Juliet Is just like any other all-American teenage girl: self-conscious around boys, late to parties and with a tendency to carry a chainsaw around with her in case of zombie outbreak. A good job too on that last point for Lollipop Chainsaw pits our cheerleader heroine against an all but insurmountable legion of undead who she must pom-pom, sparkle and hack to pieces as she looks to bring her town back to normality.
Lollipop Chainsaw is a throwback to the days of Final Fight and Streets of Rage in a way, though it also carries an aura of knowing humour about it as cheesy 80s tunes – the likes of ‘Hey Mickey’ – accompany the choreographed dismemberment of zombies. It’s ultimately the humour which keeps you coming back, with each boss character ever more ludicrous than the last, and the relationship between Juliet and the decapitated head of her boyfriend Nick (don’t ask) freshening the kick this, slash that combat.
This being a game by Suda51 (No More Heroes, Killer7) you can expect plenty of side-games too – zombie basketball anyone? – as ultimately fun wins out; proving that while gaming is growing up, it’s still willing to have a laugh at itself.
During the PS2’s heyday Ratchet & Clank became something of a mainstay, a series of games that pushed the technical limitations of that particular console, combined platforming with some ridiculously over-the-top weaponry and wrapped all that up in bright cartoon visuals. This PS3 reboot, part of Sony’s “Classics HD” range, smoothes over the blemishes caused by the leap in technology, up-scaling all but the originals’ rendered intros. Gameplay of course remains the same, as the furry Ratchet and robotic Clank save the universe over and again; but despite such repetition there’s no doubting both the quality and value of this worthwhile package.
Normally “god” games find gamers playing using their mighty powers to grow civilizations from nothing, but Ubisoft’s Babel Rising 3D goes in the opposite direction. As tiny Babylonians struggle to construct the famous tower, you must prevent the building by smiting them using the four elements. The game looks lovely, although there could perhaps be more detail in the construction itself. As you jab, swipe and shake the screen with increasing urgency, pelting the workers with fireballs and meteor showers, there’s lots of (admittedly repetitive) fun to be had here – the iPad controls literally putting the power of God into your hands.
The easiest way to understand the hotly anticipated Heroes of Ruin is ‘Diablo for your 3DS’. It has all the elements: one of four hero types has an adventure, levels up on endless waves of monsters and collects sweet, sweet loot. It’s in multiplayer that Heroes really comes into its own. Players are rewarded for teaming up with better gear and exclusive buffs, while there are further bonuses the more you cross paths with other adventurers via your 3DS’ StreetPass. Heroes isn’t the deepest game ever made, but it’s a pretty, compulsive dungeon crawler that’s perfect to play among friends.