SG PAX Prime 2011: Lollipop Chainsaw
Here’s the rundown: You’re a cute blonde cheerleader named Juliet. San Romero High, the school you used to cheer at, is now infested with zombies. Your job is to head over to the school and figure out the cause of the infestation while destroying any zombies standing in your way. There’s blood, rainbows, limbs and lollipops.
This game is awesome.
Lollipop Chainsaw is a hack and slash, with the emphasize on slash. Juliet, scantily clad in her cheerleader outfit, knows how to handle her own even in the face of rotting flesh. For combat, you have your cheerleader moves (light attacks) and your chainsaw assaults serve as your heavy attacks. If you press the right combination of buttons, you can finish off your former classmates with more powerful melees.
You can hack limbs off but the zombies will keep coming at you if you don’t dispose of them quickly. You can herd your enemies together for a more efficient disposal, which is an interesting direction not many zombie games encourage. There will be times you’ll find classmates about to get devoured. If you don’t save them in time they’ll become super zombies, which glow red and are harder to kill.
The more style you have in your kills, the more zombie medals and stars you get. Grasshopper Manufacture is not revealing what the medals do yet, but the stars help you pull off a super attacks that change the blood and gore to rainbows and hearts. It’s adorably gruesome.
Juliet’s movements are fluid and precise; it never felt like I was struggling with the controls. The odd combination of hurkies, pom poms and chainsaw mayhem are actually satisfying to execute on creeps trying to eat your brain. Juliet also has the ability to vault over enemies to land behind them and immediately attack for the upper hand.
If you’re wondering about the decapitated head attached to Juliet’s skirt, that’s Nick, her boyfriend. Nothing is being revealed about him yet, but he becomes a crucial component to the story and gameplay later on.
Your health is dependent on lollipops (obviously), which I had a fair amount of until I got to the boss battle. I made my way to an outside stadium where I had to go head-to-head with Zed, a punk rock zombie with a really dirty mouth and cool Mohawk. His main attack was screaming obscenities at me (“blonde-haired bitch!” “vanilla slut!”) that formed giant letters on the screen which I had to dodge.
The fight was bit of a struggle to get through, but it wasn’t something I was angry about as I enjoyed every minute of it. The final product promises to be even more challenging. To permanently defeat him, I had to saw Zed in half. The first time it didn’t work as he’s too badass to go down so easily, so after one more cross-body swipe with the chainsaw (which requires timed button mashes and some effort, as it’s not easy to cut through a zombie body) I finally had him.
Prior to PAX, I saw the trailer for this game and immediately concluded it would be a failure. Now after playing it, I’m eating my own words… and lollipops.