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A Brief Shiny Moment with Lollipop Chainsaw

Posted on June 13, 2012 AT 09:38am

Shadow of the Damned developer, Grasshopper Manufacture Inc, released Lollipop Chainsaw yesterday for the masses to hack and slash their way through. Expectations for this zany Zom-Com ran high. Some showered the game with high praise, while others gave it fair reviews.

Playing Lollipop Chainsaw will give the player the sense of deja-vu, if they played another game from the same developer: No More Heroes. Juliet Starling, the heroine, uses light attacks to disorient enemies and with a swing or two from her chainsaw ends their existence Where this type of gameplay is the most basic, because even a button masher could play it, this game can present a challenge to a gamer who inherently wants to learn the chain combos. Placement of Juliet and the timing of light and heavy attacks will determine how much damage the cheerleader deals out and ultimately takes.

There are some game prompts that do seem misplaced or are just not presented clearly enough during gameplay. The games has an auto save feature, however it doesn’t put the player right back at the place that the autosave occurred. The autosave will return Juliet to the closest checkpoint. Also during my initial play through, I spent forty-odd minutes trying to find the button that allowed me to answer Juliet’s chainsaw phone. There isn’t one- move on.

The total amount of hours of gameplay are on the light side. It ranges between eight to ten hours max. This was through the normal difficulty and staying strictly in the Story Mode. After completing the first play through, players will get the chance to compete against other players in Ranking Mode. In plain speak, leader boards. This is the only glimpse of multiplayer a gamer will see at this stage of the game.

The visuals pay homage to the graphics found in Gearbox Software’s: Borderlands. Bright colors, and heavy lines run rampant on screen. Design wise, it looks like pages from a comic book and it should. There are moments during Juliet’s power-up moves where there is literally too much on the screen for the human eye to catch. If Grasshopper Manufacture Inc was aiming to distract the player from what was going on, they accomplished it. Sometimes less can be more, and Lollipop Chainsaw could do with less sparkle.

We are not getting a multi-layer plot here. It is as generic as zombie game plots go: Someone pissed off someone else to the point that they will go to dramatic lengths to end the existence of humanity. Things are going to Hell–er–Rotten World in a hand basket and it is up Juliet and friends to stop it. If are looking for anything deeper than that- I suggest playing a different game.

Your main instrument for zombie obliteration comes from controlling the main protagonist Juliet Starling. She is voiced by Batman Arkham City’s Tara Strong. She has a sidekick of sorts in the form of her magically beheaded boyfriend Nick who is voiced by Michael Rosenbaum. His usefulness comes from a small assortment of mini games (QTE’s) that will give him a body temporarily. Other friendly encounters include Juliet’s siblings, Cordelia and Rosalind. Juliet’s father, Gideon also makes scattered appearances throughout. All of them will aid Juliet to some degree, but none of them are controllable which is a shame.

The main baddies in this game are all from the bowels of Rotten World. Each undead boss shares common recognizable traits to a genre of life,music and attitude. The first boss zombie Juliet squares off with is Zed, who literally screams punk rock from his mohawk to his breath ceasing leather skinny pants. Good thing he is dead already, or those pants would have done him in. Not going to expose the rest of the foes here, but now you should have and idea of the game’s design and direction.

All the voice work is stellar. Expecting anything less from veteran voice actors is just plain stupid. They have all played comedic characters before and some have dabbled in the deranged category too. Being apart of Lollipop Chainsaw’s world should have been fun and from some of the actual dialogue it definitely was.

Overall the game is enjoyable with only several small but noticeable hick-ups along the way. Lollipop Chainsaw gets a solid score of 7 out of 10. No more, no less. It is easy to play, the campiness and comedy will keep you entertained through the few small upsets. If you are aiming for mindless zombie mayhem then this is in your wheelhouse. Lollipop Chainsaw is a game that many will play while waiting for the next triple A title to come out, but once it does, it’s game over for this blonde bombshell.

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