Some Thoughts on... Lollipop Chainsaw

Shooter Fatigue? Lollipop Chainsaw was just what the doctor ordered.

I'd never played a Suda51 game prior to Lollipop Chainsaw.

Actually, that's a lie. I played a bit of Killer7 on the Gamecube many moons ago, but I was many moons younger and didn't really 'get' it.

Although lacking any real direct contact with the Suda Experience (Sudasperience?), its hard for anyone who follows the gaming industry to avoid at least hearing about his reputation for creative, absurd and often puerile scenarios. It was that reputation, combined with the involvement of one James Gunn, that lead me to pick up a copy of Lollipop Chainsaw.

I don't want to get involved in the alleged sexism debate. Jim Sterling already wrote a fantastic opinion piece on that over on Destructoid (http://www.destructoid.com/objectification-and-lollipop-chainsaw-229700.phtml) and the subsequent from the horse's mouth interview with Gunn himself (http://www.destructoid.com/lollipop-chainsaw-s-james-gunn-talks-sexiness-and-sexism-231523.phtml) are well worth reading if that subject interests you.

My opinion of the game can be more or less boiled down to the following statement; Lollipop Chainsaw is the perfect example of style over substance. Would you believe me if I told you that that isn't a criticism?

I look back at the game I had played prior to this and realised that they were all serious business FPS titles; between Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3, I was tired, really feeling the fatigue and Lollipop Chainsaw turned out to be the ideal remedy for this.

The gameplay mechanics are very simple. There is no real hidden depth to it at all, but really it feels intentional rather than lazy or under-developed. There is an absurd amount of priority given to attack animations which seems to have prompted some to deem the controls unresponsive, but to me it felt like the developer's method of discouraging button mashing. Once you adapt to the way the game wants you to play, this stops being a problem.

The real joy of the game for me was the sense of humour and self-awareness. Off-hand comments about favourite colours and Chumbawumba tribute bands had both my wife and I chuckling at regular intervals. Juliet seems to be a cross between one of the girls in Clueless and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and several times the explanation given for certain events is 'because magic'.

This game is dumb fun. If that sounds like something that would interest you then pick it up, if not then that's fine too; the game has already sold more copies than anticipated so no one will lose any sleep over it. Worth a rent at the very least.

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