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Lollipop Chainsaw (PS3)
Reviewed On: Reviewed On
Available For: Available For
Age: Age (PEGI)
Cheerleaders are clearly meant to be cheery. It's their responsibility to get the crowd riled-up, make them happy when they would otherwise be down, and ecstatic when they're already there. It's pom-poms, sparkles, glitter and dancing. But for Juliet Starling, her duties go a little further - and much darker - she's a zombie hunter.
After an outbreak, Juliet arms herself with her trusty chainsaw and sets out for the high school to meet with her beloved boyfriend Nick. Brown stuff hits the fan when Nick gets munched on by a flesh hungry undead freak, but luckily Juliet knows zombie hunter witchcraft and stops the virus from spreading to his brain - by cutting off his head.
So accompanied by a talking head, a dangerous chainsaw, some hardcore pom-poms and a rapidly-growing list of dance inspired attack moves, Juliet's the cheerleader to bring cheer back to the masses.
Fundamentally, Lollipop Chainsaw's a hack-and-slash with gunplay and other occasional variants like rhythm sequences. There are plenty of special moves to send Juliet into a cheerleading, zombie chopping frenzy and a shopping system to kit her out with plenty more. It's all about pulling off decent combos, hoarding collectibles and saving others in dramatic style.
Dancing cheerily along the fine line between magnificently genius and completely insane, it's humour and sheer absurdity has developers Grasshopper Manufacturers niche stamp all over it. It won't appeal to the masses, whilst the few will fall helplessly in love.
The bosses are like bosses from yesteryear, big, ugly and armed with deadly amounts of even deadlier moves. But don't expect them to have just one energy bar to gradually chip through, they usually have multiple stages to their destruction. It's something that can often be missing from games these days Graphically, things are polished beautifully both in game and during the cinematic sequences. The bright and garish palette lends itself to the cute and cheeky nature of the narrative.
The audio complements not only the aesthetics brilliantly, but also the tone of play with the irony running deep within its beats, sounds, lyrics and songs.
Weighing in at just six hours long, it's not the longest game in the world. There is however a challenge mode designed to provide extra padding, and each level has a score rating to try and better.
Sickly sweet and brutally sickening, it's another amazing blend between humorous and horrific to have players laughing and wincing at the same time. It's not for children, nor for the hyper-mature, but everyone else will laugh their heads off - a little bit like Nick.
SCORE: 8 / 10
PROS: The humour is quirky beyond belief. A challenge mode, plenty of upgrades, and a decent ranking system for the levels gives play extra depth.
CONS: It not going to be to everybody's liking - clearly a Marmite game.