Lollipop Chainsaw: This is Awkward
I have been on vacation for the past three weeks, which is why I haven’t been able to write up a review for all of you. I haven’t had access to my Netflix, which is why the reviews were pretty much dead. However, I have managed to play Lollipop Chainsaw. I actually bought this game before I left for vacation, played it through in ten hours, and felt extremely awkward afterwards. Where should I begin with this?
Let’s get the formalities out of the way. Lollipop Chainsaw is a hack and slash video game, developed by Grasshopper Manufacturer, which brought out titles such as No More Heroes and Killer 7. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to play either games, for separate reasons. I dislike the Wii, even though I respect it for contributing to the fact that games can be as much of a hobby as going to the movies or reading a book. The Wii controls are not my cup of tea, and Killer 7 came around when I was playing Super Smash Brothers Melee religiously on my Gamecube, and I was not able to afford much else. The game stars Juliet Starling, a (newly) adult cheerleader who meets up with her boyfriend on her birthday, only to find out that her high school has been plagued with zombies, which were spawned by a goth satanist. The zombies attack and bite Juliet’s boyfriend, Nick Carlyle, and Juliet brings out a rainbow colored chainsaw to shred the zombies to bits. After saving Nick, Juliet places a spell on her boyfriend’s head and cuts it off, where she then hangs him from her skirt. She explains that she is in a zombie hunting family, and must save the school from the zombies and in turn, the goth antagonist.
Kind of slow..
The cheerleader is voiced by Tara Strong, a voice actress that I have idolized due to her work on numerous cartoon shows. Fairly Oddparents, Teen Titans, and of course, Friendship is Magic. I have seen her numerous tweets where she hugs people who bought the game in Los Angeles, and her verbal adoration of Juliet as a character. That is what makes me awkward, since Juliet is an interesting character in a game that has a numerous amount of flaws. The fighting game play for example, gets repetitive really quickly. The buttons go as follows: a button for downward slashes with the chainsaw, a button for upward slashes, a button for a directional stun, and a button to jump. You can unlock additional combination moves with medals, that you acquire from the zombies, which is where the fun starts to deflate. You only need to buy one combination, and it can be used until the end of the game. The unfortunate thing that I found about this game is that the delay between combinations is big enough to where there is no possible way to chain up combinations. After doing the chainsaw whirlwind for example, there is a 1 second delay before you can do it again. This makes the game play feel slow, unless you spam the combination that you bought. Which is why the game play is unfortunately shot in the foot to begin with.
The game is broken up every now and again by separate mini games such as Zombie Basketball, where you cut off zombie heads and in the process, shoot them into a basketball hoop for points. Or Zombie Baseball, where you place Nick’s head on a decapitated zombie and have him walk around the bases to score points and beat the zombie’s score. Hack and slash games can be extremely fun, God of War is an example of a game that did the hack and slash fighting mechanics correctly. Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were also good examples of games that could pull off directional combat and have it smooth, one punch leading into the next. However while both of the Batman games were able to make up their combat with the engaging and amazing story, Lollipop Chainsaw’s story is not engaging enough to ameliorate the boredom. The game has the tendency of flaunting the fact that everything makes sense to the characters, and it expects you to go along with whatever the game puts in your path. I can understand that, especially since the game is trying to be as weird as possible so that it could imprint itself in the minds of all its players as, “The Weird Game With Twilight Sparkle as a Cheerleader”. However whenever I look back on this game, I remember the few hours that I spent, using one specific combination to kill a group of zombies, and repeating it over and over on the bosses since it worked and continues to do so. Then the seven hours afterwards of mindless three button mashing to finish up the game, because I paid sixty dollars for it and I should play this through.
I will admit that the bosses were interesting, five different demons that had to do with rock and roll. Each of the boss fights were intuitive, and broke up the monotonous three button spamming in the previous levels. One of the levels deserves a special mention, since it took place in an arcade, and it sucked Juliet in so that she could play out a bunch of old 2D game homages to reach the boss.
Not much replay value
Lollipop Chainsaw is a game that quickly loses its fun value, and it turns to patience over whether or not the controller is going to be put down. The story mode is 10 hours long, minus an hour for piss breaks and the occasional ramen break that I took to keep myself going. The boss fights are nice and intuitive, since they each have their own special way in which they need to be killed. But the fun value diminishes as you play out the road leading up to the next boss and you wonder why there was even numerous combinations to buy in the first place, since you only need to buy one and you can take it to the end of the game. I wouldn’t recommend buying this game, since the chance that the game will be replayed is close to zero. How unfortunate. Well, back to League of Legends. I swear if I get another crap jungler…