APRIL ISSUE: POST #9
A few years ago, I was addicted to lollipops, and I mean so addicted that my Grandma used to bring me some every time she visited. I still love them to this day.
Of course, I couldn’t contain my excitement when I eventually started playing Lollipop Chainsaw. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon the game and grew to want it so much, but when I finally got it, it was one of those times where I actually played it as soon as I could. I’m a sucker for female lead characters in games, and the concept of this one looked so enjoyable, and it didn’t let me down.
This is a game I definitely want to play again at some point. It was the second game I beat in 2016 after Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes, so I took quite an interesting leap there. It took me about a week to ten days to beat on normal mode, and I got the good ending (yay for good things!). No spoilers, but the last boss is crazy, and you can chop his fingers off.
I overall got 22/51 trophies, which is around 41%. I would love to get more, but a lot of the trophies are ‘surpassing Dad’s score’ and I am not talented enough at gaming to do that (yet). If anyone is a master at this please teach me your wise ways.
Anyway, the game itself is pretty comical, and maybe the whole thing is a little underrated? I’m not sure what other people think, but if you just focus on having fun and killing zombies with all your might, then you’ll definitely get a kick out of it. Oh yeah, if you don’t know much about the game, it’s basically a comedy horror action hack and slash which features a girl named Juliet (voiced, may I add, by the legendary Tara Strong, a queen of voice acting), who is a cheerleader zombie hunter. You also go on your journey with your bodiless boyfriend Nick. Don’t even ask.
Oh, and just a heads up, the music is awesome, with soundtracks and songs such as Mickey by Lolly in there. I felt like I was 8 years old again.
The Sexism Argument
Looking at the game as just a video game, I enjoy it lots, I really can’t deny it, but running through my mind there were lots of questions such as ‘is Juliet as a female character empowering?’ or ‘is this just exploitation and sexism?’ or ‘is it okay that I like this?’. I don’t know. The game is so stupidly crazy and weird and dumb most of the time, that it’s hard to take it seriously. There are definitely worse games out there revolving around these issues. I’m in my early twenties, and I’ve only just, over the past year, got into the topics of feminism, racism, and homophobia etc. When I was in my late teens I didn’t actually care to educate myself about it. I’m still a noob at the whole thing, I get confused about what I think and I probably couldn’t argue or debate my points without backing down, but I would still like to voice some of my opinions here in this article.
What’s interesting is that James Gunn, who alongside Masahiro Yuki wrote the game, had some points about sexism and objectification. From an article I read, I noted that Juliet’s boyfriend, Nick, was an exercise in a role reversal, where the male character is no more than an accessory and is objectified. It makes me a tad uncomfortable to read that this is a role reversal, as women shouldn’t be labeled as ‘objects’ or ‘accessories’ anyway, so why does such a role exist in the first place? But I’ll continue.
James Gunn explains that Nick starts off as this really cool high school jock, with his pretty girlfriend who’s a cheerleader, but then, as the story progresses, Nick – and we as the audience – realise that his girlfriend is one powerful badass girl who can take down hordes upon hordes of zombies. Nick then loses his body, so any chance of actually gaining muscles goes down the drain, and of course, his genitals are down the drain as well. But at least he still has his personality! (Because in this day in age that’s what everybody thinks is the most important, right? Right? Oh nevermind).
As James Gunn talks on, he refuses that the game is sexist, but there’s no denying that the lead character is objectified. But, is she no more objectified than males characters that have six packs and ripped abs? Perhaps not. There’s this whole idea nowadays, especially in pop culture, that society has deemed as the most ‘appealing’ type of person, and this goes for any gender. But, rightly so, James Gunn states that ‘there is nothing in the game, ever, that makes females somehow less than males,’ and I really agree. If I recall correctly, I didn’t for one moment think that the female characters in the game were portrayed as the weaker sex. The main problem here, in my opinion, is that we, as a society, feel bad about ourselves because we compare ourselves to pop icons whose looks are exaggerated and somewhat resemble ‘perfection’. I for one feel bad about myself when I compare myself to the looks of Juliet, but she’s still a smart girl with dumb moments, she’s strong but makes mistakes, and overall, no matter what her looks portray, she’s not perfect. She’s not solely just some dumb blonde either, which had definitely been a trope in the media, so I for one will always love Juliet as a character. I don’t want to slap the label ’empowering’ onto her, but she’s inspiring to me personally, and no matter what your opinion, she would still beat your ass.
What are your thoughts if you’ve played the game? (Ps. I’m open to open-minded discussions only. Obviously. No ignorant people, I beg of you).
To end on a more light-hearted note, let’s have a brief look at the history of lollipops. Lollipops are used as health in the game, and I wish it was that way in real life. I’d love to have my health restored every time I had a lollipop. I’d be the healthiest person alive.
Lollipops are basically hard candy mounted on a stick. It’s genius. The first treats in history that closely resemble what we have now dates back to the Middle Ages, but apparently, the development of the lollipop is a bit of a mystery, which makes me love them more. Somebody called George Smith started making boiled sweets which he then mounted on sticks in 1908 and, after references to ‘the lollipop’ began in the 1920s, he trademarked the name in 1931.
So there we have it. I for one love Chupa Chups (a popular Spanish brand of the lollipop, founded in 1958 by Eric Bernat, if you wanted to know) and their flavours. I remember putting 20ps into a little machine and the lollipops would spiral down, and I would hope that 1) It hadn’t cracked and 2) That I’d actually be able to get into the sucker.
Thank you for reading, and happy gaming!
All pictures aquired from Amazon. Find Lollipop Chainsaw here!