The new issue of GamesMaster is on sale now.
Lollipop Chainsaw, let us count the ways you'll ruffle feathers later this year: there's the opening cutscene that hops between Juliet seductively stretching on her bed and enjoying a steamy shower; there's the boss fight in which she battles giant walls of expletive text; there's the uber-violent, agonisingly slow crotch-to-crown chainsaw kill (not to mention dozens of regular head-lopping attacks); there are about a bajillion gusset shots that are impossible to miss during the fighting; and there's the bit where Juliet (Snip: we can't even write that - Ed). Phew, we're getting sweaty just thinking about it.
Never mind that the game begins on Juliet's 18th birthday and that it's being created with tongue firmly in cheek; some people are going to be rather put off by the eyebrow-arching content. And those game-hating headline writers who work for the papers? Boy are they going to enjoy dusting off the 'Sexist Chainsaw Massacre' headlines for launch week.
It's dicey material at times, and 'Controversy' could well have been Lollipop Chainsaw's middle name had the word 'Awesome' not beat it to the punch. Because from what we've played so far, Juliet's zombie-hunting hours in San Romero High have left us with a smile so wide the grin's practically been carved out of our face with a chainsaw.
Our hands-on session takes place in Chapter 2, and begins with Juliet surveying the damage outside the forsaken school. Crashed cars and crumpled school buses create a linear path through the courtyard and we're forced to navigate the corridors at speed by slamming our chainsaw into the ground and using the spinning teeth to boost us forward (Juliet's clearly been skipping her physics classes...).
As strange as it sounds, the section reminds us of the zippiest sections from Sonic Heroes - something we feel again later on in the demo when we're forced to sprint between buildings, chopping zombies as we go. We can't remember Sonic ever being this violent, though.
It's not long before zombies stop us in our tracks and we're given a chance to get to grips with the fighting system. Our first foes are some regular grunts: average types who are chopped apart with just a few chainsaw swipes. Juliet's packing both high and low chainsaw swings, along with regular gymnastic pom-pom strikes on that confuse as much as they damage. B is reserved for leaping, meanwhile, and sees our prom queen flip and leapfrog over enemies to tackle them from a better vantage point. Take it from us: it's best to lock-on to the faster zombies with Left Bumper to stop them flanking you unawares.
Building up combos is simple stuff. Doubly so when we attack the flashing blue barrels surrounding the mini-arena. Blowing up these unleashes a zombie-dizzying tonic that sends all nearby biters to la-la land, making Juliet the instant and uncontested Baroness of Hacksville.
At first Juliet starts with just the basic moves, but a little exploration and a lot of killing soon sees her purse filling up with zombie medals. These can then be spent at one of the school's tuck shops for new combo moves as well as other abilities and benefits.
A quick peek of the additional goodies we can buy covers everything from Power Dumbbells (to increase Juliet's power), Aromatherapy Oil (for quicker Downed recoveries), Nick Tickets (for something called 'Nick Roulette' - your guess is as good as ours on that one, though bear in mind that Nick is, of course, our Jules' boyfriend and the head strapped to her waist), Strawberry Lollipops (for health recovery, duh!), concept artwork, and MP3s to make custom playlists on Juliet's music player. But enough of that. We're here to chop, not shop, and there are dozens of zombies still to cut through...