The lights are on
When we first took
a look at the gory follow-up to last year's XBLA hit The Dishwasher: Dead
Samurai, we couldn't wait to get our hands on it. Recently Ska Studios gave us
that chance, with a playable demo that featured segments from Yuki's story
campaign, a few of the game's varied challenge missions, and a look at the new,
ego-bruising Pretty Princess mode. Here's what fans of the series can expect.
The Story So Far
Dead Samurai had one of the more confounding storylines of recent years, so we'll
forgive you if you can't remember what exactly was going on while you were
hacking and slashing everything in sight. The story went something like this:
The Cyborg Assimilation Movement (or CAM) was a cybernetic cult that was taking
over the planet. Duped by promises of a better future, the Dishwasher and his stepsister
Yuki both joined the organization. The Dishwasher was then subjected to cruel
experiments until he was rescued by Chef, who saved his life with a blood transfusion - only Chef turned out to be an alien, and his blood turned the
Dishwasher into the super-powered badass we all know and love. The Dishwasher
then set out on a mission of revenge against CAM, accidentally killing Yuki
(who had been turned into a cyborg assassin, 'natch), before defeating CAM's
Sinthesis AI and its creator, The Fallen Engineer.
Vampire Smile takes place after the events of Dead Samurai.
Having been left for dead, Yuki was bitten by Slava, "The Creeper," and (we're
assuming) turned into a vampire. She was then blamed for her brother's crimes
and incarcerated in a space prison for cyber terrorism. Upon waking up in space
prison, it's Yuki's turn for revenge, which involves hunting down the three
masterminds behind her incarceration: the Banker, the General, and the Judge. As
she's mowing down endless squads of enemies however, she'll have her own
internal problems to deal with, including a worsening mental illness, and the
bloodlust caused by her vampirism.
Finally, a game that understands the dangers of cyborgs!
The story looks to be as ambitious and creative as Dead
Samurai, and in the short time we got with the game it was evident that
James Silva (the founding member of Ska Studios and sole programmer for both
Dead Samurai and Vampire Smile) has stepped up the delivery of his
story-telling. The game's cutscenes now support animation, and playable
flashbacks during the game - such as one that involved Yuki shuffling through a
deserted psych ward - make the story much more immersive. We didn't get to see any of the Dishwasher's storyline, but
we're told it will give a different view of the events of Yuki's story.
New and Improved
Not one to rest on his laurels, Silva is writing a completely new engine for
Vampire Smile. Not only does this mean a significant bump in visuals (the psychedelic
graphics were already impressive and we're told they are still very much a work
in progress), but it also means smoother gameplay thanks to various tweaks to
the mechanics. These include the ability to break out of combos, and a more
zoomed-in camera angle that highlights the action. Finishing moves, which were
a source for some frustration in Dead Samurai, now push back nearby enemies and
make you slightly invincible when performing them.
The Dishwasher will have his own campaign to shoot through
Yuki offers her own changes to the gameplay: her Blood Warp
ability allows her teleport across the screen just like the Dishwasher's Shift
Blade, only she can use it with any weapon she has equipped. Other minor tweaks
gave her a unique feel, while still delivering the same blister-producing
action of the original game.
About That Difficulty Level...
In addition to the other improvements offered by Vampire Smile's new engine,
Silva is also balancing gameplay to make sure the sequel is easier for new
players to get into. A gentler learning curve is also accommodated by a more
forgiving difficulty level: Normal mode is reportedly two steps easier than it
was in Dead Samurai. If you think this means Silva has gone soft however, think
again: The higher difficulty levels are just as punishing as the previous title's
offerings, and the new challenges - such as kill as many enemies as you can in
two minutes with a given set of weapons - will keep masochistic gamers busy for
a long time.
Yep, this game has some blood in it
If you're not up to the challenge, Vampire Smile packs the
hilarious Pretty Princess mode. In addition to making the game easier, Pretty Princess mode replaces
all of the blood and gore of the normal game with rainbows, hearts, and
confetti. The end result is so entertaining that we hope it's added as option outside
of being tied to an easier difficulty level - who says exacting revenge on your
enemies has to be a gloomy affair?
There's no word yet on when The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile
will be released, but we'll be sure to bring you any future news as soon as it
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
Looks pretty awesome
E for Everyone!
Sounds good to me...just not getting a 360 bring it to PSN
I fell in love with the first game ever since it was first released in a sort of demo form back before it even won the contest to be made into a full fledged game. The full game was a brutal, punishing affair, but that just made it all the more satisfying. Not enough games these days feel like they offer the same level of old-school, Nintendo difficulty. You get a character, and you go right, against waves and waves and waves of enemies. That's what the original was all about, and I reveled in it. I absolutely cannot wait to see how this game takes it to the next level.
It'll be fun, but I *** hate the stupid *** retarded Spawn ripoff *** acid tripping story!
********** ****** **** ***** **** *****ckin' monkey!!
Sold with the Pretty Princess mode. Who would have thought, that my dreams were realized!
No but it does look like an interesting story.
I've owned this game since it first came out a few months back. I still play it to this day! I love it so much.
I must say I never heard of the first game to begin with but this looks pretty sweet. I'll have to give the first game shot, for sure.
This is one of the downloadable games that is coming out that I want.
I have to agree that this is one of the most exciting things ive heard about coming to XBLA in awhile. I have the first one and love it and im sure the second wont disappoint.
LULZ "slightly invincible"
Definitely will be watching for this one. Even if it has "Pretty Princess mode" (or is that ESPECIALLY if it has it?) :-p
Looks really cool. I never got around to buying the first one.
The First game was really kickass surprisingly since its easy to get mixed into the fray of half assed indie games. the art style seems to have gotten much much better since the original title which i like quite a bit. hopefully this game is a bit longer than the original
Looks awesome and unique!!
Hopefully it plays as smooth as it looks. I'm pretty excited for this.
i WANT this to hit PSN i will buy the same day looks sick
this looks awesome
Great I just stumble across Dishwasher Samurai the other day and thought that was a fun hack and slash game. I only played the demo but it left me wanting more. This sequel seems better addressing some of my concerns with the original.