Ska Studios has always had a DIY attitude. You could see it in the aesthetics of The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai or the insanity that is the soundtrack of I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1. Studio lead James Silva even wrote a book on XNA development based on doing it themselves, so it's in the very core of the studio's fabric. Brawler Charlie Murder and its punk rock elements mark the perfect culmination of what's come before, hearkening back to where the team has come from, but showing that it's still capable of growing its talents to provide fresh experiences in new genres.

Every element of the game has that punk feeling. The story centers around the deadly grudge between the titular character and his band and a now-demonic former bandmate and his new crew. The powers of each of the four playable characters is directly related to their talent in the band, from Charlie's screams or the gargantuan drummer's tom-roll smash attacks, and are learned by getting tattoos. The soundtrack has, unsurprisingly, a ton of punk music made by the developer themselves, which sometimes has the player button-tapping Guitar Hero-style to the tunes. Ska Studios picked its target, and then it shot bullseye after bullseye after bullseye.

The brawling action is just as spot on, though. Creating that bone-crushing weight behind a punch or kick in a game like this is tough, but it's perfect here. There's enough extra stuff laying around in the levels to help diversify your offensive options, too, like axes, tires, heads and bombs to name a few. Ska wasn't afraid to mix up the formula occasionally, either. In one of the levels you'll end up in a side-scrolling shooter on broomsticks before landing on the ground and returning to fisticuffs. It's these little change-ups that can keep good action from becoming stale.

Charlie Murder wears its identity like a sewn-on patch on a flannel sleeve. A lot of work went into making the game look like it's too-cool-to-care, and it makes this markedly ambitious effort well-worth your time. It's available now on XBLA for 800 Microsoft points ($10).