With cult classics such as No More Heroes and Shadows of the Damned under his belt, Suda 51 is gearing up to bring another memorable title to the masses with Lollipop Chainsaw. The game offers a stark contrast between bubblegum-pop style and zombie horror. Think Hello Kitty or Lisa Frank meets the Walking Dead.
For the uninitiated, Juliet Starling is out with her boyfriend Nick when a zombie outbreak occurs. Nick then gets bitten by a zombie and in a desperate attempt to save his life, Juliet cuts off his head. Somehow Nick survives being decapitated and accompanies Juliet, hooked to her hip, on a quest to rid the world of zombies.
People are probably wondering how Nick could survive as a disembodied head, and the only answer we have for you is that, who cares it’s a Suda 51 video game! Suda and Grasshopper Manufacture along with Dawn of the Dead screenwriter, James Gunn, are set to bring gamers one of the most unique zombie titles ever. Shows like the Walking Dead have revived the zombie phenomenon and Lollipop Chainsaw will continue to do the same in the video game world.
Juliet wields a giant pink chainsaw as her main weapon. Later in the game she will acquire other weapons, like a grenade launcher, however during the demo at PAX East 2012 we didn’t have access to these weapons – since we were placed in the first level of the game. Slicing up zombies will result in a healthy amount of blood, but players will also be treated to a display of sparkly lights and rainbows when they take their chainsaw to the torsos of the undead – oh and there are stars and hearts too.
On the outside Lollipop Chainsaw may look like your standard hack-n-slash title, though the game is overflowing with charm, character, and over-the-top violence – very much an influence from Suda 51. With that said, this game is not for kids, even some adults might not be able to handle it – in spite of the sparkles, it is an especially violent game.
As mentioned, we previewed the first level of Lollipop Chainsaw and it was pretty darn fun. Juliet’s chainsaw is fun and can easily sever the limbs of standard zombies. She can execute a number of useful combos with her chainsaw but, when zombies surround their victims in larger numbers, Juliet has to resort to her secondary attack, her pom-poms.
Yes Juliet can attack a lot faster with her pom-poms and these attacks are best used when attempting to quickly clear out a path of zombies. Executing a combo using her pom-poms doesn’t kill the zombies, but pushes them out of the way and stuns them, giving the player enough time to break out the chainsaw and go to work. Juliet’s pom-poms can also best be used when saving fellow classmates. That said, she can accidentally kill classmates when attempting to save them from the undead – so it’s best to use non-lethal means to clear out zombies during these situations.
Juliet’s boyfriend Nick isn’t just along for the ride. He can be placed on special headless zombies which he then takes control of. During these brief segments players control Nick on his new body during one of the game’s many mini games. One segment had Nick carrying a highly explosive barrel towards a wall in order to clear the way for Juliet. Players had to be careful – or else get destroyed by the explosives. Other segments have Nick launching Juliet to high platforms she couldn’t reach by normal means.
During our time with the game there wasn’t a spokesman on hand to give us more detailed information about the game – because everyone’s attention was on the drama unfolding outside the bus where the game was being shown- where cosplayer, Jessica Nigri, and her slightly revealing attire caused a stir with PAX personal. The situation took place at the same time as our appointment. This and other highlights from the show are covered in our “Highlights and Lowlights” feature, so check it out. This game is causing controversy and it’s not even out yet.
We had fun during our time with Lollipop Chainsaw and are looking forward to more time Suda 51 and Grasshopper Manufacture’s title.
Lollipop Chainsaw is due in 2012 for PS3 and Xbox 360.
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