Grasshopper Manufacture has always been notorious for creating unique and highly entertaining video games across a wide range of platforms. After the success of Shadows of the Damned, everyone was speculating at where they could go next and whether the next game would involve a ridiculous amount of references to a man’s privates. As it happens, Grasshopper Manufacture has taken the opposite approach and gone for a female led story layered with enough perverted content to make even the prudish of men get a little hot under the collar.
As you’d expect, Lollipop Chainsaw has plenty of lollipops and a glittering chainsaw that the main character, Juliet, wields to take down the horde of zombies that have infested Earth. These zombies have been summoned here by the local Goth, Swan, who seems to have taken an interest in darks arts. Sadly, the day these events occur happens to be Juliet’s birthday and as she rides to school to meet her boyfriend Nick, she becomes aware of what is going on. Although Juliet appears to be your average schoolgirl and captain of the cheerleading squad, she also holds a secret – she’s a zombie slayer. In fact, her entire family hunt zombies and all play their part to rid the world of these unwanted guests. Nick also plays a major role in the story however, he loses his body early on in the story and becomes a belt accessory for Juliet as well as a tool for her to kill zombies with but more on that later.
The story takes place across a prologue and six chapters and although being a rather short game, is one hell of a ride from start to finish. The bosses you will encounter each have their own wacky personalities and make each chapter a joy to play. While making your way to these bosses you will encounter a wide range of zombies such as fire fighters, baseball players, fellow cheerleaders and grannies in wheelchairs. They all have their own unique attacks and will become much harder to kill as you increase the difficulty. The sparkly and glittering chainsaw is Juliet’s main weapon and there are a range of combos available that are flashy and deadly all at the same time. Juliet also makes use of her pompoms which will deal a lot less damage than the chainsaw but will allow you to stun zombies to make them easier to decapitate. The other weapon that Juliet has available is Nick’s head. Kissing her boyfriend will allow Juliet to choose from a selection attacks such as firing his head at zombies to giving his head a good shake for bonus lollipops and zombies medals.
There are two types of zombie medals, gold and platinum. The gold ones are used to buy upgrades for Juliet such as health, strength and combos and the platinum ones will get you extra music tracks, concept art and costumes. The costumes range from the weird, ragtag bunny outfit, to the outright revealing, shell bikini. There’s an outfit to please everyone but for the most part you’ll be getting a view of Juliet’s panties as she thrashes about killing zombies – there’s even an achievement / trophy to have a peep up her skirt! If this wasn’t enough, Juliet’s sexual talk throughout the game and the inappropriate comments from the people you save make the whole journey a very entertaining ride.
The levels are well designed and although linear, give players a good mix of hack slash action and the odd ‘puzzle’ every now and then. You’ll be travelling from the normality of Juliet’s school to the retro designed arcade where the level designed takes a very strange but interesting turn. With each level being very different from the last, boredom is something you will not encounter and even though you’ll be playing the same levels again and again, when you unlock ranking mode, there is still plenty to keep you busy such as collecting golden lollipops and unlocking concept art and music. The music that has been chosen for Lollipop Chainsaw is beyond brilliant. While there are a few original tracks that belong to the metal/heavy rock genre, there are also a lot of classic pop songs that will be stuck in your head for days after hearing them. Personal favourites are Mickey by Toni Basil, Speed by Atari Teenage Riot and, of course, Lollipop by The Chordettes.
Although some of you may not want to spend you’re hard earned cash on a game that may only last twenty to thirty hours, I’d urge you to give Lollipop Chainsaw a chance. With so many sequels coming out these days it’s fantastic to see a refreshing and unique game hit the shelves and let’s be honest, how can anyone reject a game that is filled with lollipops, chainsaws and short skirts?