Grasshopper Manufacture, along with CEO Goichi Suda (aka Suda51) are known for their quirky games. Lollipop Chainsaw, a third person zombie action game, stars Juliet Starling, a San Romero Knights high school cheerleader. On her way to school to meet her boyfriend, she finds that the school has been taken over by hordes of zombies, which are led by rock and roll lords. But Juliet has a secret: she’s a zombie hunter. With nothing but her natural cheerleader assets and a chainsaw, she sets out to save her classmates and school.
Using pom-poms and high kicks as light attacks, which stun her foes, Juliet gathers her enemies close. She then pulls out the chainsaw, and in a bloody mess, takes them down. Using “X” to use the light attacks and “Y” button for the chainsaw massacre, the controls are rather basic. However, with the right combinations, you get stars, rainbows and hearts that fill the screen, along with gaining score multipliers. The game does a nice job of instructing you on how to use your controller to move, fight, and use special moves without interfering the normal game-play. Many games with such basic controllers leave the gamer bored, but Lollipop Chainsaw has quite a few moves for such few button mashes.
Juliet, as far as animated females go, is one of the hottest ones around. Along with her wide assortment of costumes that you can obtain, she’s smoking. Yet, she is not the only thing to look at in San Romero High School, or the entirety of Lollipop Chainsaw. The world is bright, colorful, and though it has a somewhat cartoon look, it doesn’t take much to see past it and imagine a real world. Though the zombies can get mundane at times, the lords are original, and the story around them comes alive. Through both the animation of the characters (who take on a life of their own), to matching the voice with the character, the game has such a different vibe to it than what other games generally have.
Lollipop Chainsaw is definitely not for the young or faint of heart. It even managed to pick up the M for Mature according to its ESRB rating. From the scantily clad cheerleader, to the vulgar dialogue, this title is geared for adults. That being said, there are so many games that throw in the cursing or sexuality in games where it doesn’t fit, and feels forced. Luckily, Lollipop Chainsaw doesn’t have that problem, and just wouldn’t be the same game without it (hell, it may not even work…).
Lollipop Chainsaw takes the zombie genre, and gives it a slice (pun intended) of new life. Too many other titles have followed the same template, and have worn it out. As one who is not a fan of the repetitive button mashing needed to advance you through a game, the storyline(s), vibrant world, mood, and several levels of difficulty really sucked me in. Just like the zombies, once it gets a hold of you, its hard to get away. Lollipop Chainsaw is Suda51′s lastest masterpiece.
Lollipop Chainsaw is rated “M” for Mature by the ESRB, and will be released on June 12th, 2012 on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.