The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai is a 2-d side-scrolling platformer hack and slash game that is centered around a cleaver wielding Dishwasher. It is the brainchild of James Silva, an independent game developer who entered (and won) the Dream-Build-Play game development contest using the XNA Game Studio software.*Gameplay: 9 out of 10
This is really where the game shines. The gameplay can take a while to get used to but once you do, this game becomes quite addicting. You come equipped with a weak attack, a strong attack, a throw, a magic attack and a couple handfuls of combos that are executed with a sequence of button presses.
In the story mode you start with cleavers to cut up the cyborgs and later will unlock the shift blade (used to teleport), kama (quick but weak), chainsaw (slow but strong), and the arsenal (an uzi/shotgun combo). You have the ability to upgrade each weapon through items that baddies drop to make them even more dangerous. The game is really designed with defense in mind and you need to pick your spots and quickly learn a few effective combos to stay alive. Spam an attack long enough and your enemy will block it. The game scores you based on how much damage you can deal out and how long you can keep your multiplier (successive kills).
The game includes 3 modes you can play in 1 or 2 player:
Story Mode includes side-scrolling waves of baddies with a boss to defeat at the end of each level. Some levels are broken up with a guitar minigame in which you button press in rhythm with a song, kind of like Guitar Hero. After collecting an amulet in one of the early levels you can play it with a friend.
Arcade mode includes a long list of short, one room levels with a set amount of enemies. Many levels have set themes such as "Enemies move at half speed" and "You deal 4 times as much damage".
Dish Challenge: A survival mode. Enemies continue to spawn and progressively get tougher. The challenge ends when your life bar depletes.*Story: 5 out of 10
You play an unnamed Dishwasher who was killed by a cyborg army and brought back to life by his boss, the Chef. His goal is to save the world by destroying the army and its leader, the AI Synthesis. The story really isn't very compelling at all and is similar to many other action games. Hero meets bad guy, bad guy pisses off hero, Hero seeks revenge, etc. The story is told through short comic strips at the conclusion of every level and feels generic. But to be honest, I don't really think the lack of a good story is damaging at all.*Visuals and Graphics: 9 out of 10
The game looks drab and dark as it should. The graphics are generally black and white with many shades of gray. I'm left to believe it was designed this way to emphasize how much blood is pouring from your victims. When I say blood, I mean it! In no particular order you will; decapitate, impale Freaks with their own weapons, beat Robots with their own legs, shove explosives into enemies, and cut baddies right in half. The backgrounds and scenery is quite repetitive and is the only reason I didn't give it a 10.*Sound: 6 out of 10
Its not really that the sound is bad in the game, it just could have included so much more. I really wish that some metal or rock music was put into the levels but music will only be found in the bizarre guitar moments and with some boss battles. The sound effects are well executed and sound exactly how they should.*Achievements: 10 out of 10
(This is an achievement site after all
The achievements are well thought out and very creative and are well balanced with some being laughably easy and some being much harder. There are several unusual gamer point achievements (an 8, 11, 2 worth 13, a 14, and a 21 pointer) which are a unique touch and made them fun to unlock.Conclusion:
All in all a fun game that's well worth the 800 MS points. If you're into bloody beat-em ups then this one is for you! The average gamer will play it for 10 hours or so between all 3 modes. If you're setting out to get all 12 achievements it's in the neighborhood of 15-20 hours.