“Lollipop Chainsaw” is a comedy horror action hack-and-slash video game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture for the PS3 and XBOX360. The game is a collaboration between game designer Suda 51 and filmmaker James Gunn, best known for writing “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Slither”, and “Dawn of the Dead” (2004).
Juliet Starling is part of a zombie hunter family– something her boyfriend Nick doesn’t know until their school is overrun by zombies on her 18th birthday.
Juliet’s family don’t know about Nick. She was going to introduce him to them on her birthday. When Juliet arrives at the school after fighting some zombies she looks for Nick who’s bitten while saving her.
She confesses to him she’s a zombie hunter and does a special ritual to save him, but now he’s just a head without a body, which obviously freaks him out.
She meets up with her mentor, Morikawa Sensei, who explains what’s happening.
There are three realms the universe is divided into: Earth, the Land Beyond Worlds and Rotten World; a realm where demons and zombies reside. Someone opened a portal between Earth and Rotten World with a combination of black magic and explosives.
After fighting more zombies Juliet meets up with Morikawa again and finds the person responsible for the outbreak; an evil Goth guy named Swan, but she can’t prevent him from summoning the Dark Purveyors which take the form of zombies centered on music.Morikawa tries to stop Swan but is mortally wounded. Before dying Morikawa tells Juliet to purify the school and kill the four remaining Dark Purveyors.
Swan sends the first Dark Purveyor, Zed, after Juliet. They fight on a stage that’s in a Junkyard and he attacks with big letters that come out of the microphone.
Juliet’s sisters Cordelia and Rosalind Starling help her along the way, one more than the other since the youngest one (Rosalind) is a bit crazy and likes destroying stuff, while the older one (Cordelia) is a great sniper.
The second Dark Purveyor is a Viking that likes heavy metal called Vikke. He is in a giant ship that’s flying near the stadium and sends electric shock attacks while playing the drums.
After defeating Vikke on his ship Juliet crashes onto the O’Bannon farm where there are strange large mushrooms growing. When they are cut they release a psychedelic substance that makes Juliet have nightmarish dreams where there are giant chickens attacking her. Juliet’s younger sis Rosalind appears here for the first time driving a bus.
When she finally catches up to the third Dark Purveyor Mariska; a hippie that loves bubbles and farming equipment. After defeating her she goes on to the Fulci Fun Center.
Juliet’s dad Gideon is the person who drives her there. This part is reminiscent of old games like “Pacman” and “Pong” and another one with doors and elevators that reminds me of “Hotel Mario” and one where you climb a building on an elevator and shoot and avoid the obstacles along the way.
After doing all the games she enters a tower where the fourth Dark Purveyor Josey the Disco Zombie with the auto tune voice is waiting for her. This fight consists of two parts: fighting him on the dance floor on top of his small UFO, and the second part is on a giant UFO where Rosalind is on the bottom. With the help of her dad she defeats Josey; after this she meets up with her family for the final confrontation on a cathedral.
Cordelia and Rosalind help her along the way, when she finally arrives at the cathedral Swan taunts her about Lewis being more than a match for her. The final dark purveyor is a rock and roll zombie called Lewis, whom possesses a motorcycle that transforms a lot making this one of the longest fights in the game.
Once each Dark Purveyor is defeated they utter a Latin chat which is part of the ritual Swan was doing so that the True Zombie Lord, Killabilly, could return to earth. After defeating Lewis, Swan tells Juliet that she was a pawn in his game, and that she and the other students bullied him and made him a monster. It’s hinted that he might have had feelings for Juliet, and her dismissal of him pushed him over the edge.
The zombie outbreak was an act of vengeance against the school students, and society in general for making him an outcast, which seems a bit extreme to be honest. Juliet tries reasoning with him but he doesn’t pay attention towards seeing the error of what he has done and he shoots himself in the head, finishing the ritual and is absorbed along with the rest of the undead into a black vortex that forms Killabilly.
Killabilly starts destroying the city so it’s up to Juliet and her family to stop him. Juliet avoids Killabilly’s lasers before being picked up by him and then starts to fight him from the rooftop of a building. There the ghost of Morikawa contacts her, giving her and Nick some advice and telling her that she has to destroy Killabilly from the inside.
Juliet’s father Gideon drives his motorcycle packed with explosives into the mouth of Killabilly in a desperate suicide run and dies in the process. She mourns her father until Nick and Morikawa encourage her to go into Killabilly’s body and destroy him once and for all. Juliet arrives at Killabilly’s heart where Swan’s body is attached to it, and there she learns she has to use Nick as a bomb so Killabilly can self-destruct. After doing so she expresses her love to him.
Because of his sacrifice Nick’s life is sparred and he comes back in Morikawa’s body since there was a mix-up during the resurrection. After they reunite it’s found out that Gideon survived the explosion and together the family walk back home.
Depending on how many students you save throughout the game you can get a good or bad ending.
If you have saved all the students Juliet’s birthday will go well and Nick will give her a present of a box of luxury lollipops. If one of the students dies Juliet’s mother acts weird and turns around to reveal she is now a zombie.
Lollipop Chainsaw Game Play Mechanics
Juliet uses the chainsaw and sometimes the head of her boyfriend Nick to attack the zombies she finds on her way. She can also “groggy” or stun them with her pompoms.
Collect lollipops to use during in game play to heal Juliet’s health. Depending on the difficulty you choose you get more or less of them.
Juliet can use her chainsaw as a long-range weapon with an upgrade called the Chainsaw Blaster that uses bullets you find throughout the levels starting at the Stadium. There’s also the upgrade called Chainsaw Dash that allows her to charge forward with her chainsaw and fly off ramps while collecting what seems to be paint cans.
The Sparkle Hunting Combo happens when Juliet kills three or more zombies at the same time or in quick succession. This gives you platinum medals that you can spend on costumes for Juliet and game art.
You can die if you don’t get some certain Quick Time Events right. That happened to me at times, so pay attention!
Juliet can also use Nick’s head as a weapon; using a Nick Ticket Juliet activates the Nick Roulette that has different moves such as a bombarding attack or making various zombies groggy. And when she fills up her Star Meter she can activate like a Super Saiyan mode that powers up her chainsaw for a brief time and this way she can defeat zombies and obtain Sparkle Hunting faster.
Is the music used effectively in the game?
Yes, it is actually. When talking about the original music and also the licensed songs from various mainstream artists old and new, it’s tense and creepy at times, other times happy and cheerful. Case in point “Hey Mickey” plays when you activate Juliet’s star mode, songs like “Cherry Bomb” and “Lollipop” are played in the part where you choose the difficulty and also at the start of the game.
There’s also songs from Dragonforce, Dead or Alive, Sleigh Bells, Children of Bodom among other artists that are used effectively at different parts of the game; especially the boss fights.
The original soundtrack of the game was made with the help of Akira Yamaoka, who had worked on “Silent Hill” and “Shadows of the Damned”.
There are various mini-games throughout the game the main ones are zombie basketball and zombie baseball, in the first one you have to get to 101 points by decapitating zombies that pass through a basketball hoop, and in the second one you have to defend nick while other zombie attack him so he can score enough runs for you to win.
“Lollipop Chainsaw” is a very fun game. While it does have some annoying Quick Time Events, overall the story and the game play are engaging and quite enjoyable to play. I enjoyed it a lot and highly recommend it.