PS3, XBOX 360
The concept of cheerleaders and zombies may seem as foreign as a cheerleader did to vampires, but, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lollipop Chainsaw takes a blonde, perky cheerleader and turns her into a killing machine.
On Juliet Starling’s 18 birthday, her town is overrun by zombies. Decked out in her cheerleading outfit and pink embellished chainsaw, she rushes to her boyfriend’s side only for him to fall victim to a zombie. Through some of Juliet’s zombie hunter magic, she has animated his head so he can join her on her adventures. As Juliet travels through the town massacring zombies and evil zombie bosses, she is joined by her father and two sisters who are also zombie hunters.
Through the bizarre eyes of Suda51 and James Gunn, this charmingly twisted tale keeps the player engaged. The story travels over various places including San Romero (;-)) High School, a farm, and a video arcade. Each zone has a tailored mini-game that breaks up the game play. At the stadium, Juliet participates in zombie baseball, and the video arcade features mini games of old school video games. The combos are easy to master, and the combat level is manageable even on “Hard.” The camera angels are almost completely manual making game play easier and keeping shots on target.
It’s the charm of the characters and their zingy one-liners that truly makes this game stand out. Juliet has some ditzy blonde to her, but her zombie killing mastery gives her character more depth. Nick’s sarcastic musings are fun but as the game progresses he becomes whiney. But what more should one expect from a severed head? Juliet’s family rounds out the characters. Her father has an Elvis like drawl and manly charm, her sister Cordelia is s sharp shooter that looks like Payne from Final Fantasy 10-2, and her wacky sister Rosalind is too much fun with her destructive bus. If Alice from the Twilight books was Selphie as a vampire, Rosalind is the zombie hunter version of the same zany girl.
Each boss is unique and is themed after different kinds of music. Zed, the punk rock zombie, sports a red mo-hawk while the folk music hippy Mariska attacks with bubbles and butterflies. These battles are multi-staged each using different strategy. This keeps the boss battles from being monotonous, and the player feels like they are doing more than hacking and slashing.
Replay value is high. There are a variety of trophies as well as collections to complete. To complete the various accomplishments, players must play across the different level difficulties. Completing various tasks earns the player unique costumes including the costumes to Juliet’s other family members. The types and numbers of zombies increase as you go up the difficulty levels keeping the 7 stages from being monotonous as the player strives for each trophy or high score.
A must have for any zombie game fan, the characters and humor will also appeal to a wide variety of gamers. Lollipop Chainsaw doesn’t take itself too seriously and delivers a pom-pom-tastic zombie slashing adventure.