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Diabolical Pitch

Diabolical Pitch

The former professional baseball pitcher McAllister is having his dreams haunted by his decision to retire due to shoulder problems.

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In his sleep he is whisked away to a sinister amusement park spawned in hell. His nightmare is told through comic book panels. A cow gifts him - you, through Kinect - a special bionic arm, capable of delivering dangerous throws, or Diabolical pitches. With his weapon comes an infinite supply of ammo in the shape of balls.

McAllister targets evil mascots and bonus items with his pitches and after a handful of hits his Diabolical pitch is charged up. You're tasked with taking a specific pose and a powerful attack is triggered. Reach out with both arms and for a short time you can send fast balls towards the mascots. Before each stage we get to decide which special attack you equip, and in total there are six attacks, that you unlock through collecting baseball cards.

At specific points in the level you can hit up slot machines for a bit of variation, only three-way combinations grants you prizes, and it's not just a gimmick. You can save these winnings on to one of your 64 cards, not only to unlocks special attacks, but also various other bonuses. These can be improvements to your combos, or influence your attempts with the slot machines. You can even increase your endurance.

Diabolical Pitch
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Unlike a lot of motion controlled games, hectic or random movement is not rewarded in Diabolical Pitch as you will soon run out of stamina. When this happens you are incapacitated for a short period of time before you're ready to throw the ball once again. If the enemy is getting very close you can kick them away as a last resort.

What really sets Diabolical Pitch apart from the pack is the tactical nature of the game where you have to save your more powerful throws for difficult enemies, and use quick pitches to gather the right power ups or bonuses. It can be a bit stressful, but it's not a simple as just throwing the ball at everything that moves.

You don't really need to employ much precision though, as the mascots magnetically attracts the balls and quick throws can not miss the target. When there are manual targets the cursor responds to the most minute of movements. There is a speedometer, but you don't have to strain yourself with excessive moves as you pitch the ball. And as you have to contend with McAllister's stamina issues it is easy to play Diabolical Pitch for an extended period of time without the lactic acid kicking in and ending your play session prematurely - and your pitches are broken up with the need to jump or crouch to avoid circular saw blades tossed your way.

The nightmarish amusement park is divided into five themes, with four stages waiting on McAllister and the fifth being a bonus level and shooting gallery of sorts. Diabolical Pitch starts of at a modest pace, but the challenge really builds throughout the game and towards the end the mascots use shields to repel your pitches. They also try to reach for a switch that sends us down to hell for a period of time. When in hell we don't collect any points, and the number of enemies is increased.

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Diabolical Pitch

Thanks to the hectic, yet tactical gameplay and wonderful baseball card system Diabolical Pitch ends up being a barrel of fun. It's easy to pick up and play and we found ourselves replaying levels to register high scores and earn money for more cards. There is local co-op for two players where you gain extra points for timing pitches at the same targets. Diabolical Pitch is available now for just 800 points, it offers incredible value and deserves a spot in every Kinect player's collection as it is one of the best Kinect titles to date.

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08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
+ Let's you play Kinect without getting exhausted + Good length + Great value for your money.
-
- Time consuming and fidgety menus.
overall score
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REVIEW. Written by Ingo Delinger

"Thanks to the hectic, yet tactical gameplay and wonderful baseball card system Diabolical Pitch ends up being a barrel of fun."



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