Monday, March 24, 2014

Back Seat Gamer: Lollipop Chainsaw

Intro:  I've been a lover of zombie related things since as far back as I can remember.  Zombie video games and zombie movies hold almost as much of a special place in my heart as vampires and I don't mean the sparkly kind.  So what could be better then a hack and slash video game with the likes of zombies and a heroine that takes more then a few pointers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

Summary: It's Juliet's birthday and all she wants is to have cake with her decidedly interesting family and celebrate.  Of course, with the Rotten World breaking through into hers, that has to be put on hold.  Time to grab her trusty chainsaw and rescue her boyfriend Nick from the onslaught.  Oh and collect lollipops and cute outfits along the way!

From the get go this is a lovely stylized game!  I love the old catchy music that is peppered through the game with your special moves and the menu screens.  "Hey Mickey" and "Lollipop" are the most noticeable ones, but there are others.  This game does a great job of catching the 'eternal high school' idea so that whether you're a current high school student, an older parent or a college student you know expertly what they're aiming for.  Lockers, letter-mans jackets and cheer-leading cheers are everywhere but not in a painful way. 

The other thing this game does it expertly walk the line between gory bloody and sparkly magic without being annoying or completely over the top.  You're attacking the zombies with a chainsaw, so a certain amount of blood is required and expected.  However, like any good game or anime to come out of Japan, there are also moments where sparkles and fireworks and hearts come out and it all blends together in hilarious fun.

Nick is a particularly interesting element in the game.  It's no big spoiler that your boyfriend doesn't completely make it through his first zombie attack.  He's a head, attached to your waist, who gets to be confused at the whole situation.  But the most important part of Nick is not as noticeable - he grounds the game.  Yeah, I know that sounds ridiculous since I'm talking about a head, but it actually works.  See the game is pretty unbelievable and Nick is the character who expresses this.  He asks what the hell is going on and makes the comments that you - the player - would probably make in this situation.  He asks why letters are being thrown at you, he makes comments about killing a zombie teacher because he gave Nick's paper a bad grade and things like that.  In doing this, he makes it a little easier to believe that this cheerleader is a zombie hunter and really damn good at it.  I can honestly say that Nick was one of my favorite parts of the game.

The mini games were interesting, especially when you're using Nick, even if they're kinda what kept me away from wanting to play the game instead of watching.  I'm not so good at reaction commands, especially that quick in succession, so I didn't really ask to play because of them.  And then there's the retro arcade games that tried a bit too hard.

I also loved Juliet's family and how they played into the game.  Her family made me want many sequels with them as the main or playable characters.  Juliet's father, her mother and her two sisters were just all awesome and I would have even loved to play Morikawa sensei.  Here's hoping to some awesome sequels somewhere along the line.

How much I played:
None, nada.  Normally this would be my type of game, but I was just too caught in watching to ask to play.  The game is distracting like that ^__^

Lots of old school hack and slash fun!  Honestly, the only minuses were a couple of the glitches we ran into.  They weren't major, but they were noticeable, so just be warned.

As a side and not writing related, I've actually made the dress from this game as a commission for a friend of mine.  Sadly I don't have pictures of her in it, but I at least have an image of the finished costume.  Feel free to click on the link to read more about the outfit.

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