Lollipop Chainsaw is the latest bat shit crazy title from Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture. Anyone who’s played any of Suda51′s games knows there’s going to be plenty of blood and dick jokes to go around. Lollipop Chainsaw adds on to this beloved tradition and adds just a little extra pizzazz to his otherwise dark and twisted titles.
Lollipop Chainsaw puts you in the shoes of Juliet Starling, a normal San Romero High School cheerleader who also just happens to be a zombie hunter. What was supposed to be the greatest 18th birthday ever (Yaaaaoooo legal!) turns out to be a glimpse into hell as her entire high school and it’s surrounding city have been turned into gut hungry zombies by the depressed and bullied goth “Swan”.
Juliet is all too familiar with killing zombies, coming from a family of zombie hunters, she killed her first zombie at the age of 6 months with a sharpened rattle. True story. With her decapitated boyfriend by her side (long story), Juliet has to leepfrog, decapitate, and buzzsaw her way through the masses of zombie hordes and their bosses of zombie rock to return the world back to it’s “normal” state. Imagine Buffy the Vampire slayer but replace Buffy with Juliet, a stake with a chainsaw, and Angel with Nick who should be a zombie but is a head with uses like a Swiss Army Knife. You get the picture? Good because the picture is awesome!
Lollipop Chainsaw is an action title with it’s own style. Fans of Bayonetta will feel right at home with it’s fluent combat system, dodge mechanics, and quick time event system. Juliet has plenty of weapons and combos at her disposable. Although she only starts out with her beloved chainsaw and pom poms, later in the game you receive a chainsaw blaster and other upgrades to said chainsaw to aid you in your quest to destroy as many zombies as possible. Pom Pom attacks aren’t deadly, but they allow you to push back zombies and make them “groggy” so you can decapitate your enemies with ease.
With each zombie death they spew not only beautiful colors and stars but also medals. More powerful zombies and “Sparkle Hunting”, decapitating 3 zombies at once, award larger amounts of medals, so tactics in killing zombies is essential in huge zombie medal gains. These medals allow you to purchase combos, strength and health upgrades, costumes, music, and artwork from Chop2Shop.zom stores found around each level.
Each zombie dropped also spews out stars that fill up a “Star Soul” meter that once activated, starts up the song “Mickey” by Toni Basil and let’s you lop off numerous zombies heads without breaking a sweat. Think of it as a very special rage mode, minus the rage and with more smiles and laughter with death all around you.
Cutting zombies in half from their ass to their face, glitter exploding from zombies neck holes, and beautiful rainbows that cross the screen after you successful complete sparkle hunting sometimes just isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to stick Nick’s magic decapitated head on blue hazy zombies to accomplish certain tasks. These mini games are usually menial and only require you to accomplish a few quick time events to cheer toss Juliet over an obstacle, or remove certain objects out of your path. These events would get annoying if it weren’t for Nick’s funny comments and his sometime sea walking zombie body.
Lollipop Chainsaw‘s combat mechanics work. Dodging is simple, pom pom stuns home in on enemies, the chainsaw blaster’s auto-aim can be turned off for head shots, Juliet can be upgraded to a well oiled killing machine, and it’s all done without taking itself seriously. It’s funny how a game filled with rainbow glitter spewing decapitated zombies, dick jokes, priceless one liners, and constant cinematics teasing whats under Juliet’s skirt, has combat mechanics that surpass other high profile action games.With over 18 combos to choose from, zombie killing never get’s old. There were moments where I swear I was going to break my PS3 controller because I was mashing the buttons so hard to execute combo after combo. Lucky for me I’m a professional gamer who’s controller would break before my thumbs went raw.
The camera can be questionable at times, with all the dodging and sawing going on, it’s easy to lose focus on a group of zombies. Escaping the group is usually the answer.
Lollipop has some of the craziest bosses as to be expected. The Bosses of Zombies of Rock spew foul words as weapons, send Juliet tripping on shrooms, and others just funk out into their Auto-tune microphones. These boss battles are the same over the top fights you’ed expect from a Suda51 title, and usually have 3-4 different parts of a battle, all with different tactics used to defeat said boss. None are necessarily too difficult, just find out the bosses pattern, dodge, QTE, chop in half, rinse and repeat. I understand the simplicity since Lollipop Chainsaw is meant to be played in short spurts for high points in multiplayer. Yeup, Lollipop Chainsaw has a multiplayer, and no it’s not co-op.
The multiplayer takes your current Juliet and combos into worldwide leaderboards for medals, time attack, or all around points. It would behove someone to max out their Juliet before thinking they can earn an impressive rank since better combos with more powerful moves equal more sparkle hunting and thus more points. It’s nothing incredibly creative, but it is fun, and that’s all that matters.
Lollipop Chainsaw is exactly what it’s supposed to be. When it was introduced at PAX last year, it promised a crazy action title with an over sexualized lead with masses of zombies to kill, and that’s exactly what it delivered. I’ve heard complaints about it being a “one day game” and “lack of story”. The length issue is a debate for another time, but the expectation for a deep story is just erroneous. Neither of those should be any reason to displace this title as a quality game. The length of the game should never be the reason a game get’s bad reviews. Yes you can beat Lollipop Chainsaw in around 6 hours, but the point isn’t to “beat” it. It’s stage select and short length of each stage is meant to keep you coming back again and again to earn more medals for combos and outfits, and to make the multiplayer easily accessible. I’ve been having a blast trying to beat Juliet’s dad’s scores on each stage in order to earn PlayStation trophies. The game is so accessible, and has so much available to earn within it, that achievement junkies will be busy enjoying rainbow death far past the 6 hour mark.
I think hearts, stars, and rainbows are hilarious. Suda51′s dark humor in his games never disappoint me. From the very first “Sparkle Hunting” I knew Lollipop Chainsaw was exactly what I’ve been waiting for. From No More Heroes to Shadow’s of the Damned, I’m glad Lollipop Chainsaw still contained the crude humor, but added this undeniably cute and hilarious hyper-violent style. Yes, that sentence does combine a lot of words that shouldn’t be in a sentence together, but that’s exactly what Lollipop is all about. Combine everything that doesn’t make sense and shouldn’t be together, and makes them look like they were old college roommates. I would only suggest Lollipop Chainsaw to the adventurous types who want to kill endless hordes of zombies while laughing, smiling, and maybe getting a little turned on in the process…from Juliet, not the undead zombies…that’s necrophilia and I draw the line there.
Lollipop Chainsaw is glitterainbowgoriffic. It’s the perfect combination of over sexualized, over the top action, with strange demented humor.
Back to the Farm.
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