Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Release Date: 7/12/2012
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Most of the time when a sexy protagonist is on the front cover you know you’re in for a bad game. Lollipop Chainsaw is actually quite enjoyable if you look past the flaws. You play as the sexy cheerleader Juliet Starling who is part of a zombie hunting family. You must stop a goth kid from turning everyone in your high school and town into zombies. The story is pretty thin and not very interesting because the game isn’t even long enough to dish out a meaty story. With only 6 levels you’re looking for a weekend rental at best. With this being a Suda 51 game you can also expect crazy out the you-know-what. The game is oozing with style and visual eye candy, but is it any good?
The answer is yet, but with flaws. The first issue is combat. There are plenty of combos you can buy and unlock at chop2shop.com stations. You can buy health and other items like art, threads, and music. Once you start unlocking more combos the game is more diverse, but Juliet doesn’t feel like the limber cheerleader she should be. Basic attacks use her pom-poms, but it takes forever to make a zombie groggy enough for a chainsaw kill. I rarely used basic attacks and just stuck to chainsaw attacks. Her chainsaw is cumbersome, and the combat system in general needs more polish. I felt like I was controlling a giant fat guy rather than a nimble girl. Her animations are too long and you get constantly knocked back which means tapping B to recover every time. The combat is just sluggish and not as limber as games like Tomb Raider or Bayonetta.
The combat is even flawed with the chainsaw blaster. Aiming the thing is a pain because it always sticks to enemies like there’s a magnet. I can’t go for precise headshots or aim at barrels. You can use Nick Tickets which are special mini-games that use Nick’s head (her headless boyfriend) as a weapon. These are pretty crazy and funny like shooting his head out of a cone-like topper or swinging him around on a rope among others. You can use your rainbow power to become invincible for a while and start sparkle hunting. If you kill three or more zombies in a row you will a trippy girly pose scene of Juliet and earn bonus coins.
The combat is obviously the main focus because there’s not much else here. There are a few mini-games like pole dancing, jumping on zombie heads, and the few mini-games that are level specific, as well as a few chainsaw dash areas. The 6 levels are interesting and keep things mixed up, but it’s the bosses that are all different and interesting. Each one has some sort of musical skill from a different genre of music. Having to kill them is awesome and full of gore and guts which you will see plenty of.
Lastly, the graphics are not technically impressive but have lots of visual flairs. The blood from zombies flows pink with rainbows, sparkles, and stars flying out. The game is very girly but appeals to men due to the sex appeal and violence. Juliet herself is hard to like and is not as memorable as other females like Lara Croft or Bayonetta. She’s a dingy preppy cheerleader and is the exact stereotype of one. Nick says funnier things than she does, but the sayings just get repetitive and annoying after a while. Juliet is hard to like because she acts dumb, and is weak and selfish personality-wise. The game just isn’t long enough to flesh out the characters and story more.
After you beat the game there’s no reason to back except for ranking mode to beat scores and unlock new stuff. The game has a lot of potential but needs some more polish before it can sit among the action/adventure kings like God of War, Tomb Raider, and Bayonetta. The combat is sluggish and cumbersome, the game is short, and the characters aren’t developed as well as they could have been. There is tons of visual flair, but the game is lacking technically with some low-resolution textures and poor lighting effects. Lollipop Chainsaw is fun for a weekend, but nothing more.