Sex, Blood, and Rock n' Roll...no, seriously.
Published by Aether_Fenris
Half naked chicks and zombies sounds like the perfect combination, doesn't it? It's got a ring to it too, right? Like "Mac and Cheese", or "Peanut butter and jelly", hell, I dunno, "Pickles and ice cream" for some of you weirdos. However, despite the ring and the fact that they SHOULD go together, "Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers" manages to slaughter the concept and become more and more abysmal with each defiling release. Luckily, Goichi Suda has stepped up, showed Japan and the rest of the world how to do it right. Super hella right.
Enter "Lollipop Chainsaw", Goichi Suda's (Suda 51's) latest boner child. Perhaps that line has you groaning, but if so it's only because you haven't played the game. It's like a 14 year old's wet nightmare, except awesome. You take control of Juliet Starling, a cheerleader of San Romero high school. She's got a popular jock boyfriend, an obsession with lollipops, the brains of a lemming, and oh yeah, she's also a grade A zombie hunter. The rest of her family hunts zombies as well, and you will be introduced to them throughout the course of the game. Juliet keeps her zombie hunting a secret, even from her boyfriend Nick - that is, until zombies overrun San Romero high on her 18th birthday. After slaughtering her way through the halls of the school, she finds her boyfriend freaking out about what's happening. Just as she is about to explain the situation, a zombie lunged for her. Nick, currently unaware of her fighting prowess, dives in front of her and takes the bite. Before his body can succumb to the zombie toxins, Juliet chops off his head and performs a voodoo ritual on it, making him into a...well, a living head, and then proceeding to reveal her secret. For the rest of the game, he hangs on a chain from her hip, and their banter is beyond hilarious. The two head back through the school in an attempt to discover who is behind all of this to discover Swan, a.k.a. Goth Geek Bastard (actually in the game), performing a dark ritual because nobody likes him (you can't make this up). It is thrust upon Juliet to take down all of the Dark Purveyors and save the world.
So, now that you know the game's story is absolute absurd, you may be thinking the game doesn't take itself seriously at all. Well, sure, the story sure doesn't but the actual gameplay is solid. Juliet makes her way through levels decapitating zombies with her chainsaw, bashing them with her pom poms....NOT THOSE POM POMS!....although she does occasionally use her butt. Pom Pom attacks are swift, but do little other than daze zombies, making them much easier to behead. As you kill zombies, you are rewarded with coins. Chops off the heads of 3 or more zombies at the same time and you get a cool little cinematic and a points bonus that nets you ever more prize money. This money can be spent on music, artwork, upgrades, combos, and of course, skimpy little outfits. As the game progresses you will be introduced progressively to enemies that require more strategic methods than others. If you don't take time to learn how to dodge and effectively set up your attacks, the game can be quite frustrating, especially on higher difficulty settings. the only real flaw with the gameplay is that the simplicity sometimes becomes mundane. That's not to say it is boring, but you get tired of it after a while. Perhaps that is why they chose to make the game so short. You can also play online to try and beat high scores. In fact, one of the games highlights is its high replay value due to the plethora of unlockable content and online scoreboards.
The graphics of Lollipop Chainsaw are about as subtle as Juliet Herself. For the record she yells things like "Undead douchebag!" on a regular basis. What I'm saying is that everything is very aggressive in the best possible way. Slight cell shading with thick lines combines with subtly realistic art styles to create what can only be described as a western comic drawn by an anime artist. Zombies are pretty detailed, but are mostly clones of each other, which is to be expected. The environments look great, and the characters look amazing. Everyone is full of life (except the zombies) and expressions of extremely easy to read, rather it's Juliet's angry pout, or Nick's spastic panic attacks. Sadly, the camera decides that sometimes it just wants to go off on its own an adventure and obscure your view of things. It can be manually controlled, but it's still a fairly frequent problem. Sometimes you'll be trying to kill n enemy when suddenly you are staring through a wall, an enemy's head, or even up Juliet's skirt (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).
Everything sounds crisp and clear, including the zombies grumbling lines such as "I wanna **** your father!", "I hate you more than Carrot Top!" and other such insults. The voice talent is this game is incredibly strong, and despite the extremely purposely corny script, all of the lines come out perfect and feel like they really were meant to be that bad - and they were. You can't go wrong with an actor like Tara Strong (voice of Bubbled of Powerpuff Girls, Captain Blue Jr. of Viewtiful Joe, and even Twilight Sparkle of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic for you Bronies out there). The soundtrack is just as up to par as the voice talents. From unmistakable classics such as "Lollipop" by The Chordettes and "You Spin me Round(Like a Record)" by Dead or Alive, to modern unmistakable such as "The Way of the Fist" by Five Finger Death Punch and "Rock 'N' Roll" by Skrillex. Despite this diversity, every single one of the tracks fits perfectly where it is placed.
It wouldn't be a Suda 51 game without a buttload of cultural references. If you couldn't figure it out, San Romero is indeed an homage to George Romero, of "Dawn of the Dead" fame. Lollipop Chainsaw is full of references to everything from My Chemical Romance to video game icons Mario and Pac-man and even some costumes from the anime "High School of the Dead". The fact that this game doesn't take itself seriously is what makes it so great. If this game was super serious, and devoid of humor it would suck. It's amazing how big of an impact atmosphere can have on a game, really. If this game was about a badass zombie killed with a chainsaw for an arm that was full of super serious idioms, I would tell you that the game was bland, boring, and the gameplay was dull. The humor really does make this game what it is - a fantastic, hilarious zombie killing spree with some boobies sprinkled in for good measure. Not everyone is going to appreciate Lollipop Chainsaw. It has the off-beatness of Buffy mixed with the humor of high school kids in the bathroom, and somehow Suda made that work in ways I can't even figure out. Despite the games flaws, it's easy to forget them when you're holding your aching sides in laughter. Unless you're holding something else...that's your business. Perve.