In the '90s, beat-em-ups were as numerous as the gang members you fought in them. As technology progressed, however, things moved more towards first-person-shooting and less towards walking-to-the-right-and-beating-up-thugs. That doesn't mean that beat 'em ups are dead, though! In the last few years we've seen some really great titles hit the scene. Behemoth's Castle Crashers blended the manic comedic sensibilities Behemoth is known for with some loot-grabbing, level-upping, beat-em-up action. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game, too, mixed RPG elements with the classic beat-em-up formula, and in both cases, the result was spectacular. Now, the question is, of these two modern brawlers, which one rages those streets the hardest?
Best local multiplayer: Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game. The bright, 16-bit inspired, easy-to-see graphics, surprisingly in-depth brawling, and oddball humor of the Scott Pilgrim universe all blend together to make a hella good time to have with your friends.
Best online multiplayer: Castle Crashers. No question here. When Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game launched, its only multiplayer option was local. Now players have the option of playing online, but only if they purchase a (cheap) DLC pack that adds online play and an additional playable character.
Best music: Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game. Anamanaguchi's chiptune soundtrack for SP: The game is second-to-none.
Best secrets: Castle Crashers. Both games are chock full of secrets, but Castle Crashers is chock just that much more full of them.
Winner: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World: The Game
Full disclosure: this one almost ended as a tie. Only after wracking our brains a bit could we find reasons to put one game ahead of the other. Both beat-em-ups are amazing, and if you're looking for a fun way to spend some time with your friends just grab the friggin' both of 'em. However, be forewarned that Castle Crashers requires players spend a little more time doing house-keeping type stuff like leveling up and picking equipment, and while both RPG-brawlers have spots that get rough if you're not properly leveled up, in Castle Crashers such spots are far more frequent, so, in the end, Scott Pilgrim Vs Castle Crashers ends up being Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour.