read it in the store you probably won’t be a dork like me and go back to read it a second time.

The Movie

Well don’t go out and buy the film reel, but buy a ticket and go see it. It’s worth your 2 hours.

The Game

If you have the friends to play it with. If you’re playing it through on your own because you have that kind of time then I would say play it on Easy to get a good level before tackling a harder difficulty. The game is only $9.99 on PSN right now and should be the Xbox equivalent of that when it launches on the 20th, so it’s really not so bad to buy especially if you’ve loved the movie and comic thus far.

Feel Free to leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think, if you enjoyed the review or what you want me to review next. I’ll pay attention. After all, you are my only reader.

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