Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game – Wallace Wells and Online DLC PS3
I couldn’t wait for the Scott Pilgrim game, and when it came out I played it tirelessly, maxing every character’s stats and levels. Playing on my own and with a full team, I simply loved the arcade feel, the beautiful new colour palette and amazing chiptune music, all set in one of the most fun universes possible. There was a lot to do, tonnes of secrets and several hidden high-score modes that were incredibly fun. I eventually did grow tired once I’d completed everything and played all the high-score modes several times, but a few months later there was a small add-on pack released. For £1.99, players could play as a totally new character, Knives Chau, who had a completely different move set with new animations, and there was also a few extra game modes thrown in for an even better multiplayer experience. The add-on was fun and kept me entertained for a few more hours. That was all. The game was dead, or so I thought…
A new DLC pack was announced around one and a half years after the release of the game, and it wasn’t long after that it was revealed Wallace Wells would be added to the cast of playable characters and that online play would finally be available. Wallace Wells is a great character from both the comics and the movie, so I couldn’t wait to see how he played and what hilarious animations and move list he’d boast. I wasn’t too interested in the online play as I’d already beaten the game with a full party of people, but I thought they could do some pretty cool things with it, such as adding rankings to see which person had done best during the level. I thought it might bring the game back around for one final bang…but I was sorely mistaken.
Wallace has several new animations that suit him brilliantly, but his attacks and attack animations are near-identical to Stephen Stills, an already playable character. Even his assist attack had no effort put into is as it is exactly the same as Stephen Stills’. The new animations I did enjoy were his walk and his bow that he uses when you’ve completed a stage. I expected more to come, but it never did! He is different from an already playable character by two animations and the look of the sprite. That’s it. So obviously all of the team’s efforts went into the online gameplay, right? Well…no, it’s just as bad. A big part of the reason is that the game is turning three-years-old this coming August and nobody’s playing it anymore, so it’s hard to find a server with people playing. If nothing is found, you are kicked back to the Main Menu, and this happens a lot. If you are lucky enough to finally get into a party, you are still sometimes thrown back to the Main Menu when trying to connect all players together. It’s just a horrible experience.
So, I finally join a four-person team and we are loaded into the game. We play for a bit and enjoy the slightly laggy but mostly enjoyable gameplay until we get to the end of the stage where there’s usually a boss fight… Nothing happens. We jump around for a while, and still nothing…until one of our players decides to leave, which kills the server and sends me back to the Main Menu again! I decided I’d try to create a game and chose a two-person party, so that we weren’t waiting for others to join. It worked great and I was able to play to the end of a few levels, although the guy I was playing with annoyed me endlessly with his microphone. Everything annoyed me by this point. I couldn’t play online with more than one person at a time for fear of being disconnected randomly if someone decided to leave the party, and playing with only two people isn’t much different from playing on your own unless it’s local.
Back when the Knives Chau DLC came out, they released a patch to allow drop-in/drop-out local play so players could continue their current game without having to retreat to the menu every time a new person wanted to join. Why they didn’t implement this kind of system into the online is beyond me. Also, when you’ve created a new online game, you can’t start unless your chosen amount of players is reached. This means that you must wait for a lengthy bit of time for enough people to join, instead of just allowing them to jump in mid-game and have current members dive right into the action. Players can’t join a game in-progress, people in a room must wait for others to join and if anyone drops out, the rest of the team has to suffer. It’s just terribly designed. The worst part is that this DLC was delayed for almost a year and they still didn’t have enough time to fix this.
I honestly believe more time was spent on the release trailers than the actual product itself. To release this half-baked DLC almost three years after a game’s original release and charging twice as much as the first DLC pack (which was actually fun) is a joke. I at least expected PS Vita support or even an extra stage or game mode, but all I got was a horrible experience that has left a bitter taste for one of my favourite games on the PSN store.