Playing: Lollipop Chainsaw (PS3) (XBOX 360)

Lollipop_Chainsaw_Cover

There’s not a lot I can say about Lollipop Chainsaw without communicating just how over the top the game really is. Joining the forces of game and Hollywood, with Suda 51 and James Gunn (Slither) respectively, it’s reminiscent of a good ol’ B-Rated horror film, spiced up with a little Japanese humour and a whole bunch of fan service. Although the premise may seem superficial and highly… questionable, this pleasant blend of zombies and sunshine is sure to leave you both dumbfounded and poppin’.

Like I said earlier, the game is, essentially, a B-rated film. Our protagonist, cheerleader and hot chick Juliet just so happens to be a zombie hunter. When her high school is suddenly raided by zombies one day, she takes it upon herself to stop the undead horde, battle zombie overlords, figure out why all this started and maintain her relationship with her unique family and (what remains of) her boyfriend.

The game itself is hilarious and its interesting to see the way in which American society is displayed. And don’t worry, it doesn’t confine it’s humour to any single aspect of American culture – jokes range from hillbillies to potheads and from rockabillies to jocks and cheerleaders. All in all, it’s really one giant joke. Aside from that, one of the most important aspects of the game are the lines spoken by Juliet and Nick (The line “DON’T BE RACIST AGAINST COWS NICK” being one of my favourites), and the nods to other zombie-related works (Such as Romero, Korewa Zombie Desu-ka?High School of the Dead, etc.), making playing the game a whole lot better if you’re into zombie culture.

The game incorporates a bunch of different game genres, but for the most part, it’s an action hack and slash game. You battle the undead while waving your chainsaw in all sorts of ways, using your skills as a cheerleader to your advantage. The ever-so-helpful head of your boyfriend acts as a special weapon, being used to deal large stun damage to enemies and you use a variety of chainsaw upgrades to help you fight through your enemies. Game modes include timed and scored runs of the story levels, both of which depend highly on the totes awesome Sparkle Hunting (a multikill of 3 or more) to boost scores. It’s all pretty rad once you get the hang of it.

The graphics of the game happen to be one of the most distinct and visually pleasing styles that I’ve ever seen. The game is filled bright visuals, sunshines and a whole lot of rainbows amidst dark backdrops and chaos. It’s even better when it’s set across a pile of rotting corpses that just make Juliet shine across the field. That being said, story cutscenes, American comic book-like renders and boss stages are anything but just divine. In fact, the boss battles and the story scenes are among some of my favourite parts of the game. The only short fall of these graphics are the few, if not rare, awkward camera angles, which made it difficult to play. Voice acting roles were without a doubt perfectly played and the whole Juliet x Nick storyline is made all the more convincing because of it. Although these visuals are great though, in my opinion, the highlight of the entire game was the soundtrack. Featuring songs like “Lollipop” by The Chordettes, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by the Dead or Alive, “Mickey” by Toni Basil and “Cherry Bomb” by  Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the music of the entire game is absolutely in-cre-di-ble.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting the game to be much more than a giant mixture of sexual innuendo and cheap laugh. I’m certainly glad it was more satisfying and more entertaining than what I originally expected. In saying all this, the game measures up to be a pleasant mix of retro and modern gaming, making it a good time for old and newer gamers alike. But beware though – it’s not exactly a hardcore or a big production game, and it’s definitely not one for saints. And if that’s no problem for you and you’re looking for an easy play, be sure to check out Lollipop Chainsaw.  It’s SOOOO COOL.

Bry Rating: 4.25
Recommended? Don’t be a total buzz kill! Play it.
Country of Origin: Japan
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture

Listening To: Rule Of Rose Original Soundtrack

Rule_Of_Rose_OST_Cover

It’s been a while since I last heard the soundtrack of the rare Atlus horror game Rule Of Rose. Only a few copies of the game exist within North America and its release in Australia and the UK was cancelled, making it one of the rarest PS2 games in the history of gaming. Despite this, it has gathered its own worldwide cult following, praised for its controversial plot, dark undertones and most importantly, its music. The official soundtrack, which only contains 6 tracks, showcases a mere portion of the musical masterpiece of the game.

The game itself is remarkably complex, filled with a variety of characters (most of which are children, save for 3 adults) that are unique (and nearly always sinister) in their own right. Rather than being a horror game filled with gore and violence, it plays on the mental and suspenseful aspects of horror, as indicative of Japanese horror games. These two facts are translated into the music of the game – all of the instruments used consists of string instruments, pianos and striking vocals rather than electric sounds. Yutaka Minobi, composer of the musical score, attempted to bring out the “human element” into the music as directed by the developers – and completely succeeded.

The result was a track that evoked a harsh sense of despair and darkness, an overriding theme in the game. It doesn’t stop there though – a sense of danger, distress and even paranoia comes through the music. It can be said that while the game already builds suspense through its plot, the music adds depth to our own humanly fear, creating the game into that can only be described as… unhinged.

As of lately, I’m still on my “Video Game OST” high. Sifting through the myriad of games I’ve played through, I immediately attempt to experience their soundtracks once again. Rule Of Rose is that exception – I’ve never played it (As I said earlier, it is banned here), yet I feel enamoured with its music. Although I’ll probably never play it, let alone find a copy, I’ll always have its soundtrack. And that alone is a victory for me.

Songs to look out for:

  • A Love Suicide
  • Piano Etude  I
  • Backbiting
  • Fear II
  • Bullying