The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile is an Xbox Live Arcade title announced on February 24, 2010 and the follow-up to The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai. It is the second full title released by Ska Studios and features two single-player campaigns, a co-op campaign, and new challenges. It was released on April 6, 2011 at a price of 800 microsoft points.
Vampire Smile has two different story threads, one for each of the protagonists. Both campaigns take place on, or very close to, the moon. Yuki's story revolves around finding out exactly what the (perhaps malevolent) source of her new powers is, what is happening to her mentally, and the score she may want to settle with her stepbrother. The Dishwasher's story revolves around cleaning up the rest of the "cyborg poison" and saving his stepsister.
Even though players have the choice of playing either as The Dishwasher or his demented stepsister, Yuki, the gameplay of Vampire Smile is largely similar to the first entry of the series. In each level, players run from room to room dispatching enemies in the bloodiest ways possible. Rooms often become blocked upon entry until all enemies have been killed. Each level in Vampire Smile features a boss, some of which appeared in Dead Samurai. The game is not as difficult as its predecessor, though it still touts the unlockable, insane Samurai mode. The game is flashy and fast-paced, and the un-indoctrinated may easily be overwhelmed at the chaos on the screen. The penalty for death has been decreased to next-to-nil. Upon the player's death, they do not even have to wait for a game over prompt to appear to press a button and retry the room again.
Along with basic "press left to run left, press right to run right" movement controls, The Dishwasher and his stepsister share some additional movement abilities. Both protagonists can run straight up walls, double-jump, dodge-roll, wall-jump, and, depending on which weapon the player has equipped, "Phase/Blood Shift". Shifting or dodge-rolling can be done by flicking the right stick in the desired direction of movement and, while both moves are invaluable to in-game survival, Shifting can also be done up, through the air, and slightly homes in on enemies. Shifting can also be done continuously, making a make-shift flying ability.
Players rip their enemies limb-from-limb by mixing up light attacks (X), heavy attacks (Y), and grabs (B). The game is not mash-y, but relies on a combo system that rewards skill instead of jamming on random buttons. The player must attack their enemies until they start to spark, at which point the player can perform a gruesome execution at the press of a button. Throughout the course of the game, players will earn access to firearms (used by pressing RT), Dish Magic (LT + A/X/B/Y), and additional melee weapons (which players can switch to on the fly using RB, leading to some very deep, very powerful combos).
Like the first game, Vampire Smile has a simple upgrade system. At friendly robot stations throughout the game (usually positioned at the beginning of levels), players can make purchases ranging from a selection of usable items to permanent upgrades for their weapon attack power, health capacity, or magic capacity. These things are all purchased using one currency (a departure from the previous game's "Pick" System), which is gold picked up from the bodies of fallen enemies and from opened gifts. Gifts can be found either through exploration, defeating all the enemies in a room within a certain amount of time, or successful completion of the returning Guitar Hero-esque minigames.
Something new to the series is the Beads system. Beads are equippable items that provide in-game bonuses, such as regenerating health or increased damage against certain enemy types. Players can equip up to four at one time. Beads are found through exploration and through completion of the guitar minigames.
Around February 17th, various gaming news outlets received bottles of dishwashing soap labeled Fervor Shine that hinted at a relationship between The Dishwasher and a Japanese soap company. However, going to the Fervor Shine website revealed a countdown timer to February 24th. When the timer expired the Fervor Shine website changed to an announcement video promoting The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile. The video appeared to be about the dishwasher taking vengeance on three evils: the banker, the general, and the judge. The music of the video was an original recording created by Ska Studios.
The flier that accompanied the original Fervor Shine bottle of dishwashing soap read:
Big happy announcement!
Ska Studios -- the dev geniuses behind the critically acclaimed Xbox Live Arcade title "The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai" -- has partnered with us, Japan's #1 dish washing liquid mega supplier, "Fervor Shine!" to have The Dishwasher be our company's own lemon-scented spokesperson
This mult-day deal capitalizes on The Dishwasher's mega popularity in the Japanese market, making him the perfect non-talking spokesperson to be plastered on bottles of our happy brand of "Fervor Shine" dish detergent.
And, in an effort to appeal to your enjoyment of free samples, we enclosed a small bottle of "Fervor Shine!" dishwashing liquid. Go ahead, try it on your dishes or body to experience its nearly toxic cleaning power and 100% non-organic overly chemical smelling lemon aroma.
To learn more about our own "Fervor Shine!" or (more importantly) what The Dishwasher is up to these days, we strongly recommend you visit: http://www.fervorshine.com. You can count(down) on exciting stuff waiting for you there!
On February 24th Microsoft revealed that The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile will be playable in 3D.