Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review Lollipop Chainsaw

Lollipop Chainsaw
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Price: AU$79.95
As you may know, I am bored of how modern games are turning out for the most part. Last year a new Suda 51 and Grasshopper Manufacturing game was announced and I was already sold on it before getting it. Unsurprisingly I fell in love with this game withing the first 5 minutes of this wacky journey. So sit back, relax and read my review of Lollipop Chainsaw... or just skip to the score and complain about it in the comments section. Your feedback is appreciated.

The story is wacky as hell! It's Juliet Starlings 18th birthday and she's late to meet her boyfriend Nick, but runs into a zombie horde on the way. After fighting the horde, Nick saves her and is bitten by a zombie. Juliet decapitates Nick to save him from becoming a zombie(although he was bitten on the arm. Why take off his head? Then again this is a Suda 51 game) and casts a spell to keep the head alive and reveals she's a professional Zombie Hunter. Later after more zombie killing you find out that all the zombies are the local goth/emo/whatever's fault and she has to defeat 5 super zombies called the dark purveyors to save the town... this believe it or not is the sain part of the story, everything in between is bat crap bonkers!

The gameplay is also kinda crazy with both shooting and combo combat mechanics. Combo combat is like most games that play like it( God of War, Devil May Cry, yadda yadda yadda.) where you press a combination of the action buttons and in this games case it's high chainsaw, low chainsaw, pom poms and dodge. The special moves can be purchased using zombie medals earned for killing zombies, rescuing survivors and picked up in each stage. The game has a ton of skills to purchase from the strangely named Chop2Shop.zom along with costumes, items for health recovery and stat upgrades, nick tickets, artwork and music. The game also uses quick-timed-events(QTEs) throughout the game but fortunately they are easy to do, but if failed some will cause an insta-death.

The moves Juliet can use are mainly combo based but as you progress you will unlock new abilities to vary the combat. Juliet gets a chainsaw dash that give her the ability to dash with the chainsaw on the ground allowing her to go over jumps and kill zombies in her path as well as the ability to shoot with her chainsaw. Nick also gets into the action with the Nick roulette. This is activated with a Nick ticket and it spins icons, each with a different ability and whichever on it lands on is used. Some of these can be useful in combat but one is a waste of a ticket only giving you medals and leaving you open to attacks.

The stages are designed to make the most of all the story earned skills in some way and one of the stages is set in an arcade and in some arcade games for parts of it. Throughout the stages golden lollipops are hidden with them, although I have no idea what they are for outside of an achievement and regular lollipops that restore health can be found frequently as well as zombie medals, surviving students(saving them affects the ending. I suggest finish it without saving them all first for the bad ending and save the rest for the good ending.) and Nick tickets.

The game is also a score attack game with both in game and online leaderboards. Scoring high points is done in a variety of ways. Clearing the stage fast, collecting zombie medals and not dying will score some points but if you want to hit the high scores you need to do some Sparkle Hunting... you heard me! Sparkle Hunting occurs when you kill 3 or more zombies at once or within a short period of time and will earn extra zombie medals in both gold and platinum. You can earn points quickly by activating the Star Soul mode which allows Juliet to insta-kill zombies, even those with heath bars while the song  Mickey is playing in the background. Star Soul is charged by killing zombies or collecting a star in the stage which fully charges it.

Boss fights in this game are all unique and challenging. They all have different strategies they play by and require some serious reactionary abilities to defeat. Unfortunately they don't yield anything special but that doesn't matter. Interestingly all the bosses have a music genre they represent and it's not hard guessing which ones.

Lollipop Chainsaw isn't for everyone. Women will most likely hate it due to the over sexualization and general tone of the game and modern gamers won't like it because it's colourful and not a shooter. For those who are the target audience, it's an absolutely great game! I am it's target audience and I had a smile on my face and the song Lollipop stuck in my head throughout my time playing it. The game looks fantastic and the eclectic soundtrack ensure that your eyes and ears will be satisfied. This is the best zombie game on the market in my opinion that isn't part of a franchise and it's a new I.P! I suggest you buy this game or at least rent it. You just got to play it and if you don't... What the dick?!

Score 5/5

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