|Platform 360, PS3|
|Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment|
|Developer Grasshopper Manufacture|
|Release Date 2012-06-12|
It's been a while since I've felt as conflicted about a game as I do about Lollipop Chainsaw.
I don't expect games from Japanese auteur Suda 51's Grasshopper Studios to be perfect – I don't think anyone does. Grasshopper Manufacture's games are known for concepts and weirdness as much as anything. Its last major retail release, Shadows of the Damned, felt like a love letter to VHS-era horror films and handled that well enough to sell on charm, if not substance.
So Lollipop Chainsaw caught me off guard initially with how charming and playable it is. And then it caught me off guard in worse ways. Lollipop Chainsaw has some Grasshopper Manufacture design baggage, sure, with mechanical stutters that often get in the way of that mythical character action momentum that defines games like Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry. But rampant tonal problems and aggressive undercurrents of misogyny might bury Lollipop Chainsaw.
ALL OF LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW'S CHARM CAN'T MASK SOME DISTURBING EXPLOITATION
It's bizarre and disheartening that Grasshopper Manufacture's most approachable, refined, and charming game yet is so stuck in such disconcerting subject matter, so little of which is pertinent to Lollipop Chainsaw's gameplay, story, or characters. While Shadows of the Damned dealt with some similar themes in a darker story, it never dove into the weird misogyny and exploitation that Lollipop Chainsaw does. And that's the problem: Grasshopper Manufacture has demonstrated an ability in the past to walk a fine line between the salacious and the crass with a measure of success. At times, all of that shines through in Lollipop Chainsaw's theme of family and intelligent character work. But all the charm in the world can't wash off the dirt that Lollipop Chainsaw wades through.About Polygon's Reviews