Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Lollipop Chainsaw for PS3

I don't play a lot of video games. Between work and school and...reading lots of comics, I don't have much time left. And the last time I bought a video game on the first day it was released was Ghostbusters a few years ago. I was browsing in Game Stop when I saw the ads for the game and I looked it up online and it looked funny and exciting.

I haven't completely gotten through the game yet but here's a review of someone who hasn't cleared the third area yet.

First a little background on the game from Lollipop Chainsaw is the 'un-deadly' story of sweet and killer zombie-hunter Juliet Starling and her quest to uncover the root of a colossal zombie outbreak. With her wickedly awesome chainsaw in hand, Juliet slices, dices and splits her way through hordes of the undead, but soon realizes the horde is only the opening act to a festival of zombie rock lords determined to kill the chainsaw-wielding cheerleader.

This button-mashing fighting game is a lot of fun. Beating on zombies until they're groggy enough to take their heads off with the chainsaw or simply slicing them up with the chainsaw is very satisfying. There are no puzzles to solve here - when you get to a roadblock the screen tells you what button to push.

As an adult, I appreciate the games where the characters curse. I giggled every time the Eliza Dusku-voiced main character in Wet dropped an F-bomb while I was mowing bad guys down. The entire premise of the game is silly and so is the dialogue and the fact that the characters use bad language is great. This game is not meant for kids as even a casual glance at the box art will tell a parent.

That said, there are really annoying parts of the game so far. I don't like the 'hit this button right now' kind of game and you have to do that to finish tough zombies and bosses. You also have to put Nick's head on zombie bodies and push the right button at the right time to get him to do things. So instead of enjoying the cut scene of a boss’ death, you're blocking everything out except for the blinking reminder of what button to push. Instead of controlling Nick or watching as he stumbles across a room, you are staring at the center of the screen for the next button.

Also, I don't know if video games in general have gotten this way or if it's just this game, but there were no instructions on how to play the game in the case. I thought this would be liberating because the game would train me at the beginning of the game. For the most part, the game did a good job of training me on fighting - and let's be honest, there are a lot of fighting games so I didn't really need to learn how to do jump attacks and try out different button combos. But I did need to use the internet boards to figure out how to answer the phone.

And she runs really slow. It's hard to get a little distance because you can't run away to allow the zombies to group up a little bit so you can take care of them en masse. And having to repeatedly tap the circle button to get up when she's been knocked down gets old really fast.

So is this cheerful, zombie killing game worth the carpal tunnel? Right now it's a good time so I'm going to keep playing.

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