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S&S; Reviews: Lollipop Chainsaw

Posted on the 13 June 2012 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S; Reviews: Lollipop Chainsaw
Title: Lollipop Chainsaw
Format: 360, PS3
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M
Another day, another zombie game. But does Lollipop Chainsaw stand out among Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, and Dead Island?
S&S; Reviews: Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw's protagonist, Juliet Starling, is an 18-year-old zombie hunter with a chainsaw and a massive adoration for lollipops. Her story doesn't need an explanation; she has a short skirt, her whole family hunts zombies, and she just LOVES being a cheerleader. After an unhappy run-in with a hungry zombie, Juliet is forced to cut off her boyfriend's head in order to save him. Nick joins her in her zombie hunting, medal-collecting fun while they try to stop the zombie apocalypse. The presentation of this game is so over-the-top ridiculous that I'm sure many players will be turned off by it (especially if you don't like JRPG's or haven't played Shadows of the Damned). Shadows of the Damned did a great job of making gratuitous violence and language work well, whereas Lollipop Chainsaw, however, tends to overdo it (if that seems possible) and often misses the mark with Juliet's clueless attitude and teenage comments. Also similar to SofD is the partnership between Nick and Juliet, but this aspect once again falls short of the symbiotic relationship of Garcia and Johnson. The voice acting in Lollipop Chainsaw is surprisingly good, except for the dialog itself. Scripts that include "Swallow my fists like tuna, b****." and "I'm going to shove a baseball bat up my t***t" go beyond the level of funny and become just plain stupid. The licensed soundtrack for the game does include several well-known and smartly placed songs like "Lollipop" by the Chordettes, "Cherry Bomb" by Joan Jet and the Blackhearts, and "Mickey" by Toni Basil. Overall, the absurd story is unique, but a bit too unbelievable.
S&S; Reviews: Lollipop Chainsaw
Core Gameplay
The combat system in Lollipop Chainsaw involves basic hack-and-slash mechanics. Combos are integral in earning medals, which are the games form of currency. The more combos and kills Juliet gets, the higher your score, and ultimately your final report card at the end of the level. Juliet is able to upgrade her health, weapons, and several non-essential gameplay elements (outfits, MP3s, concept art) with medals, increasing her strength and ability to kills zombies faster. The combat system is simple enough, but it's execution is tedious and cumbersome. Killing zombies is a chore, and it is very difficult to earn anything higher than a C in how many points and medals you get by the end of the level. While her combat style and moves are swift and often entertaining, the constant reminder that this is essentially a JRPG is always there in the numerous up-skirt shots and LONG visuals of her body. Also similarly obnoxious to SofD is the reemergence of mini games. These are appear in each of the five main levels, and seem to only be included as weapon tutorials or time-fillers. The game does do a good job of throwing curveballs at you every step of the way. I never felt bored throughout my gameplay because each level introduced something new or different. The 6-8 hour length of the game isn't bad either, but there were several instances of poorly placed checkpoints and unskippable cutscenes.
S&S; Reviews: Lollipop Chainsaw
Final Thoughts
Lollipop Chainsaw is a difficult game to review, simply because it isn't bad, but isn't great. The story is wacky, the presentation is unique, and the gameplay is diverse. The combat system is weak, zombie-killing is work, and leveling up is difficult to obtain. The game, at it's core, is sound and mechanically smooth, but it lacks a clear path. I was, despite everything, surprised at how much I liked the game, and I had a lot of fun during my entire playthrough. Not every game has to be serious or straight and to-the-point, and diversity is what makes Lollipop Chainsaw a game to try.
Final Score: 7/10
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