Can Lollipop Chainsaw Survive On T&A Alone?
I don't wish to imply that sex appeal is the only interesting element of this game. Grasshopper Manufacture is a talented group and I expect a solid, entertaining action game.
However, the marketing aims are clear and it's really no surprise. With Jessica Nigri helping out in any way she can, hilarious trailers that never fail to give us a glimpse of supple curving skin, and enough innuendo to impress Howard Stern, Lollipop Chainsaw understands its target audience. But wait...does it, really?
There's no doubt that such brainless - yet consistently effective - marketing targets males between the ages of 18 and 35, and that just so happens to be prime audience for video games. That being said, while one could say past efforts have been mildly successful, the T&A hardly resulted in big-selling blockbusters. I distinctly recall BMX XXX, which got a ton of attention pre-release and generated a lot of adolescent giggling, but ultimately, the critics panned it and few bought it.
Then there's the well-known Dead or Alive series with its top-heavy chicks. But I don't care what anyone says; the fighting games have always been pretty freakin' great, and that really is the reason games like DoA2: Hardcore (one of the very best early PS2 titles) sold well. Now, the volleyball spin-offs are more questionable in terms of quality but didn't the sales reflect that dip in quality? I think they did. They were never as popular as the better-produced fighting titles. They got a lot of press but that isn't the same thing, now is it?
So the question is this- If Lollipop Chainsaw basically tanks and gets 5s and 6s from critics, can it still become a profitable game? Will that uber-popular cheerleader fantasy have enough punch to get consumers to drop $60, despite the lower quality? Me, I'm going with "no." I maintain that gamers are quite selective and typically don't reward schlock. Then again, if Nigri poses enough times, maybe it's possible...
4/20/2012 Ben Dutka