Review: Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw does have some great ideas, but its simple gameplay and painfully short length may detract some players.
Not since Bayonetta has a game been so insane and over the top as Lollipop Chainsaw. With it’s comic book style visuals and the self reference preference, this game from Suda51 knows it’s ridiculous and it’s proud of itself for it.
B MOVIE HEAVEN
You play as Juliet Starling, a cheerleader from San Romero High. That name alone should give you an idea of what type of game it is. It is a tribute to the schlocky B Movies and it embraces it. Sex, violence, and gore. It’s all here. For a game that tries to sell on its sex appeal, they do hold it back enough for it not to get gratuitous. If you want to play the game where Juliet wears a white bikini, you have to earn it first. They do show off Juliet as a sex symbol some times, but they do it within reason. Juliet’s boyfriend, Nick get decapitated early on in the game and Juliet figured out a way for him to still be alive without a body. This way they can show a lot of ass shots of Juliet without being overdone and useless. While it may seem they did that only to have those shots, Nick the Head does have some game play advantages. At any point in the game, you can do a Nick Slot. It opens up a mini game on which you have to pick a good icon for a bonus. It plays like a slot machine. If you get a good one, the reward can be worth the risk. My favorite is what I call the Nick Tornado. Juliet will spin Nick’s head around causing the zombies to get dazed and by doing so making them easier to kill. This is great for multiple kills for extra bonuses.
BLOOD SOAKED LOLLIPOP
If you happen to kill enough zombies, you can enter Sparkle Hunting mode. Here you are faster and stronger than the normal attacks. Having this mode on will speed up Juliet’s attacks and make the game more fun. Juliet, despite her small stature, isn’t that fast. She can dish out the weaker combos quick, but when it comes to her main weapon The chainsaw, it isn’t as fast as you would hope. This, in a way, is a good thing. This adds SOME strategy instead of bashing the attack button. Just don’t expect any Bayonetta or Ninja Gaiden complexities. Unlike those two games, Lollipop Chainsaw is kind of easy. I’ve beaten this game on Normal and only died at the most 9 times. The difficulty does “Rack Up” towards the end, but only because of the rest of the game. It does have its annoying enemies, that requires some skill, but it will always end the same. It is Hack and Slash in its most simplistic. If you do happen to die, it is likely because of the camera. The camera, for the most part, is fine but sometimes it doesn’t do what you want it to. The boss battles seem to have the worst of it. Battling some of the bosses reminded me of the Ratchet and Clank series, but without the good camera. There are six bosses in all, but the last one is a bit lazy compared to the more original bosses before it. This cause the last stage to peter out towards the end.
Even Nick questions the Logic behind this.
Lollipop Chainsaw isn’t really one for story. A student gets his hands on a book and cause a rift between time and space to open up. The only way to fix it and bring almost everything back to normal is for Juliet to defeat five bosses. It’s a complete throwaway story, but it is the characters that makes it interesting. Juliet isn’t going to make a huge impact like Nathan Drake or Ryu Hayabusa did, but she is good enough on her own. her family is just as crazy as she is. She has a young sister, an older sister, and her dad. If they ever made a Lollipop Chainsaw 2, playing as The Starlings would be a great addition. The other character is Nick. Besides the minor game play mechanics from before, he’s basically the voice of reason. He questions pretty much everything that happens, and shouts out one liners when Juliet isn’t. The voice acting from the cast is solid enough, but the actor playing Nick can be a hit or miss. One sentence he can say something in the most monotone voice ever, and the next not. The true star of this game is the music. It can range from Pop, Heavy Metal, Psychedelic Rock, to even Dubstep. For the first time the music doesn’t sound overbearing like with most games released today. Even the licensed music gets in full effect. When ever you enter Sparkling Hunter mode that one song “Micky” comes on. You’ll be hearing the first part a lot as it always repeats itself. This does have the best use of “You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)” in one of the stages.
The funnest part of the game
LIKE A LOLLIPOP ITSELF
The writing has the right amount of cheese to make sure its not serious with itself. Lollipop Chainsaw has the best line of the year, so far. I was actually laughing at some of the things that happened in the game. Not taking it self seriously has done wonders to this game. One of the coolest things about Lollipop Chainsaw is the ton of unlockables you can collect. There are Skins, music, moves, art and even upgrades. There is always something to collect. To break up the pace they have several mini games that relates to that stage. Some are fun, while some are lackluster. This caused the most deaths for me. The over all game play isn’t the best, but it’s not that bad either. The frame rate is solid enough, but you do have to sit through a lot of loading screens. Unless you want to unlock everything, the length will be the most disappointing. It proably took me about 6 to 7 hours to beat. The game can be weekend rental and you’ll have a decent time. If you plan on playing this, at least you’ll get something slightly amusing, but it won’t hold you over for very long aster that first playthrough. Nothing about this game is bad, but it’s not very good either. Just play it for the insanity that this game has to offer.