Microsoft’s XNA initiative, which allows amateur game developers create and share games on XBOX Live! Arcade, is something they hope will catch on with gamers. I don’t know how it will be received by others, but I thought it was solid idea with a huge amount of potential. The entire initiative could be described as the YouTube of Games and as with most YouTube content: quality will vary. After installing the XNA game launcher and trying out most of what was available, the stand out was definitely The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai.
Created by one man, James Silva, The Dishwasher is a remarkable feat. The concept is not particularly new or unique, but the execution is fantastic. The Dishwasher reminds me a lot of Ninja Gaiden (the 3D incarnations), but on a 2D plane. The gameplay action is fast, intense and combo centric. Aerial combos, dashing slices, throws and other special moves you would find in a modern Ninja Gaiden game were translated superbly into 2D. Very much like Ninja Gaiden, the controls were spot on as well.
The visual style of The Dishwasher is similar to that of Alien Hominid with thick pencil like outlines around the game’s assets. However, unlike Alien Hominid, The Dishwasher sports a dark emo like tone. Everything appears very grim, morbid and even apocalyptic at times. While most of the backgrounds and even characters were painted with darker colors, the special effects and the blood were highlighted prominently. It’s a stimulating contrast which I enjoyed tremendously.
The Dishwasher does many things right with its easy to pick up gameplay, tight controls and unique visual style. I didn’t mention the audio work, but it too adds to the visceral experience. From the one level I played, I am already putting this game on the “pay attention to this game” list. It is something to look forward to if you are a fan of a bite sized Ninja Gaiden experience and own an XBOX 360: check this game out.
For more information, check out the official website.
Found below are some gameplay videos from GameTrailers and YouTube.