Release Date: April 4th, 2012
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox Live Arcade]
Genre: Action, Adventure / Kinect
Rated: T for Teen
Grasshopper Manufacture is already back with a new game that does everything but disappoint. Key word in the title is “Diabolical.” McAllister, a pro baseball player, throws his game winning pitch, only to throw his shoulder out in the process. Even though his team goes to the World Series, he unfortunately goes to the showers. With his dreams washed away and the mental state of having nothing else to live for, he looks for an easy out in life, to only last second reconsider.
He wakes up in a weird, dark amusement park called “Queen Christine’s Dream Land” where an animatronic creature offers him a bionic arm, giving McAllister exactly what he feels he’s longed for. However, nothing in life is free as he now strives to survive this nightmare using his best weapon, a Diabolical Pitch.
It’s all Animatronic lions, tigers and more with you in sight. They can fly, ride the attractions and throw objects your way. What the heck can a animatronic throw? Balls for you to catch and weapons for you to dodge. You practically do the typical amusement ordeal, pitch and attempt to knock down the robots. The closer the animals are will determine where your pitch auto aims. Perfect your aim with your left arm to acquire headshots, allowing you to choose your immediate target. If any robot get too close, you can also kick it back to the fifth dimension it came from.
Once you nail enough points and takedowns, you’ll earn a Diabolical Pitch which is your player’s special ability. You earn different abilities as you unlock baseball cards from gameplay and the coins earned. For example, Linear unleashing multiple balls at a super charged paced knocking everything down, except maybe the animatronic boss. As the stages progress, you’ll quickly learn that it’s best to use your Diabolical Pitch as your desperation move when all else is failing or becoming overwhelming.
When throwing at the animatronics, you can earn rewards like a score multiplier, health, less fatigue and more by aiming at the icons as they appear.
The level build is on point, going from fun to insane. Finally, someone has created a legitimate concept for the Kinect that works. This game will make you make you throw your arm out just like McAllister. Not really, but after a while, you just may have to take the Kinect up on its offer, “Feeling Tired or Sore? Take a Break!” On a bad note, during gameplay, there were a few times where a few balls flew in random directions, or not at all.
Diabolical Pitch does offer a local multiplayer mode, bringing in twice the fun and a Contra feel with baseball players. The second player is Eugene, not necessarily a friend of McAllister, but in multiplayer, you indeed work as a team. More of Eugene’s backstory and High School memories can be discovered in the single player mode.
Graphics are quite decent, and throughout keeps a semi-horror feel through the park and mansion all the way back out. Diabolical Pitch doesn’t maintain a thorough story, but it definitely keeps you wanting to step up to the plate. For only 800MSP, this game is worth buying!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5