Today was supposed to be a special day; Eighteenth Birthday, presents, and of course, time with the new boyfriend. However, the day will be special for another reason. Today, Swan will bridge the gap between this world and another, darker world. That means birthday plans are going to need to be put on hold and time with Nick is going to be a bit… different.
Rev up that chainsaw, it’s zombie hunting time.
Lollipop Chainsaw puts you squarely in the sneakers of peppy, cheerleader zombie hunter, Juliet Starling. To say that her life is anything but normal would be an understatement, especially when we take her family into account. Despite all the training she’s had, nothing could have prepared her for the forces she’ll have to go up against. She’ll need to rely on her boyfriend, her sensei, and her family to save the world.
Now, while all that might sound cool, it basically boils down to a hack and slash game where Julie needs to make mincemeat out of various zombies before taking on a boss at the end of the stage. There are a few little extras that change up gameplay that are slightly scattered about, along with a store where Juliet can buy power-ups with zombie medals earned from slaying. There really isn’t anything complicated here at all; something that is echoed through the non-existent instruction manual.
The game shines when it comes to the audio/visual side of things with beautifully rendered characters, great level design, flashy moves, and of course a great voice cast and soundtrack. I absolutely love the look and feel of this game and the music is just quirky enough to actually catch my attention while I’m slaughtering. Some of my favorite music in the game is that of the bosses, and it’s no coincidence either. Each of these tracks has been created by none other than Jimmy Urine of Mindless Self Indulgence.
Things aren’t all great in San Romero though, as the game has some serious flaws. First and foremost is the game’s control scheme, which takes getting used to. Most people who have played this style of game will be expecting something far more fluid and, as a result, may end up having to un-train themselves like I did. To make matters worse, the camera is very unwieldy and leads to a lot of issues in the heat of combat. As for the combat itself, things never get all that exciting until you reach a boss, but the difficulty of the boss fights is rather laughable after slogging though each level. While the levels are pretty long, there are only 6 of them which means most players will be able to beat this in one sitting. There are hidden lollipops to collect and special things to unlock via the store, but unless you are a completionist, it’s not going to matter. Once you are done with the game, there are no extra modes, and just one extra difficulty level.
Lollipop Chainsaw had a lot of promise given the creative minds behind it, but they managed to create a game that fell far under it’s potential. I honestly can’t suggest buying this game, especially at full price. I’d suggest renting this game or looking for a used copy.
GO Rating: 2.5/5