Lollipop Chainsaw Official Review
by Lord Nero Radec
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Warner Bros Studios, Kadokawa Games
North American Release Date: June 12, 2012
European Release Date: June 15, 2012
Trophies: 1 / 1 / 15 / 34
Lollipop Chainsaw is a special breed of hack and slash action zombie slaying that will be very different from other games released this year. You will take the role of the seductive cheerleader & zombie hunter Juliet. You start the game by fighting through several hordes of zombies that have begun overrunning your local school, of San Romero High and save any classmates and friends you can along the way. Your boyfriend Nick incidentally loses his head, but is saved by Juliet through her knowledge of magic and helps her along the way as she tries to get to the bottom of the zombie apocalypse.
Lollipop Chainsaw is a button mashing, hack and slash, action game so be prepared for that style of combat. You perform normal combos using ,, and to do a mix of low chainsaw attacks, pom pom melee attacks, and normal chainsaw attacks. These moves can be chained into one another and special combos and abilities performed by tapping the buttons in a specific order. is used to roll and dodge or to leap over your enemies, granting you access to their unprotected rear in most cases. There isn't anything particularly special about the combat of Lollipop Chainsaw, but it definitely is alot of fun to hack through many zombies as seamlessly as the game pulls off. pom pom attacks are typically used to groggy zombies and aren't as strong as the chainsaw hits, so you will need to keep that in mind if having troubles killing them.
TASTE MY POM POMS B#@$%'S!!!!
Some of the more powerful combos are a bit difficult to achieve as you are constantly getting knocked down by the swarms of zombies before you can complete them. One hit or two and you will be knocked out of your combo and most times go right back into merely tapping and to just slice through your enemies. As you play through the game, you will earn medals and coins that are used to purchase more upgrades to Juliet's powers and abilities, including new combos, health upgrades, and special unlockables. This will add in some replay value to the game in replaying chapters to earn more rewards and upgrade your powers. Also, through the gameplay, Nick, Juliet's boyfriend, will help play a part in the combat. You will accrue and collect items called Nick Tickets that can be used to activate special abilities and can be used to help recover if you fall in battle and run out of health.
At times you will be able to activate an ability known as Sparkle Hunting automatically killing zombies in one hit with your chainsaw. This is used by filling up the bar in the bottom left corner of the screen and pressing once it's completely full. You fill this bar by killing zombies naturally so kill away and then use it when you get challenged or put into a corner surrounded by a large swarm of enemies. You also get extra points for the sparkle hunting mode being activated and you will earn sparkle hunting rewards when you kill 3 or more zombies at one time, instantly sending heads flying. This ability and power is really fun to utilize throughout the game and will help take away some of the monotony.
The enemies you will face are various types of zombies, including some special named mini-boss enemies such as teachers. As you progress further in the game, more and more zombie types will be added into the game and you will have to face off against. Each will have it's own unique strengths and weaknesses to target and neutralize them. At the end of each stage, Juliet will face one of the zombie pariah lords, each one being a unique battle itself and you will need to figure out how best defeat them. Each battle will typically take place in three stages, each requiring you to "finish" the zombie boss numerous times before it's ultimately and really defeated.
Some of the gory nature of Lollipop Chainsaw. Oh lookie, seems you lost your head.. and your arms. ... OH the blood..
Despite all of this, however, the combat will begin to feel very tedious and boring after a time. There isn't much to really keep it going, but it doesn't hold the game back from being lots of fun slicing up zombies and decapitating them left and right. You have numerous collectibles to hunt for throughout playing the game, such as lollipops, saving NPCs, killing named mini-boss zombies, etc. These will add up to the replay value for the game, especially replaying chapters with your new abilities and powers.
Behind all the random button mashing, zombie slaying, there is somewhat a very quirky, crude story in Lollipop Chainsaw. You play as Juliet, an 18 year old cheerleader who comes from a family of zombie hunters and her school becomes overrun with them by a spell cast by the loser goth kid. He awakens several lord zombies that go out into the town and school zone causing havoc and Juliet must stop them all and put an end to the spell. Along the way, her boyfriend has been bitten and her own spell cast on him to keep him alive as a decapitated head.
The game is divided into different stage areas that Juliet will go through in order to save everyone she can and stop the zombie outbreak. Each stage will add a bit to the story and add in new zombie types relevant to the area, as well as throwing everything else you've faced so far at you. The story is very short, but you have the option to replay any stages you like. Each will take probably about 30 minutes to rush through and you can complete the game in under five hours. You do have some replay value and some extras to unlock through replaying the game, especially upping the difficulty when killing the zombies with a powered up Juliet becomes too easy.
Meet Zed. He has a fascination with whores and sluts. Must be from all the groupies.
The story is completely full of just crude and ridiculous humor and a a great deal of sexual references. You will constantly fight zombies that are going to throw insults and other sexual jokes out towards you, as well as Juliet making several jokes herself. You will face numerous boss zombies known as pariahs that have their own special powers such as shooting music notes or hurling lighting at you. You will have numerous stages to play through that will each end with a battle with these bosses. Everything about Lollipop Chainsaw is meant to be ridiculous and you know the developers / Suda 51 didn't hold back one bit with this. Some will view these points of the game as a bad thing, however, this is the ultimate intention they wanted for the story and should be seen as such. Lollipop Chainsaw is not meant to have a serious storyline and plot on the levels of Elder Scrolls or Grand Theft Auto.
There is no multiplayer feature on Lollipop Chainsaw, however, you are capable of signing into the network and uploading your stage scores to compare with other players. I'm simply noting this in the review, but it plays no part into the overall gameplay, score, or trophies of the game.
All around, Lollipop Chainsaw is a technically sound game. It doesn't have any noticeable technical issues or framerate drops to factor in. It's graphics are a nearly cell shaded art style but are very unique to Suda 51's style of games. It could definitely use an extra bit of polish on the backgrounds and scenery, however. The enemies and gore included are very nicely done and add to that element of the game and boss battles are definitely plus in the way they were developed. Controls are very responsive and smooth through the game, though a bit generic and mediocre. The only thing that can be said is that the bigger combos are a tad harder to pull off with the enemies attacks and control scheme, but it plays well regardless.
Damn rainbows and colors flying everywhere all throughout Lollipop Chainsaw!
The sound quality is very nice in Lollipop Chainsaw as well. Voices are done as good as they could of been with the cheesy dialogue, but they played their parts well in the cuteness and gameplay. You have the option to collect and listen to numerous MP3s throughout playing the game which all sound amazing and each add to the game a little bit. Despite the very vulgar and sexually explicit tone the game has, everything is done very well here in this regard.
The trophies for Lollipop Chainsaw are generally straight forward. You will have several collectibles trophies, such as save all classmates through the game, collect all music, kill all named zombies, and more similar in nature to those. There are no difficulty trophies, however, you will have to switch the difficulties to acquire all trophies as some elements of the game will only be available in Hard mode at times. You have various scoreboard trophies to accomplish beating the rank score through certain stages as well as accomplishing numerous specific story boss related feats. The trophies aren't very difficult, but will be somewhat time consuming and require multiple playthroughs of the game. There is only one majoring missable trophy to worry about also.
Lollipop Chainsaw is definitely a fun action hack and slash game to check out when you have some free time. It has a few little quirks that could be improved upon, such as limiting some of the language and the element of the jokes, fixing and making the combat a bit more expansive and more weapons or abilities, and fixing how the combos work to stream together better. Graphically, it's a bit outdated compared to other games out there, but it doesn't look bad in any means. Definitely a high level of sound quality involved in the game, but dialogue needs some improvement. The short story and random nature of it hold it back from being scored higher here as well, making this a very fun, yet average game this year.
Gameplay for Lollipop Chainsaw is a mix up of normal hack and slash combat with a little extra variety in combos, but mostly remains a mediocre button masher. While lots of fun will come from the game, it may become tedious and boring rather quickly.
There isn't much story involved with this title. You play a cheerleader hunting zombies and trying to stop one main bad guy that has caused the outbreak and released several "lord" pariah zombies through your school and town to stop. Length also becomes an issue with Lollipop Chainsaw.
There's not many technical hiccups that can be complained about through my playing of Lollipop Chainsaw. Graphically it is alright for the art style and sound is amazing. Dialogue is a bit extreme and cheesy at times, but remains humorous as it was intended. This remains a solid sound game.