I don't understand the story, and I definitely didn't play it on the hardest difficulty setting. But after years of missing out on everyone's fun, I have finally found a side-scrolling brawler that I love.
It should be noted that I don't understand what this video game is about. One character is trapped inside her own nightmares while being locked up in a drifting space prison, I think. And her brother is looking for some kind of freedom himself, although I'm not sure what from. This game is a sequel but I never played the first one. Maybe that makes a difference. Either way, I'm diggin' this game.
The fighting system is really easy to understand if for no other reason than its mostly just jumping and hitting. The game play is very fluid and fun to watch, even for a basic beat 'em up. There are some hidden mini games and collectible items in the single player campaign. There is also an arcade mode that is fun but short, only five quick levels with pretty easy bosses. And finally, a two person game mode adds to the fun.
I completed the single player and arcade modes in under 6 hours. This was pretty good for playing on the easiest setting. There are unlockable difficulties, Pretty Princess for those who are ultra bad at the game and Samurai for those who dominate. Looking for a challenge ? The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile keeps up with the newer trend of truly hard arcade games. The toughest setting can create hours and hours of cursing and control shaking.
Its a very stylized game. The setting is almost all tones of black and white with lots of splashes of blood red. The cut scenes look and read like they were pulled directly from a comic book which adds to its visual appeal. There are several quirky additions to the game like an Indie Art Vending Machine. Or the Cloud Sword that looks remarkably like the sword belonging to a certain other game character named Cloud.
The only downside is again the story. It's convoluted and at times seems like they slapped some cut scenes and overly dramatic lines in there for padding. And it all comes off very emo. There is a lot of head-hanging and woe-is-me by the main character. And a cute little companion cat that really serves no purpose other than to look cute and fly, yes fly, beside you. But for only 800 MS points, I'm not going to get everything I want.
Ultimately, this game is totally worth your money. Its not long, its only as difficult as you want it to be. And its visually captivating. It won my heart and finally brought me to love the genre. Do yourself a solid and get this game.