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Visually, the game is.. OK. The character models are fine, but kinda low-res; the environments and effects are somewhat lackluster; and the game gets so full of zombies and special effects at times that it becomes disorienting. However, the art style is pretty cute and it’s basically zombie decapitation if you were looking through the eyes of a stereotypical 18-year old cheerleader. Lots of rainbows, lots of sparkles, etc. This is no gritty Left 4 Dead style game, no sir. Beyond that, the UI is decent even if the “unlockables” don’t seem to do much more than add a name to a list.
The soundtrack is solid for this game, using 80′s classics like “Mickie (You’re So Fine)” and “Lollipop, Lollipop” (you see what they did?), and the special effects are great, but the dialogue… I still don’t know what to make of the dialogue. Zombie lines include “I want to f**k your father!” and “I’m going to rip out your taint!” Not really funny, pretty poorly done, and the voice-acting itself is over-the-top or lackluster usually where it shouldn’t be, with rare exception. Tara Strong does a good job as Juliet, but she only has so much to work with here.
I said it before, I’ll say it again, Lollipop Chainsaw is definitely fun. Though fun for a brief period. I found myself turning off the Xbox (mostly due to a faulty console on my end) and finding the urge to get back in there and slash up more zombies. But, there’s not much unique about the experience, and it wears thin. The moments where you cram your boyfriend Nick’s head onto various headless zombies unlocks a quick-time style minigame where you’ll use the Zombie Nick to break open passages into or out of new stages, but it doesn’t do much for the game. You also can replay stages for leaderboard scores, but that’s about it.
Lollipop Chainsaw doesn’t have any multiplayer to speak of, which isn’t the end of the world, but the only real reason to replay this game is to unlock everything, get the best ending (if you didn’t already), or reach the top of the leaderboards. It won’t really keep you going for long, but it does provide a bit of fun while it lasts. Unfortunately, it isn’t a very long campaign either, so you’ll be done with the story pretty swiftly.
Even though the game has a pretty entertaining hack-and-slash mechanic at its core, other games have done it far better. Such as, you know, any of the God of War games (for example). But it still does it okay. The controls are a bit disappointing and even a touch unresponsive at times. The stages, while unique in concept and design, wind up being very repetitive as you go along in terms of enemies and challenges. For example, the threat of exploding zombies meeting with fire zombies is played to death in one of the early stages. That isn’t to say that the design of the mechanics isn’t clever. One of the first main bosses you’ll deal with uses his own words as his weapons, firing off letters toward your general position as you try to advance on him. The clever bits, unfortunately, won’t win this game over in the end. The purchasable items add a bit of extension to the game, providing new moves, new outfits, in-game audio, concept art, etc. But, like the game itself, this doesn’t go far.
Lollipop Chainsaw is conflicting, for me. On one hand, I really enjoy playing it. I enjoy chopping zombies to bits (even if everything is pretty much canned animations and deaths), and I do get a kick out of seeing where the laughable story goes; but on the OTHER hand.. It’s not really a good game. It’s just… average. It’s not horrible, but it lacks in a lot of places. It’s too short and takes too much out of the players’ hands. Lollipop Chainsaw feels as though it could be a great game with just a few little tweaks to it. Even the engine would handle it, but… it dropped the ball, so to say. Or the purple heart-covered chainsaw. Basically, the game is worth a Platinum Hits price (and it should reach that point, one way or the other), but don’t expect to get much out of it.
OVERALL SCORE: 7/10
This game was reviewed using the Xbox 360 version.