Lollipop Chainsaw Review (Xbox 360)

Posted by Jim Cook, Jun 12, 2012 17:41

When Lollipop Chainsaw arrived, I was worried. It looked like the sort of shallow tripe you’d expect as a cheap cash in on several fads, guiding a blatantly sexualized blonde cheerleader with a chainsaw through several third person brawling stages where she kills zombies. Yet within minutes of starting play, I realized this was a game produced by Goichi ’Suda51’ Suda, the mind behind No More Heroes. Despite his using a concept that should set off your mental warning alarms, this is actually a pretty good game that action fans may want to look into if they can tolerate its short length.

Lollipop Chainsaw (Xbox 360)Players take on the role of Juliet, the aforementioned cheerleader. While typically concerned with school life, boyfriends, shopping, and other stereotypical things, she is also a trained undead hunter. It’s your job to run her through various 3D levels (mostly linear, though there is some room to explore and find hidden items), do combo attacks to plow through zombies, and fight a boss at the end. Very quick mini-games often crop up to give you a short break from what would otherwise be repetitive game mechanics, and lots of silly banter between Juliet and other people will keep you either laughing or at least raising a brow at how weird it is.

While the controls are a little loose and wild, you’ll get used to them in pretty short order. This is good, because Lollipop Chainsaw’s appeal is split between its bizarre story and how fluid the fighting is. It’s easy to do several different combos, and most attacks have a unique purpose. There will be a few segments where you’re virtually forced to repeat the same efficient attack string over and over, but for the most part combat is what you make it. Juliet is easily capable of leapfrogging over enemies, dropkicking them into walls, doing a series of twirling low spin-slashes with the chainsaw, and more; it’s fast and quite stylish.

While this could nonetheless get old quickly, the developers have good timing as to when that feeling will set in. In most stages, you’ll find short distractions from the zombie-slaying grind at just the right moment. These can range from being given a little room to explore and find useful things tucked away in odd places, to shopping for upgrades and new attacks, or even the previously mentioned minigames. Some are just quick time events that last only a few seconds and reward you with a little humor spot (such as Juliet jumping from one zombie head to another, landing, and making the infamous Fist of the North Star “you are already dead” boast before the undead explode in a series of sparkles and rainbows). Others give you plenty of ammo for a small cannon on your chainsaw and let you to go wild, and so on. You’re given something new to do just often enough to keep monotony from setting in, and this goes a long way in keeping the player happy.

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Our Rating for Lollipop Chainsaw Review (Xbox 360)
5.5 Replay
A rather linear game, its major perks for coming back would be to eventually earn all the special attacks and find all the hidden items or compete in the Ranking Mode.
7.0 Graphics
Not particularly impressive on the tech side, it’s the art style that stands out. Very colorful and exaggerated, the mix of silliness alongside gore fits Suda51’s tendencies well.
8.5 Sound
The voice acting does a great job of showing that the protagonists are somewhat shallow and more than a little insane, which drives much of the humor. Weapon effects are decent, and the variety of music (with custom in-game playlists) allows most players to slay zombies while hearing tunes you enjoy.
8.5 Gameplay
Easy to learn and well paced, you’re given just the right amount of zombie slaying action broken up by boss fights, silly humor segments, and minigames. Only a few particularly annoying areas hamper the game, and those can be overcome with a little practice thanks to its fairly lenient continue system.
0.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
N/A; this is a single player game unless you consider competing in a ranking mode to be ’multiplayer.’
8.0 Overall
Twisted yet fun, this third person brawler is fast and has a distinct flow. It is not for children, the easily offended, or those who need their gaming purchases to last a particularly long time... but everyone else will find Lollipop Chainsaw is quite a treat.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 1

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