Suda51 has done it again. The mad genius has somehow managed to take zombies and cheerleaders and combine into one hell of an entertaining game.
Lollipop Chainsaw is a bizarre, but brilliant, survival horror that takes players back to their high school years when girls wore knee high socks and their hair in pigtails…and when zombies roamed the halls. Players take control of a hot 18 year-old blonde cheerleader named Juliet Starling as she makes her way through the infected halls of San Romero High School. Why are the zombies there? I have no clue, but armed with pom-poms, strong thighs, and a giant chainsaw (boy, girls like this didn’t exist back in my high school days) Juliet is going to restore her school to normal (well, as normal as a Suda51 school can be).
As you rip through the hordes of zombies, splicing them in half, the barely-legal Juliet will dazzle you with her acrobatics, while giving brief glimpses of her panties (what a tease that Suda51 is). The combat is fast-paced, combo-chaining filled with sparkles and rainbows. As players form combos with their light attacks, they can raise Juliet’s Star Meter which will set her up to perform a variety of candy-colored finishing moves in which she decapitates and dismembers the zombies.
As players progress through the school, small decisions will have to be made in the story. Different doors in the high school will engage the player in different battles. Players will also experience moments where Juliet can save fellow members of the student body from being eaten alive. Succeeding in saving a student and they will shower Juliet with coins and stars. Failing to do so will result in them rising from the dead stronger than the average zombies.
Watch the Lollipop Chainsaw announcement trailer
Lollipop Chainsaw is not all hack n’ slash. Both the sub-bosses and top-level bosses in the game will require some sort of strategy. In my first encounter with Mr. Fitzgibbons, a mini-boss who wields his teacher’s desk, I needed to leapfrog behind him and attack him from the back. Though still fairly simplistic, it was a nice change from the mind-numbing button mashing.
My second boss encounter was a bit trickier. Armed with a spiked microphone stand and harsh language, Zed, The Punk Rock Zombie shouts verbally abusive, vulgar words towards Juliet. Not only are his words verbally abusive, but physically harmful as well. Taking physical form, I had to dodge the glimmering insults hurled at me. Similar to Shadows of the Damned this mainly consisted of me leapfrogging over the flying letters with a simple press of the button. Though not playable in my demo, it was revealed that each boss will have a different defense that players will have to solve. Juliet won’t travel alone, however. Attached to her very shirt cheerleading skirt is Nick, the severed head of Juliet’s boyfriend that feeds the player helpful tips along the way – similar to Johnson in Shadows of the Damned.
My demo of Lollipop Chainsaw was short, but sweet (see what I did there? She loves lollipops!). The fast-paced, bloody action combined with twisted humor really made for an entertaining experience. Only Suda51 could combine sparkles, lollipops, zombies, blood, violence, vulgar language, and a hot cheerleader and make it work in a video game.