Console: Xbox 360, PS3
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Synopsis: Juliet Starling is a cheerleader whom is much more than she seems, but only just, This shallow, stereotypical American teenage bimbo is also a Zombie Hunter, part of an eccentric family all in the same line of work. The events of the game take place on Juliet’s eighteenth birthday, which starts poorly with her boyfriend being bitten. So she does what anyone would do and chops off his head, reanimates it with a spell, and uses it as one of the weapons in her arsenal, which also includes a chainsaw (natch) and… ummm… pompoms.
It is very easy to decide when in a video game store (like our favourite store Gametraders Blacktown) whether or not this is a game worth adding to your collection. If the idea of a scantily clad cheerleader killing zombies appeals to your sense of fun, then there is every chance you will find something entertaining in this game. The simple truth is, the game gives exactly what the cover promises it will deliver. It doesn’t try to be clever in plot or in gameplay, but it is a game that takes a singular concept and just milks it for what it is worth.
The story is a pretty linear “all-hell-breaking-loose-on-earth” affair, with Juliet having to defeat increasingly difficult bosses at the end of each level before finally facing the one big bad. What makes it more entertaining is the absolute tongue in cheek way this is done throughout the game, with some acknowledgement of this over-familiar format even included with some breaking of the fourth wall quips. Juliet often shares her thoughts while fighting and running around, painting her as an absolute bimbo that just happens to have absolutely mad skills. Some of the humour is forced, particularly as we meet more members of Juliet’s family, but her conversations with Nick do create some effective comedy, despite the lack of consistency. As I said earlier, all this could really be expected by judging the game by its cover!!
As for the fights themselves, they are typical button mashing fare. It is possible to unlock more combos throughout, but some of her hits are relatively useless (hitting zombies with pompoms to make them groggy when you can just hit them with a chainsaw???). I found myself just hitting the Y button on my x-box controller the entire time. There are also some minigames throughout that, though initially amusing, just get boring and repetitive very quickly. There will be no need to resort to Google to solve any puzzles here.
The achievements list also acknowledges the intended nature of this game, with one of them being awarded purely for angling the camera to look up Juliet’s skirt. Completists who like to get full achievements on a game may struggle with this one not through difficulty, but for the inane nature of many of these goals, given that a majority of them are to complete Juliet’s collections (outfits, powerups, mp3 tracks). Having these options of outfit and music does add to the gameplay, true, but not enough to have this game being playable for an extended period of time.
In the end, this is an absolute guilty pleasure game. I was highly entertained whilst in the middle of gameplay, but once I had finished the campaign, I felt little need to keep the disc in the tray of my console. The fact that both Dawnguard and the Mass Effect extended ending were released shortly afterward may have contributed to this, but I probably would have only played for a few more days at most.
3 stars out of 5