The Game: Lollipop Chainsaw
Developer: Grasshopper Entertainment and Suda51
Platform: PlayStation 3 (also available for Xbox 360)
Released: June 12, 2012
Ever wanted to wield a multifunctional chainsaw, in a quest to kill zombies being brought from the â€śRotten Worldâ€ť by an evil goth who was bullied in high school? Welcome to Lollipop Chainsaw; a twisted and entertaining game from Grasshopper Entertainment and Suda51 (Killer 7, No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned). A game that prides itself on its the top action and crudeness. And, while not without its faults, provides an entertaining experience throughout.
Juliet Starling, high school student, cheerleader, zombie hunter. The game starts on her 18th birthday (thatâ€™s a relief) and a brief explanation that she plans to enjoy the day with her boyfriend and family. Only, on the way to school, things donâ€™t go as expected. Zombies now fill the streets and are in the way of her meeting place with Nick Carlyle, the previously noted boyfriend. So of course, thereâ€™s only one way through, slicing and dicing with her zombie hunting chainsaw.
This is where the game starts, and where the tutorial kicks in, Juliet has several basic moves that are upgraded as the game progresses. Her basic pompom attack is essentially a stun move, it CAN kill zombies, but it takes a long time. However, after a few hits, they become stunned, and a stunned zombie can be instantly killed by the chainsaw. This opens up into a combo system combining both pompom attacks which culminate in chainsaw finales. This however, will turn out to be a problem for button mashers. The best approach to take with combat is to time each hit as it happens and press when the first attack has ended. Pressing to quickly will have her continue unintentional chains, and will more often than not, leave her open to attacks from surrounding enemies.
Unfortunately after our tutorial/opening level is over, Nick ends up taking a bite for Juliet and begins to become infected. So, in order for Juliet to still be with Nick, she does the only sane thing a person would do, Chop off his head. Upon waking she simply explains to him that itâ€™s because of magic. She is able to do this, and off they go again to kill more zombies. Nick himself is obviously terrified, shocked, awed at this, but eventually comes to terms with it as the story progresses. He is also one of the most entertaining characters in the game, every event or battle in the game has him spouting witty one-liners or commenting on his predicament in a way that only a man tied to his girlfriendâ€™s belt as a head would be able to see it. Not only that, but Nick can be used in a variety of ways throughout the game, to collect money, attack enemies, or shoot him out of your Chainsaw cannon (yes you read that right) to quickly stun enemies for easy kills.
You’ve probably guess by now that, as a story, Lollipop Chainsaw enjoys being ridiculous. Swan, our evil goth bad guy has summoned these zombies using a ritual, and has also created 5 zombie overlords who will reign over the areas of the game. And each overlord has their own music to accompany them from punk rock to heavy metal each zombie adds a unique flavour to each area of the game, which the soundtrack reflects fully. The 5 areas of the game are just as interesting, ranging from the high school, to a stadium, and ending up at farms and arcades. Each level has a very unique experience, and always brings a new twist and element of gameplay to the floor.
Of course, the game is not without its faults and issues, as stated earlier, the combat is clunky, and until you learn some new skills and abilities later on, you’ll be using the same combos for a majority of the fighting. Another â€śproblemâ€ť that may not go over well with a lot of people is the profanity in the game; a lot of the characters and enemies swear, a great deal, and more still like to point out how much they love seeing Julietâ€™s… *ahem* Assets. While it doesnâ€™t take away from the gameplay at all, it gets a little tedious having enemies call Juliet a whore every other encounter.
Overall, the game itself is a very enjoyable experience, the story is hilarious and entertaining and the cast is interesting and fleshed out. Combat, while certainly not the best out there is fun and visceral. It can become much more interesting later on after learning the basics and purchasing new skills. If you like Suda’s earlier works, this is definitely a game worth checking out, and if you’re starting with this as your first, maybe try giving No More Heroes or Shadows of the Damned a whirl as well. While not for everyone, Lollipop Chainsaw can be a great experience, and I’d recommends giving it a play through at least once.
|Overall Score||Presentation||Sound||Gameplay||Graphics||Replay Value|
Pros: Interesting story and characters, creative level design, excellent soundtrack, great voice actors, pompom/chainsaw combos are rewarding, Nick related abilities are great, detailed and vivid graphics, tons of collectables and costumes, and good implementation of a ranked mode for competing.
Cons: Crude humour may not be for everyone, zombie shouts are repetitive, combat can be slow and clunky at times, can be repetitive until later on when new moves become available, lack of variety with zombie characters, can sometimes stutter during certain action scenes, game is a bit on the short side (averaging between 5 to 7 hours).