When I first heard about the video game LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW I thought here is another company looking to exploit peoples love for zombies. After watching the first trailer for the game, I started to come around. The more I saw and heard about the game I started to anticipate LOLLIPOP CHAINSAWS release. The game looked like BUFFY The Vampire Slayer minus the vampires and replaced with zombies. Oh yeah one more major difference, Juliet the star of the game is carrying a big freaking chainsaw.
I started playing the game on its release date, June 12th and finished it yesterday. Two things that tells you right away, one it is very short game, about eight hours total game play. The second, it is really easy on the setting it starts off on.
The game follows Juliet and her bodiless boyfriend Nick as they try to stop one of their classmates from unleashing total armageddon. Juliet is helped by her zombie killing family consisting of her dad and two sisters. She is also guided along by her Japanese sensei who taught her how to fight zombies.
You start off in the parking lot of your high school and end the game battling a giant zombie Elvis. There are five mini bosses you battle, one for each stage you go through before getting to zombie Elvis.
I am going to try something different for this review. I am going to do a Pros and Cons for this game.
Lollipop Chainsaw has some very good things going for it. The script, that was helped along by horror writer James Gunn, is pretty good and has some very cool dialogue. The fact that it is set very much like Buffy, with a teenage girl in high school, gives the game a fun start. The character, Juliet, is a fun character to play as and her love for her bodiless Nick is kind of charming. It also leads to some funny dialogue.
The art style of the games cut scenes is like something out of a comic. It reminds me a bit of THE WALKING DEAD and the flow of the animation is flawless. The game also has a lot of strange and unique characters that come to life during the cut scenes and I wouldn’t mind seeing a cartoon developed around the game.
The boss characters are cool, mean and hard to kill. In fact I don’t think there was a boss that you kill at least three times before he was officially dead. All the bosses had some sort of musical genre theme to them. I have to say, my favorite zombie boss, other than zombie Elvis, had to be the funk zombie. The afro hairdo, jumpsuit wearing, electronic keyboard guitar playing, auto-tune zombie was very fun to battle. There are also the punk zombie, metal zombie, hippie zombie, battle drum zombie you have to battle.
To battle the bosses you need to learn some good chainsaw combos. The way the game allows you to do this is by purchasing them. The same goes for upgrading your health, strength, etc. There are stations throughout the game where you can buy these upgrades and to buy these upgrades you have to collect coins, which you get from killing zombies or destroying objects within each board. Some upgrades and combos cost more than others so be smart on what you spend your cash on. Some of the combo moves are really cool and I found myself using the same combo all the time, so I need to go back and play the game again to try out the others.
The special attacks you see in the trailers with the rainbows, etc happen when you kill more than three zombies with one swing. The animation that happens when this is accomplished is cool, but never really changes.
The hacking and slashing is fun and there are a lot of different types of normal zombies to destroy. The environments and stages are fun to play through and the game is quite violent. They also decided to throw in some mini games to change things up a bit. For example there is a basketball game where you have to chop off zombie heads to score baskets, a baseball game where you have to protect Nick from zombies while he is running the bases, also there is a bit where you go into an arcade system and play in games like Pac-Man and Elevator Action.
As I was speaking about the mini game where you jump into an arcade system, I mentioned it was fun, but it was also quite annoying. There were times that I had no clue what to do until I accidentally figured it out. That mini game section I could have done without.
I wished the game focused more on the high school setting rather than going all over town. I know we probably wouldn’t have a full game, but I think they could have done something to make it work. Some of the levels weren’t that great, like the farm level. Even though they tried to make it fun by adding a tracker to run over zombies, it was still not my favorite. Some of the levels like that just felt rushed or out of left field.
There were also a lot of load screens, meaning at certain parts going from one screen to the next you had to wait where I felt they could have jus went into the next screen. I understand going from cinematic to game, but game to game, not necessary.
The other thing that annoyed me is trying to answer the phone. There are times in the game when the phone on your chainsaw rings and it is usually a family member trying to give you advice. I must have missed the part where it explains how to answer it, but I could not find anywhere on the menus how to answer the phone, so for the rest of the game when the phone rang it went unanswered. So I guess my complaint is the menu navigation and information associated with it.
I mentioned previously that each boss had to be killed three times, although I get they are trying to make the game bosses hard, it was repetitive. It is not like anything really changes, well small changes, but once you figure out the pattern it is easy.
Just like the game, easy. Again I haven’t changed the setting on the game, but even the normal setting shouldn’t be this easy. On top of that the game was quick. I enjoy playing zombie games and eight hours, even for a hack/slash game is fast. I wish they would have given me a more open world like DEAD RISING where you could roam this huge high school taking out zombie classmates and teachers and fight the same bosses just in a school setting.
Overall the game is fun and I am actually going through it a second time to try and get all the achievements. Maybe my dislikes will change or even likes become dislikes, but if you are a zombie fan looking for a fun time, even though it is short, then pick it up. It does bring some new life into the hack/slash world.