Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the little downloadable game that could. Based on a graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley, the game stars Scott Pilgrim as a jobless, good-for-nothing loser (Canadian, no less) who falls for the beautiful Ramona Flowers. She digs him too, for some reason, but there's a catch -- in order to date Ramona, Scott must defeat her seven evil exes.
The side-scrolling beat-em-up is a spiritual successor to River City Ransom and Streets of Rage. You and three buddies -- in offline-only co-op -- battle through the events of the six Scott Pilgrim books, punching, kicking, and tossing around baddies on your way to boss battles with the various evil exes.
New in this build are pile-ups. If stunned by an enemy, they may leap on top of you, followed by a string of other baddies. Mad button-tapping is your only hope to free yourself. Hit those buttons fast enough and you burst free, knocking the pile back (while looking triumphant).
There are also now infinite-string combos. These are sort of like the player version of a pile-on. Get into a good combo rhythm, stun an enemy, and you are prompted to mash the attack button as long as possible. You can even double up on this attack with another player, racing to see who can score the longest string before another enemy hits you and breaks the combo.
With four players, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a hectic, sometimes confusing mix of chaos and fun. There's a lot happening on the screen, considering you have so few buttons to mash. But having now played two full levels, I have to say that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is shaping up as one of the more enjoyable side-scrollers in recent memory.