Lollipop Chainsaw is the newest creation from oddball creator, Suda 51. This time, he brought Hollywood director, James Gunn aboard to give the project a bit more pep. The game stars cheerleader Juliet Starling who, along with her family, is a zombie hunter. On her birthday, zombies from another dimension invade the town. Did I mention her boyfriend is a decapitated head? The plot is as bizarre as it sounds with an emphasis on humor that doesn’t always hit its mark, but has a colorful, well-voiced cast to keep you intrigued. The best writing comes from Nick’s wise ass commentary conjoined with Juliet’s ditsy demeanor.
Equipped with her trusty chainsaw, you’ll slay countless zombies in order to make it to the stage’s boss. The bosses are outstanding, each mirroring genres of music like a Metal-head who can control thunder. Along the way you’ll earn medals to buy upgrades, collectables, and items like lollipops that restore health and costumes. Despite the awesome bosses, the gameplay can be a bit repetitive, but it makes the destruction more enjoyable when you see rainbows, sparkles, and hearts emit from the bloody corpses of your enemies. There are also mini games interlaced throughout the monotony to keep things fresh like putting Nick’s head on bodies to make him dance, or using a thresher to mow down hordes of undead.
The colorful cel-shaded visuals mixed with the comic book style menus makes the game pop. It’s nod to zombie and pop culture gives the game a genuine breath of self-aware comedy. Both the original score and licensed tracks make this one of the best soundtracks this year: from metal gods, Dragonforce to the more classic, Chordettes. It’s also packed with tons of extras, which is great especially since the game is only about six hours. There are online leaderboards to compete in as well, but even that won’t extend the experience much longer. The truly damning thing about the game is the frequent and long load times.
Lollipop Chainsaw isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s unique. The fast paced zombie slashing mixed with an excellent soundtrack and oddball humor is the game’s strong points. Despite some of my issues, it’s well worth a weekend’s rent. For a more thorough dissection of the game, don’t forget to watch my video review.
Score: 3/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on July 29, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.