First thing’s first: we’re huge Suda 51 fans. He’s got the most twisted mind we could hope for, and Lollipop Chainsaw is full of playful humor and gore-filled fighting. Playing as San Romero High School cheerleader, Juliet, you travel around your school grounds with a chainsaw to tear the recent zombie infestation to pieces. You were born and trained to do just that: hunt zombies. Although your classmates were heretofore unaware of your side profession, they’re certainly getting a taste of it now as some of them are being turned into flesh-eating fiends themselves.

Producer Scott Warr at WB led us through our demo on the PAX Prime show floor. We were told that the predominant emphasis on this in-development game at this juncture was to show off Juliet’s combat moves. And, boy, we were having fun with them. You can smash on a series of light attacks - known as the cheer attack that groups zombies together or pushes them away - as well as heavy (chainsaw) attacks to get some really gruesome moves, splitting bodies in half and decapitating (called “Sparkle Hunting”) others. Fighting against a series of zombies, we noticed a particular player requirement of balancing your attacks with your dodging. Don’t get trapped into a corner with these zombies, because it’s hard to get away from their grips once they’ve grouped up on you. Juliet can jump around them to slash them apart with her chainsaw, but if you do end up getting surrounded you can leap frog over your enemies to slice them up their spine. The combat is all about a manner of managing your waves of zombies and not get overwhelmed.

Juliet racks up these visceral deaths to gain bonus advantages even outside of raising her Special Ability meter that allows her to be invincible during battle. The details of these other advantages are still under wraps, but we’re told that collecting zombie medals will open up certain parts of the story that would otherwise be hidden. There will apparently also be other rewards involved with these decapitations (most likely gameplay related), but they’re so far also unrevealed. What we do know, however, is that you can gain heavy rewards by rescuing your classmates. If you do (which we chose to do in our demo), your classmate will drop a ton of zombie medals. If you choose to ignore them, however (because, you know, it’s high school and maybe they were a jerk to you) they’ll turn into even more aggressive zombies.

Each zombie with a name that you encounter is a sub-boss, with their own peculiar personalities. After a relatively boring boss battle with our old teacher, Mr. Fitzgibbons who utilizes a desk to attempt to smash against you, we went up against Zed the Punk Rock zombie who attacks you with his words. Literally. You’ll have to jump over the letters of his insults a la Scott Pilgrim, while avoiding his other nefarious attacks. Eventually he’ll start skipping from speaker to speaker, while you try to cut them down with your chainsaw. Zed has a real diversity of attacks, using everything from his damaging insults to his microphone and lithe qualities.

The character himself is a riot, and however cliche he may be, he is entertaining in that he is crazed and unrelenting. Even slicing him up the spine won’t do any good. The insistence of maintaining a thematic quality really does this boss battle well. We were told that each boss will mandate a different style of attack that represents something of their personality in order to take them down. We can already tell that the boss battles will be unique, so long as Suda maintains the kind of hilarity we saw with Zed.

Of course, there is still much work to be done on the game. They’re currently in the process of tweaking the difficulty, for instance, as the team at Grasshopper Manufacture are hoping to have Suda fans new and old feel like the game is accessible to them. With such a stellar line-up of talent working on the game - including Akira Yamoaka doing the music composition and James Gunn on writing - we’re hopeful that the game will have appeal to a wide-ranged audience.

We left the PAX Prime demo with a ton of questions. What are Juliet’s connections to these zombie bosses? We were hinted at that these bosses may have a more significant role in the story line than even Juliet knows. Juliet is also a born-and-raised zombie-hunter. Who trained her, and what set off this zombie outbreak? What are the other bosses like? Who is the mysterious “Nick” head that hangs at her waist? How old is Juliet? (I know some of you were wondering that.) But the important thing to take away is that we’re still just as curious to learn more as the instant we heard Suda 51 was tackling a zombie game, and that’s very promising. The game has as much blood as it does rainbows, and the juxtaposition of the two couldn’t be more comically beautiful. We can’t wait to see more of this ridiculous, and uniquely fun game in 2012.