You know I really didn’t want to review Lollipop Chainsaw, but when it showed up in the mail, I knew I had to. Why wouldn’t I want to review it? For one it looks immature and absurd from just the commercials and previews I have seen so far. It’s also one of those games that will be very polarizing, people will either hate it or love it. And no matter how you review it you’re going to make someone mad. But as a reviewer that’s the job, I have to review games that I sometimes don’t want to. Not only that, but I have to do it fairly and put aside my preconceived notions.
Lollipop Chainsaw’s story is quirky, strange, cute, dirty, and full of pop-culture references. The game starts off in the bedroom of our cheerleader protagonist, Juliet Starling. You see it’s Juliet’s birthday, and she is getting ready for school and is just gushing about her boyfriend Nick who she is meeting up with a little later. A few cutscenes later and you’re heading to Juliet’s school, only to find out that the school has been overrun by zombies, and your beloved Nick is nowhere to be found. After a dozen or so battles you find Nick, who is ok until bitten by a zombie. Luckily for Nick, Juliet is a powerful zombie hunter, who using some magic severs Nick’s head without killing him so he can tag along (hooked to Juliet’s belt) throughout the game. From this point, the story gets weirder and weirder, to the point that it just becomes irrelevant.
A lot of people argue about the quality of graphics in Lollipop Chainsaw. Are they super high-quality next-gen graphics? No. Are they right for the game? Yes. Sure it may look like My Little Pony threw-up on it, with all the hearts, rainbows, and bright colors, but that’s just the quirky style the game is going for. What other game flashes hearts on the screen as you slaughter zombies over and over? The one downside to the graphics is the grainy overlay that’s applied to them, it really detracts from the style of the game.
The sound of Lollipop Chainsaw is a mixed bag. On one hand, you have great music like Pac-Man Fever, Mickey, You Spin Me Round (Like A Record), plus about a dozen other licensed songs (full list here). The songs really set the tone of the action in the game and really fit with the quirkiness. On the other hand, you have dialog, which is bad, corny, and sometimes downright creepy. Some of the things said in the game will make you laugh and some will make your skin crawl.
If you have ever played an arcade fighter game you will be very familiar with the style of gameplay that Lollipop Chainsaw provides. Its fast and there is a lot of button pushing and its fun. You have your fast attack, slow attack, physical attack, and jump buttons that can be used in various combos you can unlock in the game. That’s not to say you have to use combos or be a talented combo-hitting expert to play the game. I made it through half the game just mashing buttons before I got the hang of the combo. However, once I learned the combos, the game progressed a lot quicker.
Lollipop Chainsaw is more than what a lot of people, myself included, considered it was going to be. It’s incredibly fun, as long as the characters aren’t talking or you have the dialog turned down and you can get past the stupidity of the story. Is it worth $60 bucks retail, probably not, but when it drops to $40 it definitely is worth a look.