Lollipop Chainsaw Hands On Preview

After a zombie outbreak at San Romero High School, saving the day is a young cheerleader, Juliet Starling. She just so happens to be a zombie hunter, hence the use of a chainsaw. The whole idea of Suda 51’s Lollipop Chainsaw sounds like something that was cooked up in a couple of minutes, designed to appeal to the baser instincts of teenage boys. Yet what seems to propel the game, which is even apparent in the demo that was available to play, are moments of outrageous humour and crude wit, a knowingness that this is a videogame and simply having fun with the premise.

Testing the Xbox 360 version, the demo has two sections to play through. The first has Juliet in her high school environment, trying to dispose of numerous zombies as well as her teacher turned zombie, Mr. Fitzgibbons (who is in the middle of teaching a self-destruct tutorial). It makes for a suitable training ground in which to practice your chainsaw combos with a multitude of zombies. Pressing X initiates a cheerleader attack, while Y has Juliet perform a chainsaw attack. A mixture of the buttons can create some chainsaw combos. Mashing the buttons will work for the first few zombie encounters, but learning the combos will keep you alive much longer, particularly when faced with a crowd. Her decapitated head of a boyfriend, Nick Carlyle, will also offer helpful hints. Saving students that are under attack will result in some coinage.

In the bottom left corner of the screen is a Star Mode meter, which fills up after collecting stars from slaughtered zombies. Once the bar is filled, pressing the R-trigger initiates Star Mode, causing Juliet to go all sparkly, which I’ll assume gives her an enormous burst of energy, for it allowed her to destroy the zombiefied Mr. Fitzgibbon in one chainsaw slash, depleting his whole energy bar! “You’re getting a C-minus,” he says before finally dying.

The other section involves a boss encounter with zombie punk rocker Zed. “I love the smell of almost-dead-cheerleader in the morning,” he says. Broken up into three sections, the boss fight is quite taxing, as Juliet avoids lightening attacks and fireballs. Later Juliet must smash away a set of speakers, which Zed stands upon. In a moment of bizarre genius, one of his frequent attacks involves his swearing turned into physical speech, which Juliet must smash through or jump over.

Overall the game exudes a sense of fun, with the vibrant florescent colours enhancing the whole sugar coated tone, while the cartoony violence as you slash zombie limbs off (you can have a limbless zombie crawling around) delivers dollops of blood! With an 18 certificate from the BBFC for “strong gory violence and sex references,” this means that it’ll probably be a day one purchase for many of you. Lollipop Chainsaw is released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in the UK on June 15th. If you can’t wait till then, it is also playable at the London MCM Expo this weekend.

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