Developer: Grasshoper Manufacture
Platform: PS3, Xbox360
Genre: Action Hack and Slash
My first impressions of Lollipop Chainsaw was that it was one of the most generic hack and slash games out there, only separated from the herd by the intense sexploitation of its leading female character. In all honesty, my first impression was pretty spot on but as I played my opinions of the game gradually changed. I am not sure was it when the usual gory graphics started to occasionally being replaced by rainbow sprays of colour or when I discovered my super powered mode had ‘Hey Mickey' as its theme. Perhaps it was when I realised my zombie chainsawing game's soundtrack included ‘The Human League' or that as shallow as she initially appeared, Juliet Starling was a surprisingly well rounded female leading character with a healthy relationship with her family and boyfriend. Considering that her boyfriend is a severed head hanging on a key chain from her rear - that is not saying much for the state of relationships in computer games today.
Those familiar with Suda51 will know what they're getting here: an intense barrage of U.S. pop culture referencing delivered in a uniquely Japanese way. Those unfamiliar with Suda51, well, the only way to get an idea of what this game is like is to watch the trailer online. The game is propelled by a wacky balance of horror, insanity, surprising sweetness and a plot so cheesy it can't help but being enjoyed and more insanity. A cheerleader heroine from family of monster hunters may make you think of a Buffy clone but Juliet is an entirely unique character and the zombie antagonists reminded me more of Return of the Living Dead with their foul mouths. Whether or not you get the games humour is the real issue and I personally found it largely worked but there are some moments I would have preferred skipped or toned down. This is an experience every gamer should try (even if it is to see that they hate it) but there are two big downsides.
First, the gameplay is pretty basic. Yes, the usual button mashing can be made more complex by unlocking extra moves but I would imagine most will end up like myself and simply leapfrogging a safe distance from the zombies before activating one or two of the same combos. The story and style make up for this but one wishes greater care had been placed here. The other major issue will be the inevitable debate over the presentation of Juliet Starling herself. The game is obviously parodying the exploitive role of female videogame characters by doing it in the most over the top manner. The game's humour and the fact that Juliet is always a capable protagonist and quickly develops into a likeable person almost makes that sound like an acceptable justification. Put simply though, parodying by excess does not prevent you from being what you are mocking and I don't think I can really make a valid argument that Juliet is any less offensive than the scores of underdressed male fantasy's in games today. I ended up liking her as a character but I cannot defend what she represents.
A basic game made immeasurably better by its unique style and humour. A game everyone should at least try for the experience so long as they can take the treatment of its main lead. Rent first if you are not sure.
Rent or Buy: Buy
Reviewed by: Jack Gallagher
Story by entertainment.ie | 14:59 | Thursday 5th July 2012 | Games
Bought this game when it came out, it's fun but just nothing special only buy it if its cheap.Posted 19:35 | Mon 22nd Apr 2013
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