Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lollipop Chainsaw: A Needed Self-Parody

I am excited for this game. It seems to be one of those absurdly fun games, the kind who pokes fun in whole genre and expectations. At first glimpse, it seems to be one of those games that looks like to be made to appeal to all pre-teens full of hormones around with a sexy cheerleader and lots of mindless violence. And probably that is about right.

But from what the trailers how, it goes a little deeper than that. I do not mean deeper as deeper in meaning, but deeper in both gameplay style and self-reference humor. Lollipop Chainsaw does not seem as just a game who supports itself in sex appeal and violence. It seems as a game who make fun of itself, the zombie tropes and even games in general. And I am all for that.

Self-parody is a great thing. It helps people to realize some of their worst characteristics. It allows a self-analyse of what you have being doing and why some of those tropes are absurd. it make you took a better look at itself and question: Really?

Games rely to much at the same elements, over and over again. Sexy girls, violence, 'serious story' or cute mascots in colorful world or angst teenagers saving fantastic place from megalomaniacal villain. Originality is rare in games, partly because of the high risks and money involved. But Suda 51, famous (or infamous) for creating some of the most innovative games this generation, seems to be in the right track. 

By making fun of games in general, Suda 51 can do something that this industry really may need: trying to be different. I am not saying here that there is no space for some ultra serious games. There is. Or that all games needs to be completely different from each other. I am saying that games need to differentiate themselves. It is already hard to decide where to put our hard earned money. Developers and publishers make it harder when you don't know if you should acquire Serious Military Shooter from company A or Serious Military Shooter from company B. Or Fantasy RPG with plenty to do against Fantasy RPG with plenty to do, only with more colors.

Games must not be just about who have the best graphics, sound and gameplay. It must be about what kind of experience we can have. Why I should buy a game if I have one who is basically identical to other game I already have? Our industry needs to stop to try the same formulas over and over again. But it is very hard to look at yourself and see what is wrong. Maybe in the form of a parody, this industry can see itself better.

And this game looks awesome too.

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