And you thought YOUR high school was tough
Suda51 loves nothing more than to parody American culture as well as mix in some musical aspects to his games and so a lot of the elements to his upcoming hack ‘n’ slash zombie fest Lollipop Chainsaw should come as no surprise. Described as sex, blood, and rock ‘n’ roll, Lollipop Chainsaw follows one Juliet Starling, a former cheerleader of San Romero High School (named such in tribute to the father of modern zombie culture, George A. Romero) and how she must put down many of her former classmates who have been turned into the walking undead. With the help of several unturned, including her boyfriend who now lives as a disembodied head (imagine Ash from Evil Dead, but the “infection” went A LOT further) attached by a chain to Juliet’s waste and provides advice, Juliet must get to the bottom of this zombie outbreak. Let the Buffy the Vampire Slayer parallels commence!
Seriously though, I had a chance to grab Juliet’s preferred weapon of choice, her chainsaw, and dive headlong into the first level of Lollipop Chainsaw a short time ago. In terms of gameplay, although the premise is very different, it feels very similar to another Suda51 game in No More Heroes and so fans of that series should appreciate the ability to just pick up and play Lollipop Chainsaw from the get go. Aside from her chainsaw, Juliet can also shake her pom-poms and perform various cheerleading acrobatics in order to stun zombie crowds and give her enough time to decapitate her zombie foes, which is the only way to put them down for good. Of course, this makes me wonder about the source of the outbreak because whenever a pretty girl shakes her pom-poms in front of me, I admit I become pretty stunned and single-minded in my thinking patterns as well.
Anyway, as we progressed through the level and took down classmate after classmate and even a math teacher mini-boss, the thing that was most evident was that this game has Suda51’s style written all over it. Big explosions of light and sound punctuated the climb of my combo counter climb higher and higher as I slay undead foe after undead foe. And along with the fountains of blood from the neck stumps of recently beheaded enemies, if I was able to “get in the zone” with Juliet by hitting a high enough combo, all the blood would turn into hearts and firework sparkles while my chainsaw became supercharged with one-hit knockout power. This obviously allowed me to mow down my enemies much quicker and just roll through the hallways of San Romero High.
Another interesting note about the style is that the game has at times a bit of a B-movie feel to it, again paying tribute to the good ol’ days of zombie films. This could be because of the work Dawn of the Dead screenwriter James Gunn has contributed to the game as he has been more than open about his joy in working on this game with Warner Bros. and Suda51 on his personal website and to us in the media. Along with James Gunn, top of the line voice actress Tara Strong has been confirmed as the voice of Juliet and who may best be known for Raven in Teen Titans, Batgirl in Batman: The Animated Series, Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls, Harley Quinn in Batman: Arkham City, and has even been rumored, but never confirmed, to have done the voice of Bowser Jr. in Super Mario Sunshine.
After enough slaying of the hoi polloi zombie, that I might add is done in your more standard “shuffling” type that only really starts to speed up when Juliet gets within chomping range, we made it to the school gymnasium. Oh Juliet attended many a pep rally here in her preferred zombie bashing outfit, her cheer uniform, but now it has been taken over by a zombified Metal Goth named Zed, the first of many high school class stereotypes we are due to see in the game, who hates Juliet and her establishment supporting ways. Here is where we really get out first taste of the rock ‘n’ roll as Zed’s primary forms of attack deal with sound speakers and amplified sound waves that rush towards Juliet after Zed shouts some nasty things into his unholy microphone. You’ll look to mute Zed for good, but only after fighting him in several stages, where you get to see his true power as he literally pulls himself back together after several rounds, and this is all in just the first level.
Although we’re still lacking a lot of the major story details and what other classes we could expect to take on in this high school from hell, one thing is for sure: if you’re a fan of Suda51’s other work, then this game should be right up your alley. Lollipop Chainsaw is expected right now to hack out a spot for itself on store shelves sometime in March 2012.
Are you folks Suda51 fans? Are you looking forward to Lollipop Chainsaw? What do you think of all the parodies that will be seen in Lollipop Chainsaw? What else do you think we might see in Lollipop Chainsaw? Let us know your thoughts on this game with comments below!