Lollipop Chainsaw, famed developer Suda 51's latest endeavor, immediately invokes Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad. Both are based on the concept of scantily clad girls slicing and dicing their way through zombies. But Onechanbara ended up being a repetitive button masher relying on a male fantasy gimmick and only earned a 39 on Metacritic. Will Lollipop Chainsaw fare better? Too early to call, but I can say this: it is a very pretty game and the heroine, Juliet, is hot enough to hold my attention for a 30 minute demo.
The Premise: Juliet is a perky blonde high school cheerleader trying to enjoy her 18th birthday when a zombie apocalypse breaks out on campus. She must use her acrobatic cheerleader abilities in order to quell the outbreak and rescue any survivors.
Watch the first Lollipop Chainsaw trailer.
Juliet's cheer moves make up her light attacks, which can be used to corral zombies into groups. That's when she pulls out the titular chainsaw and buzzsaws them all into pieces. There is plenty of blood splatter, but when the zombies are finally put down they burst into pink hearts, rainbows, and stars.
The slice of gameplay I saw today had Juliet running around her school, ending zombies, and saving classmates before they were turned into the undead. It culminated in a boss fight against Zed, the punk rock zombie (who would have fit right in with the cast of Return of the Living Dead). Zed is a very articulate zombie, and he gave me some insight into how crass and vulgar Lollipop Chainsaw will be.
Zed's weapon of choice is a microphone, which he uses to shout attacks at Juliet. Giant, literal words come flying at her. Words like "F***in' bitch!" and "C***s***er!" After Juliet deals enough damage he'll run and hide atop his amplifier, which can be cut down with the chainsaw. Finally (and dramatically), our heroine splits Zed in half straight down the middle. He screams as he tries and fails to hold himself together, his two halves sliding apart in a gory mess.
So that's Lollipop Chainsaw! Coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 next year.