'Scott Pilgrim' vs. Its Video Game References
Robert Errera, Crispy Gamer
'Scott Pilgrim' vs. Its Video Game References
Shortly into the first chapter of the "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" comic, we are introduced to The Sex Bob-ombs band, the first of many video game references Scott Pilgrim's illustrated world throws at us. You may remember bob-ombs from the "Super Mario" series: living round black bombs with a turning key in their backs. The "Mario" references continue in his desert dream, in which the cactus has a face - a trademark enemy in the "Super Mario" series, as well. The beauty of these comics is that the references work well and
Like many games, the plot of the comics is a classic save-the-princess type of deal, complete with boss fights and special moves, which again evokes the days of "Mario." In that famous series,
Another video game plot similarity is the RPG amnesia shtick. In many RPGs (i.e. several "Final Fantasy" games, "Xenogears" and more) we are given a hero who either has no memory of his past or has no knowledge of the world he's in. Scott is no different; though he appears to be a normal person, he also starts out knowing nothing -- not because of amnesia or being transported to another world/time period, but because he is actually that clueless, oblivious and self-involved. Continuing in typical RPG fashion, Scott happens to be a great fighter (the best) and aims to better himself to get the girl.
Scott Pilgrim's battles with the evil exes are chockfull of gaming mentions, as well. When fighting
It's not all sex, violence and money, though -- there's rock 'n' roll, too. Being a member of the Sex Bob-ombs, Scott admits to learning the baseline from "Final Fantasy 2," wears a "Rock Band" T-shirt and plays with bands like "Clash at the Demonhead," "Kid Chameleon" and "Sonic and Knuckles," which are all also video game titles.
But the reason the references work so well is because they are dispersed throughout six volumes of several hundred pages each, sprinkled generously throughout the daily lives of young men and women who are faced with real life considerations like working in order to earn rent money, going to concerts and parties, obsessing over someone, hating the friend of a friend and general self-loathing. The story of love and angst is enhanced by the unusually heavy (and often blatant) game references, showing that in this ordinary world of angst and failed romance the extraordinary is less of a big deal.
Because the characters act like Shoryukens and things like Ramona's infinite purse (from which she pulls out a hammer that has plus-2 against girls) are unusual but believable occurrences, those occurrences feel like they fit in with that world. And with situation-relevant game references that pop up, the world begins to act like a video game. For example, before Scott is about to see his super-famous ex-girlfriend, Envy Adams, a save point appears, and when Scott and Ramona are referred to as an item Scott imagines things like a Fire Flower and a mushroom.
As the comic's volumes move on, gaming becomes more and more prevalent in Scott's life. He constantly plays Genesis and NES, and by volume 6 is hooked on what is clearly a PSPGo. He even goes so far as to daydream of being in Link's clothing, confused within what resembles the Lost Woods. But the best testament of the video game-ness in Scott's life is when he defeats Ramona's twin ex-boyfriends and the comic states: "Achievement Unlocked" for defeating the twins at the same time (which was included in the XBLA/PSN Scott Pilgrim game as an actual achievement/trophy).
Other references populate the story more and more, like Scott's shirts, which range from a "Dragon Quest" slime to a "Mother 2" logo or Gidgeon's headband, which looks like an inverted Tri-Force. And let's not forget Gidgeon's cryogenic chambers that hold his six other ex-girlfriends, strongly resembling not only the seven maidens encased in crystal in "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past," but also the seven Princesses of Heart in "Kingdom Hearts."
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is for anyone who thinks of their health in HP and endurance bars and silently levels up whenever they experience a real life achievement. And though it uses versions and spoofs of existing games to further its story, the series remains smart, funny, sensitive at its sincerest -- and very badass at its best.
Available at Amazon.com:
Videogaming & Video Game Reviews
- 'Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep'
- 'Halo: Reach'
- 'Mafia II'
- 'Scott Pilgrim' vs. Its Video Game References
- 'Madden 11'
- 'Metroid: Other M'
- 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The Games'
- Burn Zombie Burn
- Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game
- Starcraft 2
- Dolby's Axon Software
- What Video Games Could Teach
- Valkyria Chronicles II
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
- Clash of the Titans
- Alien Spawn
- Halo: Combat Evolved - Failure is an Option
- Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
- Medal of Honor
- ModNation Racers
- 3D Dot Heroes
- The Sims 3: Ambitions
- Lost Planet 2
- Star Trek Online
- Coming of Age in Video Games
- Putting Down Video Games And Picking Them Back Up Again
- Government Should Stop Kids From Buying Violent Video Games
- Video Games Don't Cause Children to be Violent
- 'Monster Hunter Tri' (Wii)
- 'Dead to Rights: Retribution' (Xbox 360)
- Deus Ex Focuses on the Play
- 'Sam & Max Season 3: The Penal Zone'
- Sleep is Death
- 'FarmVille': A Love Story
- 'Battlefield: Bad Company 2'
- 'Assassin's Creed II: Bonfire of the Vanities'
- Assassin's Creed II - Xbox 360
- 'Avatar: The Game'
- 'WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010' - Xbox 360
- NCAA Basketball 10 - PS3
- Disney Jonas - DS
- 'God of War' Collection - PS3
- How to Beat the Hydra in 'God of War' - PS3
- 'Left 4 Dead 2' - Xbox 360
Video Games: 'Scott Pilgrim' vs. Its Video Game References
COPYRIGHT (C) 2010 CRISPY GAMER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
Your Favorite Comic Strips Online
Your favorite comics strips Animal Crackers, Annie, Bound & Gagged, Brenda Starr, Brewster Rockit: Space Guy, Broom-Hilda, Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, Gil Thorp, Housebroken, Loose Parts, The Middletons, Pink Panther, Raising Hector, Sylvia, 9 to 5, Bliss, Bottom Liners, Love Is..., Pluggers all online at ComicStripNation.com