You thought Shadows of the Damned was weird? Wait till you see Lollipop Chainsaw, where 18 year-old high school cheerleader Juliet Starling battles all manner of undead monstrosities who bleed "bursts of pink light". This is Suda51's next game, outed on Japanese mag Famitsu and kindly translated by 1UP, and it sounds suitably weird and wonderful.
"Actually I've wanted to do a crazy horror-action game like this set in a school for a while now," explains Goichi Suda, somewhat unnervingly. "Something where the classrooms, corridors, gymnasium and so on are suddenly transformed into something completely different." Lollipop Chainsaw stars Juliet Starling, high-school cheerleader and capable undead combatant. On the way to meet her boyfriend, Starling finds her school overrun with zombies. Picking up the nearest chainsaw - bit of a safety hazard at a school, leaving chainsaws lying around, don't you think? - Starling sets about freeing her school from its undead infestation.
"I was also working on a game concept centered around using a chainsaw as a weapon," Suda reveals, "and once the idea for the Juliet character began to form, it was just a perfect fit." Suda's past games are famous for their over-the-top violence and gore, so fans might be disappointed to hear Lollipop Chainsaw isn't particularly gruesome. Instead of blood, the zombies bleed fluorescent pink light.
"When it comes to gore, we can certainly go that way if we want," Suda told Famitsu, "but we wanted to give the game more of a 'pop' feel." Don't expect Suda to hold back with the craziness, however. Being a cheerleader, you can expect Starling to pull off all manner of acrobatic feats of excellence, which can be used in conjunction with the titular chainsaw.
Suda has frequently called upon Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka, who recently delivered the simply incredible Shadows of the Damned score. "We're putting a lot of effort into the soundtrack, definitely," confirms Suda, although you can expect Yamaoka to take a step out of his gloomy, eerie comfort zone for the pop-infused Lollipop Chainsaw. I'm pretty excited, actually.
According to Suda, a Western publisher has already committed to the title, which is pretty much finished, the team now "deep into the fine-tuning process". It's due on Xbox 360 and PS3, and Suda has high hopes for his "pop-zombie entertainment". Expect more at the Tokyo Game Show. Until then, we'll keep you covered. [1UP]