pinst ripe

Hell, is it me you’re look­ing for?

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - START - Martin Kitts

The fruit of five years’ la­bor for its one­man de­vel­op­ment team, Pin­stripe’s prom­i­nent billing as ‘an ad­ven­ture about Hell’ pretty much stabs its plot twist in the back. You’ll see this one com­ing a mile off, but that’s not to say the jour­ney isn’t worth­while.

It’s the story of Ted, a preacher who pur­sues his three-year-old daugh­ter into the un­der­world af­ter she’s ab­ducted by the creepy Mr Pin­stripe. Wear­ing a dog col­lar (and ac­com­pa­nied by an ac­tual dog), Ted ex­plores a bizarre but de­cid­edly un­threat­en­ing par­al­lel di­men­sion where the lo­cals are kept stu­pe­fied on Mr Pin­stripe’s ‘sack juice’ as they await the cer­e­mo­nial adop­tion of Ted’s lit­tle girl into their strange com­mu­nity.

Whether or not you’ll care that much about what hap­pens to them seems un­likely. The difficulty level is very low, pre­sum­ably to al­low play­ers to fully en­gage with the plot rather than worry about whether or not they’ll be able to fin­ish it, but it’s not suf­fi­ciently well writ­ten to push the game along at any de­cent pace. With no fear of fail­ure and no real sur­prises or com­pelling char­ac­ters to in­ter­act with, there’s a dis­ap­point­ing lack of ten­sion.

I have a daugh­ter of the same age as the one in the game, and since she was born I’ve no­ticed I just don’t have the con­sti­tu­tion for any kind of sto­ries where bad things hap­pen to small peo­ple. How­ever, af­ter steel­ing my­self for the open­ing ab­duc­tion scene, I found that Pin­stripe didn’t wind me

“It weighs in at well un­der two hours for a first playthrough”

up as I’d ex­pected it to. The sight of some gan­gly-legged vicar bounc­ing on car­toon mush­rooms while be­ing fol­lowed by a talk­ing dog served to thor­oughly dis­pel the req­ui­site sense of dread that might have helped me em­pathize with Ted’s plight. If any­thing, it could have done with be­ing darker and more de­press­ing— Hell seems too com­i­cal in Pin­stripe.

Seems fa­mil­iar

In terms of game­play and art style it’s rem­i­nis­cent of Limbo, while the plot brings to mind The Sexy Bru­tale, but Pin­stripe lacks the in­ge­nu­ity and pol­ish of ei­ther of those two. It’s a straight­for­ward 2D plat­former with un­con­vinc­ingly floaty, slip­pery physics, and only one mildly chal­leng­ing jump dur­ing the game.

It’s also very short, weigh­ing in at well un­der two hours for a first playthrough, and this de­spite it forc­ing you to back­track all the way to the start to scav­enge for coins at around the half­way mark. There’s a safe­crack­ing mini-game that plays like a 20-sec­ond snip­pet of Flappy Bird, a spot-the-dif­fer­ences pic­ture puzzle and a re­ac­tion test where you have to stop some spin­ning lights, each of which you’ll be treated to three times.

The pad­ding is wholly un­nec­es­sary, as I ac­tu­ally pre­ferred play­ing Pin­stripe a sec­ond time, in ‘ad­ven­ture plus’ mode. Af­ter fin­ish­ing it once you get a golden key that un­locks three trea­sure rooms, pro­vid­ing enough cash to cut out the back­track­ing sec­tion, avoid some of the minigames and re­place the stan­dard sling­shot with a ma­chine gun. With Fa­ther Ted tooled up and many of the su­per­flu­ous parts of the game stripped away, you can blast through for the achieve­ment on of­fer for fin­ish­ing it in un­der an hour. En­e­mies wither un­der your fire­power and the fi­nal boss lasts sec­onds, which is sat­is­fy­ing pay­back for hav­ing to suf­fer his taunts the first time around.

right Ar­riv­ing at Mr Pin­stripe’s lair, but is Ted in time to res­cue his daugh­ter?

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