Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Tasty Review: Lollipop Chainsaw

How many licks does it take to get to the center of this lollipop? Read on to hear Humor Tumor's verdict on the new Suda51 game: Lollipop Chainsaw.

My first experiences with Lollipop Chainsaw where not positive, in fact I was almost regretting my purchase of the game outright. Despite the charm of the game, it seemed way to stilted and linear, and just a bit off in pacing. It felt slow and clunky. To say I was worried was not an understatement, luckily I warmed up to the game as it got more into it's own flow.

Don't worry, he'll be okay.

You see, I went into the hack and slash genre loving games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Games that required quite a good mastery of the mechanics and combos to fully enjoy. While in the same breath despising games like God of War, which felt like mere button mashers in comparison. Lollipop Chainsaw feels more like the latter. It's a game you can easily mash away at and enjoy. Normally this would mean the kiss of death for me, but the humor and charm was enough to keep me going. But honestly, charm will only keep you invested for so long.

The combat is fun, even if it lacks depth. Sadly there's a few features that seem to get the shaft. Like a pole that Juliet can swing around on and attack enemies; or a few mini games like a trampoline you can use to reach certain places. Even the boss battles seem fairly one note. They all play out very similar to one another, and although funny, can feel a little too long. The game doesn't seem fully realized, which is a shame. It has a foundation for a solid title, it's just not quite there.

And let's not forget a huge draw for the game, James Gunn (of Dawn of the Dead and Slither fame) was the writer for the game. Luckily this translated to a very enjoyable story. But don't get enjoyable confused with good, the story doesn't take itself seriously, which leads to a very fun experience. The dialog is humorous and engaging, and there is plenty of in-game banter. All backed by a very capable voice cast, who help sell the humor. If anything this might be what I enjoyed most about the game. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments, and I stayed pretty engaged throughout all the cut scenes. It makes me hope this game gets a sequel, as I feel like a second try could fully flesh out the core game, and the story could really grow into it's own.

This makes far less sense in context

The negatives, though, are fairly major. Repetition does set in, as nothing is particularly nuanced about the game. Lollipop does manage to tone it down by varying what you do, but it doesn't hide the fact the game is loaded with the same scenarios and QTEs throughout. The double-edged saving grace is the length of the game. It's pretty damn short, although this helps stave off the repetition from being awful, it also means you can beat the game in a very short amount of time (about 5-6 hours). And lastly; the replayability of the title itself. Since it lacks depth it's very hard to go for a second run, sure you could do so to grind for abilities and costumes. But I honestly can't see someone putting that much time into the game, unless they were chasing the Achievement/Trophies.

Although rough around the edges, the game looks good.

All in all though, Lollipop Chainsaw is a fun game, it's not a great game. There are lots of kinks to be worked out, and if they were, I think the game would be much stronger. It has a bit of a slow start, and it isn't terribly deep. But if you want to enjoy a simple, easy to play, and just plain enjoyable game; well then, this lollipop is all for you.



Humor Tumor is wondering when a game centered on slaying mimes will be made...

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure I have much to say about the game..but damn, did you see that Lollipop cosplay at PAX East?!