FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

Game Review: Lollypop Chainsaw

By Damian Seeto
Mon 2 Jul 2012
FYI, this story is more than a year old

It’s not every day that you see a zombie killing game with a young high school cheerleader as the main protagonist.

Lollipop Chainsaw is without a doubt one of the most unique gaming experiences you will ever encounter in 2012. This is because the game is the brain child of both Goichi Suda and Hollywood filmmaker, James Gunn. If you’ve played Suda’s "No More Heroes” game and saw Gunn’s Movie "Slither”, you might have an idea the type of horror-like humour Lollipop Chainsaw provides…

Juliet Starling may look like your average 18 year old girl, but what lies underneath her cutesy appearance is that she’s a trained zombie hunter. Not only is she a bloodthirsty zombie hunter, but her two sisters and her father are all trained zombie/monster hunters as well. The only "normal” people in this game are her mother and possibly Juliet’s boyfriend Nick.

Lollipop Chainsaw is a third-person hack-n-slash title. It plays a little bit like Capcom’s Dead Rising games, albeit the level design is a little more linear and there not an army of zombies littered throughout the game world like in Capcom’s game. Although this may sound like your usual action game, it’s the game’s dark humour and many references to modern day popular culture that separate this from many other games out there.

One of the first times you will encounter the game’s unique sense of humour is on the first level when Juliet’s boyfriend Nick saves her from being bitten from a zombie. As a result of his heroic act, Nick gets infected and could turn into a zombie himself. What comes next will be unexpected for most people playing this game. Juliet "saves” his life by decapitating him leaving his zombie-infested body to rot while his head is intact. Juliet then uses a spell so Nick is kept alive as a taking head!

The humorous dialogue and banter between Juliet and Nick from this point forward is comedy gold. The script is witty and even some of the zombies themselves pull off some great one-liners. After I killed a zombie, he uttered something along the lines of "why do I have this Katy Perry song in my head, what a horrible way to die.”

The voice acting is excellent here too with some recognizable names behind the main characters. Tara Strong is famous for playing Rikku in Final Fantasy X and her high pitched voice is perfect for the bubbly attitude that Juliet Starling possesses. Michael Rosenbaum who played Lex Luthor in Smallville is surprisingly enthusiastic as Nick as well.

As humorous as this game is, the story itself is a little clichéd. Juliet’s class mate (named Swan) is an emo-like outcast who was bullied throughout his life. To take his hatred out on the society that teased him, he opens a portal that allows zombies and other nasty creatures to wreck havoc all over the Earth. It’s up to Juliet Starling, her family and her body-less boyfriend Nick to save the world.

In terms of gameplay, Lollipop Chainsaw doesn’t really add anything new to the hack-n-slash genre, although there are elements of varied styles of gameplay to keep the game fresh and exciting on the seven levels that are available in this game. Some of my favourite moments in the game include a section where you have to mow down 300 zombies using a harvester. There’s also a Pac-Man inspired level where you have to avoid navigate your way through a maze.

As a cheerleader, Juliet Starling can use her cheerleading skills to work as she can even use combos to stun zombies using her pom poms. Stunning zombies becomes a crucial part in Lollipop Chainsaw as this makes it easier to kill them off using her chainsaw. Her chainsaw can even become a Gatling gun later on in the game. Ammo is limited, but her job is made easier by blasting enemies that can fly. Another cool feature is that Nick’s head can be used as a weapon in this game too.

You can also earn coins while playing Lollipop Chainsaw. The more coins you earn, the more unlockables you can purchase at the shop. This includes new combos, improved stats, concept art and even numerous bonus costumes for Juliet to wear. It’s great to see that Grasshopper Manufacture (the game’s developer) decided to add a decent number of costumes for you to unlock. In this day and age of DLC, most games have forced us to pay extra for costumes nowadays…

Graphically, Lollipop Chainsaw isn’t the brightest and vibrant 2D cel-shaded games I’ve encountered, but at least the character models are designed well. Juliet’s father looks like a younger Johnny Cash while the end boss resembles Elvis in a weird monster-like kind of way.

A little downside to Lollipop Chainsaw is its short length. Most gamers will be able to complete the game the first time around between six to seven hours. There’s no multiplayer mode or any other extras for you to play. The single player campaign though is meant to be played more than once. Most people may have only seen the "bad” ending of Lollipop Chainsaw. Also, Juliet Starling’s more racy costumes cost a lot of money so if you want to unlock them all, playing the game all over again is a must if that’s your prerogative.

Lollipop Chainsaw could have been a very shoddy game but overall, there are elements this game offers that make it a very fun and unique game. The characters are likeable enough for you to play the game until the very end to see what happens to them. Not to mention, it’s one of the few action games out there that doesn’t take itself too seriously like with most FPS games released these days. Hopefully if a sequel is to be made for this game, the levels will be less linear and the game is longer.

Graphics: 8.0

Sound: 7.5

Gameplay: 8.0

Lasting Appeal: 6.5

Overall: 7.5

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Gaming
PNY launches XLR8 Gaming EPIX memory products in A/NZ
PNY has launched its XLR8 Gaming EPIC-X RGB™ DDR4 Silver 3200MHz and 3600MHz memory products in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
WolfVision
WolfVision announces new range of visualisers
WolfVision has announced a new range of visualisers to help meet multiple industry demands for remote learning and educational solutions.
Story image
PaaS
New digital traffic light system to tackle construction defects
Smarter Defects Management launches its PaaS digital system and says it will revolutionise managing defects in the construction industry.
Story image
Norton
Hands-on review: Norton Anti Track 19 software
We get hands on with Norton's new privacy tool that was introduced in March 2022.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (Xbox Series X)
The Lego Star Wars games have always been popular with both kids and adults as they are a cute way to relive the famous movies.
Story image
Music
Hands-on review: JBL Partybox 110 Bluetooth speaker
My first review in a long time is sure to create a lot of noise, if the experience in my household has been anything to go by.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Google to enter the smartwatch market with the Google Pixel Watch
Google has provided a first look at its new Google Pixel Watch, which is set to make an entry into the competitive smartwatch market.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: Intel Core i7-12700 CPU
Intel’s middle-of-the-road 12th generation Core i7-12700 offers performance at a lower price than the pricey Core i9 for users that are not fussed by overclocking.
Story image
E-waste
NZ’s first and only e-waste sorting machine launched
Computer Recycling launches e-waste shredder and MSS optical sorting machine BLUBOX, which is able to sort out a tonne of e-waste per hour
Story image
Malware
Vulnerabilities in Lenovo laptops expose users to UEFI malware
Researchers at ESET have discovered three vulnerabilities affecting various Lenovo consumer laptop models.
Story image
Sustainability
The AI Forum helps NZ pave the way with AI sustainability practices
Non-profit organisation The AI Forum is helping Kiwis learn about addressing climate change issues through the use of AI technology.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: The A500 Mini Retro Gaming Console
Retro Games, the UK outfit responsible for a range of retro gaming devices from joystick to full-sized Vic-20s and C64 emulators, have launched their A500 Mini Retro Gaming Console.
Story image
Jabra
Jabra reveals its latest portable headset Engage 55
Jabra has launched the Engage 55, the newest product in Jabra's Engage series designed for ultimate call security and quality.
Story image
Corsair
Hands-on review: Corsair 32GB Vengeance 5200MHz DDR5 DRAM kit
Corsair’s Vengeance 5200MHz DDR5 DRAM offers PC users an entry-level upgrade to the new memory standard allowing them to get a little bit more out of their new Alder Lake CPUs.
Story image
Wireless
Sony to bring new 1000X series WH-1000XM5 headphones to the market
Sony has announced the newest edition of its award-winning wireless headphones, with the 1000X series WH-1000XM5 noise-cancelling model.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Tell-tale hints before volcanic eruptions found using AI
Researchers have pinpointed precursors to volcanic eruptions, in data collected before explosions including the deadly 2019 Whakaari surge that killed 22 people.
Story image
Review
Hands-on-review: GoPro Hero 10
I have a long history with GoPro; I still remember getting my first camera when I was 16, using it to film Parkour and the day I lost it down a dingey crag. 
Story image
D-Link
D-Link launches new G415 Smart Router as part of EAGLE PRO AI range
D-Link A/NZ has announced the launch of its new G415 AX1500 4G Smart Router as part of the new EAGLE PRO AI Series.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (PC)
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a spin-off that joins Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands 3, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
Story image
NFT
Emirates to launch NFTs and experiences in the metaverse
"Emirates has embraced advanced technologies to improve business processes, enhance our customer offering, and enrich our employees' skills and experiences."
Story image
Design
Dynabook launches new Tecra A40-K and A50-K models
Dynabook has announced two new additions to its Tecra range, with both said to help promote flexible working solutions while also reducing the strain on IT managers.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: Ghostwire Tokyo (PS5)
Although a bit of a tonal departure for Bethesda, Ghostwire Toyko is a good-looking and eerie action game that is aimed at a very select audience.
Story image
Poly
Poly introduces new smart devices and announces Amazon e-store in Australia
Poly is introducing two new pro-grade devices to the market and announcing its first official Australian e-store on Amazon.
Story image
Review
Hands-on-review: Creative Outlier Air V3
Creative is back with the third version of its affordable Outlier Air wireless earbuds range - aptly named the ‘V3’. And this time, they come boasting ambient mode and active noise reduction.
Story image
Gaming
Mastercard users can now use rewards points in gaming
Mastercard has launched Mastercard Gamer Xchange (MGX), allowing APAC consumers to convert their rewards points into gaming currency.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Gaming
Study reveals Minecraft the hardest mobile game ever
According to a study by Mozillion, Minecraft: Pocket Edition tops the list as both the most searched for game and the one players need help with and try to cheat the most.
Story image
Online shopping
A/NZ shoppers plan to spend less, be more selective
For retailers, 2022 is set to be a year of introspection as shoppers across Australia and New Zealand indicate they plan to spend less.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: 32GB PNY XLR8 Gaming MAKO 6000MHz DDR5 memory kit
PNY’s XLR8 Gaming MAKO DDR5 memory modules are designed to get the most out of systems based on Intel’s 12th generation Alder Lake CPUs.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition
In almost every respect it works like a book, apart from the fact that it weighs next to nothing, fits in my hand perfectly, and is soothing on my eyes.
Story image
Sustainability
Can bots succeed where humans have failed in sustainability?
People want businesses to turn talk into action, and believe technology can help businesses succeed where people have failed.  
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Steelseries Aerox 9 Wireless and Aerox 5 gaming mice
Steelseries offered two interesting mice for review, the Aerox 9 Wireless, aimed at MMO/MOBA players, and the Aerox 5, a wired mouse for multi-genre use.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: MLB The Show 22 (PS5)
Historically the MLB The Show series has been exclusive to PlayStation consoles, but now the franchise is expanding.
Story image
Dynabook
Dynabook A/NZ announces new Portégé X40L-K hyperlight laptop
Dynabook A/NZ has unveiled the all-new Portégé X40L-K, a hyperlight 14.0" modern laptop utilising cutting-edge, high-performance computing power.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
IDC
IDC finds 3.9% decline in worldwide tablet shipments
Preliminary data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker has found tablet shipments reached 38.4 million units during Q1 2022, a year-over-year decline of 3.9%.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant spike in consumer fraud, new report finds
Reported cases of consumer fraud more than tripled in the years 2020-2021 from prior years, according to a new report by Accenture.
Story image
Logitech
Logitech releases new mouse with ergonomic and sustainable focus
Logitech has announced the Logitech Signature M650 Mouse and the Signature M650 for Business Wireless Mouse, both with new ergonomic features and capabilities.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: MSI MPG Z690 Carbon WIFI motherboard
It’s all change with Intel’s 12th generation CPUs. We have a new chipset in the 600-series, a new socket with the LGA 1700, and new DDR5 memory.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Gaming
Game review: Weird West (PlayStation 4)
There have been many games released over the years based on the wild west era, but Weird West is one of the most unique.
Story image
i-PRO
i-Pro announces newest solutions as rebranded enterprise
i-PRO APAC Oceania has introduced its newest high-resolution mid-range cameras, with combined edge AI analytics and resolutions of up to 4K.