The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile takes us through two separate solo campaigns for a fast-paced 2D action hack ‘n slash (or “Beat ’em Up” if you prefer to call it that). It’s unique style of cell-shading animation which is done in a comic-book fashion is what really cut the cake with this title (for me). In my most humblest of opinions, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile would probably make Shel Silverstein wet his bed. Hopefully someone will pick up on that reference.
You will first play as Yuki (the Dishwasher’s Step-Sister), who is a cyborg ninja assassin with a bad case of mental angst. Suffering from hallucinogenic visions, it’s hard for Yuki to understand what is happening to her. As she escapes the Space prison where she woke up from and goes on her search for blood; fighting against all different types of enemies and bosses along the way. Find out what else lies in front of Yuki’s path
Yuki must take down the evil that lays in her way, including giant robotic killer whales (I think that’s what they were) and a gigantic living pile of dead bodies (if that makes sense) are just to name a few. Depending on what difficulty you decide to play The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile on, the bosses can become somewhat of a pain to defeat. Go figure, right? There are 5 main difficulty settings that you can play: Pretty Princess (which is unlocked near the beginning of the game), Easy, Normal, Hard, Ninja, Samurai and Speed Run. Choose wisely; that’s all I’m saying.
You’ll have plenty of weapons to help you along your path to Forstadt Towers, where your final battle will take place. What type of ninja assassin would you be if you didn’t have a sword. Maybe even a gun (or two); shotty perhaps? I can’t forget about the chainsaw. Seriously though, what type of ninja assassin would you be if your arsenal wasn’t stocked-piled full of awesome gear? Not a very good one, that’s correct. You’ll need to search for many of your weapons to be able to use them. Don’t worry, they aren’t that hard to find… well, some aren’t that hard to find. Some you’ll receive by simply completing bosses.
At the beginning of the game, you’ll come across a little companion that will help you along your way – a flying cat actually. It may look cute, but in all honesty, this little key-key is anything but sweet. As it shoots fireballs or missiles (?) at its enemies. I want a flying cat!
One of my favorite parts of playing through the game was the 8-bit (maybe even less than that) nod to old school gaming. There was a section later in the game where you play through a small level with no color; only black and white. Almost looks as if it were on an old TI-80 calculator. During this part, you’ll need to slash approaching enemies with your sword. Immediately after this section, you’ll come across another nod to classic gaming when you must play through a text-based level.
I felt that the style of Vampire Smile was unique. Yes, it may be a beat ’em up title, but its animation style was what separates itself from other titles that are similar. It’s mixture of graphic novel meets action game is something that sure catches the eyes when its seen. But, looks aren’t everything. To some, maybe it is. To others, I’m sure that it’s all about gameplay. If you enjoy hack and slash games, I personally think you’ll enjoy this one too.
You’ll spread much blood while tearing through this and will probably gain well over several million point combos numerous times. Not to fret, there is much more than story mode to explore here. The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile consists of an arcade mode as well where you’ll need to survive waves of enemies. Believe me when I say, these do get tough. With over 40 stages, the arcade mode is sure to have you trained, excited, frustrated and maybe even feeling like you are a cyborg ninja assassin yourself.
Overall, I enjoyed myself with The Dishwasher: Vampire Smiles. I felt that the story was worth listening too. The gameplay wasn’t overly different (unless you like that sort of thing). It tests you with its fighting elements at times, especially on harder difficulties. I loved it’s animation as it brought me back to my comic book days. This is definitely a title that would appeal to any gamer; casual or hardcore. Although it may not be suitable for kids given the several gallons (an understatement) of buckets of blood throughout the whole game. But, that’s also what Pretty Princess difficulty is for, as it replaces all the blood with hearts. Aww. So cute.
- Game: The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile
- Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360 (XBLA)
- Developer: Ska Studios
- Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
- MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points
- Release Date: April 6, 2011
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the publisher for the purpose of this review