I’ve only ever finished one of Suda51’s games, that being Killer7, but it made a heck of an impression on me. It was a weird mix of adventure-game-style puzzle solving and lightgun-style shooting gallery, set in a world with the bizarre factor cranked up to 12. Compared to it, Lollipop Chainsaw is downright normal, a sort of riff on Buffy the Vampire Slayer where you control a blonde cheerleader from a family of zombie hunters, cheerfully chopping her way through an onslaught of the living dead spawned from a dimensional rift to hell. Oh, and your boyfriend was turned into a zombie but you saved him by cutting off his head. Trust me, it makes more sense in context.
Along the way, you fight musically-themed bosses – punk rock, heavy metal, even 60s psychedelic music – and are forced to adapt on-the-fly to a variety of generally-frustrating minigames. The most vexing of these so far – I’m just starting level 6 of 7 – has been in a level where you get sucked into retro arcade machines and are forced to play analogs of Pac-Man, Elevator Action, and Crazy Climber.
I was never very good at Crazy Climber, and it follows that I wasn’t very good at the Lollipop Chainsaw version of the game either. This also leads to one of my few real complaints – the minigames all have short introductory sequences, and failing the minigames results in a short death sequence, and neither of them can be skipped or sped up.
Compared to Onechanbara, it’s, well, it’s a little more sleazy at times. There’s an ample amount of virtual skin on display on both titles, but the camera angles in Lollipop Chainsaw’s close-ups are a little more obvious in what’s on display. Neither one is something you want to be playing when your mum comes over to visit, but Lollipop is the one of the two that made me say “Really? That was necessary?”
Juliet also doesn’t control as smoothly as either of the Onechanbara sisters, but I’ll admit that it’s a subjective call on my part to say that.
There’s considerably more polish to the overall presentation in Lollipop, though. It may be tacky, but it doesn’t feel cheap.
It’s also notable for having Tara Strong voice the main character. Now, I’m not a voice actor groupie by any means and I actually have a really hard time picking her voice out even when I know she’s a character in a series, but her performance in this one is startlingly close to her MLP performance, to the point where it really does sound like Twilight Sparkle having a really bad day.
The following image, which I am stealing without credit as I wasn’t able to track down its original source, really says all that needs to be said on the topic:
It’s a pretty short game by reputation, so I should be able to knock out the last couple levels in another night or so. I’ll update this if it turns terrible, of course, but I’m liking it a lot so far.