Rarely will a game make me say “wow” within the first few minutes of playing. Such was the case when I began The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile. Based on The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, the sequel actually has two different campaigns that differ in story but have the same levels. You can either play as The Dishwasher, or his sister Yuki.
Both campaigns will have you fighting through a large variety of enemies to uncover the secret and sometimes cryptic nature of your past. The story is sometimes hard to understand, as you flash between two different worlds. The main areas are the ones in which you fight the hordes of enemies and bosses, and the other is a disturbing take on what seems to be an asylum.
The game is a beat ’em up game in general, and you will most certainly beat up hordes of enemies with a variety of different weapons. The atmospheres are simple, almost corporate, but the blood that splatters from each kill adds color to the autonomous looking backdrop. The visual style is truly a work of art. The comic inspired “cut scenes” are heavily sketched and shaded, reminding you of the dark story. As said before, this game is heavy in blood-letting. Every kill is satisfying and there are a variety of finishing moves. These allow you to cut off your victim’s head, rip out their jugular vein with your teeth, and other moves that ultimately end up with your enemy in pieces.
The only major problem I had with the game was the drastic spike in difficulty after the first level. Fair Warning: Do not take this game for granted. It felt inspired by games of yesteryear, back when there was a challenge to the games you played. You will die, you will get pissed off, and you will turn your Xbox 360 off for fear of breaking your controller or monitor. I understand the need for a real challenge, where in today’s world most games are far too easy. Despite this, I wish there was a curve in difficulty instead of mountain.
For those who can not handle the challenge of this amazing title, there is the unlockable “Pretty Princess” difficulty. I admire the sense of humor the mode displays, as everything about it mocks your inability to hack it. Guys will find this mode especially humiliating, as it looks like some kind of disco night club for 6 year old girls. Yes, I really mean that. Floating hearts and pink are like a mist over the levels that are in the normal modes. That is not where it stops. In lieu of the excessive blood that spurts from your victims normally, there are now hearts and rainbows exploding from your enemies. Don’t let the childish nature fool you though, little Sally will still be seeing a fair amount of blood in her rainbows if you let her play. Unlocking “Pretty Princess” mode is also an achievement.
Speaking of achievements, this game has a particularly complicated and interesting one named “Bleep Bloop”. While it actually is quite easy to obtain, the process is amusing. It is hard to figure out, which is why anyone who figures it out without help should get a gold star. If you do figure it out, you will get to encounter some of the creators of the game in a face-off. One of them might be flying. This achievement is more proof that this game will keep your attention with it’s witty humor.
In addition to the campaigns, there are a couple of other modes that provide a similar enjoyment. Dish Challenge pits you against waves of enemies, while trying to complete combos to increase your score. The Arcade mode puts you in a different, themed room with the objective of defeating all of the enemies. Some of these arcade levels are timed, and in both Arcade mode and Dish Challenge you only have one life. There is also a leader board so you can see how you compare to friends.
The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile is definitely a must buy for those who like beat ’em up games. It was a lot of fun, and will surely keep you addicted for hours upon hours.