Lollipop Chainsaw review
Move over Bayonetta, there is another femme fatale gunning for your spot. Suda 51, the man behind over-the-top, inappropriate, and mostly ridiculous yet extremely entertaining games, has done it again. Lollipop Chainsaw is a collaborative effort between Grasshopper Manufacturer and director James Gunn, and it ends up being one of the most unique experiences I've ever got my hands on. Or as unique as a zombie-slaying cheerleader can get.
That's not to say the gameplay itself is very innovative. In fact, it's a fairly standard hack-and-slasher that does make some good use of chaining combo attacks with each other. However, it's the rest of the experience that makes this game something to remember.
The game revolves around a family of zombie hunters, or more specifically, Juliet Starling — the hot 18-year-old cheerleader from San Romero High. On her 18th birthday, all hell breaks loose thanks to a egomaniacal goth named Swan who unleashes zombies onto the world, as well as five undead gods of rock that all need to be taken care of in order to restore the world back to its original state. Throw into the mix that Juliet's boyfriend Nick gets bitten and then saved by Juliet's magic, leaving him as a decapitated head to tag along Juliet's adventure.
Wait what?! Yep, that's the premise, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Though I've said it's a fairly traditional hack-and-slasher, LC does things a little differently, which helps set it apart from standard button mashers. When fighting baddies, you rely mostly on your chainsaw, but being extremely heavy, it leaves her vulnerable to attacks. To combat this, Juliet can daze zombies with swift punches from her pom-poms, though they can't ever be killed this way. This makes combat slightly more varied as you have to balance quick jabs with your pom-poms to daze zombies and then finish them off with your chainsaw.
While killing zombies, you earn two sets of medals. Gold medals are used to buy upgrades in the shop, such as new moves or health upgrades. Platinum medals can only be acquired while Sparkle Hunting and allows you to buy the multitudes of skimpy outfits to dress Juliet up in. Sparkle Hunting is done by decapitating three or more zombies in one swipe. The more you decapitate, the higher the reward of medals.
Juliet comes stocked with tons of moves, both environmental and ones you have to purchase from the in-game store. Whether you upgrade her to perform one of many combo moves, or have her pole dance while waving her chainsaw around, you'll most likely never get bored of watching Juliet prance around the screen in her skimpy outfits, killing a myriad of zombies.
On top of that, Juliet has two types of super moves — one that charges up over time as you kill zombies and then unleash it to decapitate your enemies in a single blow (all while 'Hey Mickey' plays during this sequence) and another that uses Nick's head in a variety of ways. The latter relies on tickets that you either find or buy. Once used, it starts a roulette of Nick's powers and, whichever one it lands on will unleash a joint attack that is not only hilarious to watch, but does some great damage.