When I first played Diabolical Pitch, it was at the Tokyo Game Show 2011. There at the Microsoft booth, I played this Kinect title in two-player coop mode with a beautiful Japanese booth babe. I had a lot of fun.
It was only when I played the game at home alone this last week that I realised a laughing, bouncing, attractive woman can make pretty much anything fun — even a game as boring as Diabolical Pitch.
The entire two-hour experience is little more than making a baseball throwing motion at the screen over and over again. Sure, sometimes you need to give a little kick to boot an enemy who gets too close or use your other hand to aim and lock onto a target, but most of the time it’s throw, throw, throw, throw, throw.
The only time the monotony is broken is in that panicked moment when you realise the game has stopped recognising your throwing actions — and in the following moment, too, where you spastically try to make the Kinect register your commands.
While you won’t receive any satisfaction from playing Diabolical Pitch, you will receive an aching arm. It almost becomes a meta-game as you try to figure out the bare minimum gesture you can give to register a throw. Personally I found cart-wheeling my arm in a slow, constant circle to be a most effective way to play.
Like most Grasshopper-developed games, Diabolical Pitch is brimming with creator Suda51’s (Goichi Suda’s) signature over-the-top style. It is, after all, a game about an injured baseball player gaining a demonic pitching arm and facing off against hordes of demons in an unearthly amusement park. However, like most of his games, his style alone isn’t enough to make them fun. With reused backgrounds, generic enemies and ugly comic cutscenes, the graphical presentation does little to pull you in.
In the end, Diabolical Pitch is a game that falls flat on every point and there’s no reason why anyone should spend their hard earned cash on it.
Diabolical Pitch was released worldwide on April 4 for the Xbox 360/Kinect and can be purchased only on Xbox Live.