Lollipop Chainsaw – PS3
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Kadokawa Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release Dates: June 12, 2012
Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10
Reviewed by: Camille
I’ve always believed that there’s a time and place for everything in this world, from bad B-movies to robot puppies. That has always been a very personal philosophy for me. Therefore, I didn’t even flinch when I first heard of Lollipop Chainsaw, a game that surely must have been thought up by the most demented of minds.
In Lollipop Chainsaw, you play as Juliet Sterling, a popular cheerleader at San Romero high school. On her 18th birthday, Juliet starts the day by bicycling to school in a ridiculously skimpy outfit, only to realize that her entire town has been overwhelmed by zombies. But luckily for her, she’s descended from a long line of powerful zombie hunters, and can easily kick some zombie ass. Her weapon of choice? A pink chainsaw.
If you’re starting to think that all of this sounds ludicrous, then you have reached the whole point of this game. The whole premise is built around Juliet running around town, decapitating zombies with her boyfriend’s live head attached to her hip. The story’s characters are pretty much stereotypical and the plot is nonsensical, to say the least.
The game’s soundtrack is at times rock n’ roll, at other times…well, at other times, they play Toni Basil’s “Mickey”. During the course of the game, you fight a punk rocker, a deranged hippie, and a Viking. And the zombies can even talk, and are knowledgeable in the fine art of cursing.
So yeah, this game is stupid. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play it. In fact, if you haven’t already, I’m suggesting you pick it up ASAP. Because this game is one of the purest form of fun I’ve had in a while.
For starters, the game uses Juliet’s cheer-leading abilities very well. As a player, you can use pom-poms to bash zombies senseless before decapitating them with your chainsaw. If you kill three or more zombies at once, this is called Sparkle Hunting and will give you extra medals. With the medals, you can upgrade Juliet’s health, strength and other abilities, buy combos, MP3s, new outfits, and more. Even though I have to say that it isn’t absolutely necessary to upgrade or buy new combos. Even though I do think doing so helped me, the advantage was rather marginal.
The game usually involved killing a set number of zombies before moving on to the next area, though on occasion there were mini-games in place of that. The zombie killing did get somewhat repetitive after a while, but never enough to really dampen on the fun. As for mini-games, they were either hit or miss with me. The worst moment in the game for me was when I had to protect Juliet’s boyfriend from being killed by zombies as he ran around a baseball field (yes, this was as random as it sounds).
Other than using her chainsaw, Juliet can also blast away zombies and bosses with her Chainsaw Blaster, which I have to say was somewhat more fun than using the chainsaw. With a Nick Ticket, you can also play Russian Roulette, and if you win at that, you can use the Nick Popper. The Nick Popper is as idiotic as it sounds, since it basically involves Juliet shooting Nick’s head at an enemy within a set period of time. Even though I used it a couple of times, I still don’t understand the point of it other than to garner more lolz.
The controls are simple to understand and easy to utilize, and this helps enormously with the flow of the game. The graphics are about average. As for difficulty, I would rate Lollipop Chainsaw as moderately easy. In battles with zombie hordes as well as bosses, it’s easy to dodge attacks, though it’s impossible to block them. Because of the inability to block, there will be many times where Juliet is knocked over or injured. There are many lollipop health items around, however, so you shouldn’t become too frustrated. However, the health items are useless during the mini-games. Overall, the difficulty of the game felt somewhat uneven, and it’s not until the very end where you feel the game picking up at all.
The dialogue and humor is where the game shone the best. The interactions between Juliet, her boyfriend, and her family are so silly they’re funny. The jokes are sometimes too crude to really get a laugh (“This guy’s trying to grab me more than Father O’Malley” is one such joke.). However, most of the time, the humor of the game is used effectively, and many people will get quite a few chuckles from the jokes and the general zaniness of the atmosphere. Lollipop Chainsaw overall has a very retro feel, and there is even one level seemingly devoted to classic arcade games.
There are two endings, and many things you could potentially unlock. And if you beat Juliet’s dad’s high score, that unlocks even more items you can access. So the replay value of the game is very high if you want to have all the items and both endings. For example, you can unlock more cheerleader and other cute outfits, and if you get the bad ending on the first play, it can be very satisfying to do better the next time around.
In the end, Lollipop Chainsaw looks as if it would be a waste of time at first glance. But once you give the game a try, and accept its deserved place in the universe like the aforementioned robot puppies, it really does have a way of making you smile.
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