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"Viva Piñata (Xbox 360)"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Viva Pinata'.
Sun 10/06/07 at 12:02
Regular
"WhaleOilBeefHooked"
Posts: 12,425
Childish perhaps in some eyes Viva Piñata is, but once played I believe no one can resist its captivating charm and no one can really stop that inner child bursting out and experiencing this simply fun game, which doesn’t involve blowing up someone or something. I won’t lie, I’m like others, I do enjoy that element to games, that’s why I’m a fan of such games as Halo, but for a while now I’ve been looking for more from my games and Microsoft have never fed this hunger within me. It seems Rare have picked up on this and have now fulfilled the vast void that Microsoft’s Xbox had. Nintendo’s consoles never seemed to have this problem and scooped up an audience that Microsoft have never, up until now, have had the pleasure of meeting before.

So, enter Viva Piñata onto the stage to entice a new audience with an explosion of wonderful colour and a new experience that is both original and engaging for all ages. There doesn’t actually appear to be a plot as such but the aim is simple enough – create and sculpture a plot of land into a lush garden and then satisfy the needs of its inhabitants, which are delightfully designed creatures, all in the form of piñatas. The animals range from worms and birds to foxes and crocodiles. Each of them has their own unique names that tie back into the actual name or characteristics of the species, such as Whirlms and Sparrowmints. In total it’s possible to have sixty colourful critters calling your garden their home.

After a brief period of being introduced to your, at first small allotment-sized, garden, patting down the surface with your trusty shovel, which will soon become your most treasured tool and then sowing a few seeds of grass, you will soon attract your first piñata, and, if you have met its desires within your garden, it will change colour and take up permanent residence. Accompanying you, is an easily accessible and readable journal that contains all you should need whilst attempting to attract other piñatas, including exactly what modifications you will have to make to your land to convince creatures to make it their home. Various species of piñatas, which are initially black and white, visit your garden throughout the game and only when they’re satisfied will they unleash their true colours.

Once you’re well into the game, you won’t be able to help yourself from sometimes just finding yourself staring at the screen at the striking, bright colours of both the animals and plants. Rare has made full use of the 360’s abilities and brought about some of the most vibrant colours seen in a game. Everything appears to have been put through a carwash of colour, yet some how it doesn’t appear over the top, perhaps it’s just making up for the absence of colour in recent Xbox years as shooters occupied the limelight.

There’s so much freedom in the game to do as you please with your piece of land, there are very few restrictions placed on the player, this prevents any potentially frustrating moments. You won’t even have to worry about applying for planning permission as you plant towering trees and create winding rivers! The ability to create a real paradise is perhaps surprisingly thrilling, as you’d expect only Alan Titchmarsh fans to be captivated by such things. But truly every moment and element of this game can be enjoyed to the fullest perimeter. It’s not only about creating an ideal environment for the creatures; it’s also about designing a garden that could proudly sit among those at the Chelsea Flower Show. And the best bit is you’re not just restricted to plants, trees and shrubs either: there are many other things that can be placed in your world, such as ornaments from birdbaths to giant shipwrecks.

Aiding the construction of your garden is the dubiously named helper ‘Willy Builder’ who will help you build (surprisingly I know!) and maintain your community’s housing. Your team also includes ‘Leafos’, who is your general advisory guru and ‘Gretchem Fetchem’, who’s job it is to seek out new piñata and report back. Your garden will also be visited by ‘Doc Patchingo’, who is your piñatas’ practising GP. And, yes, that does mean your piñatas get ill and you will have to fork out a little bit of money to pay for treatment.

That’s another great thing about this little gem of a title, never can you really predict what is going to occur within your garden’s walls. The world within the game is completely spontaneous and almost anything can happen and, most likely, will! It’s very difficult to leave your garden for long periods of time as it is both extremely addictive and if you do leave it unattended there will be utter chaos. It’s not only illness you have to tackle, you’ll often find your inhabitants in personal rivalries, which can result in injury and even candy being spilt - you must know what that means!

One final thing I must mention is the romantic element of the game. Now, remembering back to whom the target audience Rare is trying to pull in here, this could potentially have piñatas walking on very thin ice if a game developer brought in early sex education for a young audience. However, Rare handle this very coolly and have a sequence that will have anyone smile who sees it. Two creatures of the same species enter a hut, ‘relaxing’ music is put on and they begin to dance. Not long after a bird appears and leaves an egg with a new member of your community inside.

Every part of this game is absolutely charming and I often found myself smiling and my heart being warmed. I have said that the game doesn’t really have a storyline as such, but it really, in all honesty, doesn’t need one. The game aims to be fun, with an intended audience of children, and it achieves this perfectly, but it also goes that extra mile of capturing an audience beyond its target. Everyone can enjoy this game and will as soon as they lay eyes on their first exotic piñata resident.
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Sun 10/06/07 at 12:02
Regular
"WhaleOilBeefHooked"
Posts: 12,425
Childish perhaps in some eyes Viva Piñata is, but once played I believe no one can resist its captivating charm and no one can really stop that inner child bursting out and experiencing this simply fun game, which doesn’t involve blowing up someone or something. I won’t lie, I’m like others, I do enjoy that element to games, that’s why I’m a fan of such games as Halo, but for a while now I’ve been looking for more from my games and Microsoft have never fed this hunger within me. It seems Rare have picked up on this and have now fulfilled the vast void that Microsoft’s Xbox had. Nintendo’s consoles never seemed to have this problem and scooped up an audience that Microsoft have never, up until now, have had the pleasure of meeting before.

So, enter Viva Piñata onto the stage to entice a new audience with an explosion of wonderful colour and a new experience that is both original and engaging for all ages. There doesn’t actually appear to be a plot as such but the aim is simple enough – create and sculpture a plot of land into a lush garden and then satisfy the needs of its inhabitants, which are delightfully designed creatures, all in the form of piñatas. The animals range from worms and birds to foxes and crocodiles. Each of them has their own unique names that tie back into the actual name or characteristics of the species, such as Whirlms and Sparrowmints. In total it’s possible to have sixty colourful critters calling your garden their home.

After a brief period of being introduced to your, at first small allotment-sized, garden, patting down the surface with your trusty shovel, which will soon become your most treasured tool and then sowing a few seeds of grass, you will soon attract your first piñata, and, if you have met its desires within your garden, it will change colour and take up permanent residence. Accompanying you, is an easily accessible and readable journal that contains all you should need whilst attempting to attract other piñatas, including exactly what modifications you will have to make to your land to convince creatures to make it their home. Various species of piñatas, which are initially black and white, visit your garden throughout the game and only when they’re satisfied will they unleash their true colours.

Once you’re well into the game, you won’t be able to help yourself from sometimes just finding yourself staring at the screen at the striking, bright colours of both the animals and plants. Rare has made full use of the 360’s abilities and brought about some of the most vibrant colours seen in a game. Everything appears to have been put through a carwash of colour, yet some how it doesn’t appear over the top, perhaps it’s just making up for the absence of colour in recent Xbox years as shooters occupied the limelight.

There’s so much freedom in the game to do as you please with your piece of land, there are very few restrictions placed on the player, this prevents any potentially frustrating moments. You won’t even have to worry about applying for planning permission as you plant towering trees and create winding rivers! The ability to create a real paradise is perhaps surprisingly thrilling, as you’d expect only Alan Titchmarsh fans to be captivated by such things. But truly every moment and element of this game can be enjoyed to the fullest perimeter. It’s not only about creating an ideal environment for the creatures; it’s also about designing a garden that could proudly sit among those at the Chelsea Flower Show. And the best bit is you’re not just restricted to plants, trees and shrubs either: there are many other things that can be placed in your world, such as ornaments from birdbaths to giant shipwrecks.

Aiding the construction of your garden is the dubiously named helper ‘Willy Builder’ who will help you build (surprisingly I know!) and maintain your community’s housing. Your team also includes ‘Leafos’, who is your general advisory guru and ‘Gretchem Fetchem’, who’s job it is to seek out new piñata and report back. Your garden will also be visited by ‘Doc Patchingo’, who is your piñatas’ practising GP. And, yes, that does mean your piñatas get ill and you will have to fork out a little bit of money to pay for treatment.

That’s another great thing about this little gem of a title, never can you really predict what is going to occur within your garden’s walls. The world within the game is completely spontaneous and almost anything can happen and, most likely, will! It’s very difficult to leave your garden for long periods of time as it is both extremely addictive and if you do leave it unattended there will be utter chaos. It’s not only illness you have to tackle, you’ll often find your inhabitants in personal rivalries, which can result in injury and even candy being spilt - you must know what that means!

One final thing I must mention is the romantic element of the game. Now, remembering back to whom the target audience Rare is trying to pull in here, this could potentially have piñatas walking on very thin ice if a game developer brought in early sex education for a young audience. However, Rare handle this very coolly and have a sequence that will have anyone smile who sees it. Two creatures of the same species enter a hut, ‘relaxing’ music is put on and they begin to dance. Not long after a bird appears and leaves an egg with a new member of your community inside.

Every part of this game is absolutely charming and I often found myself smiling and my heart being warmed. I have said that the game doesn’t really have a storyline as such, but it really, in all honesty, doesn’t need one. The game aims to be fun, with an intended audience of children, and it achieves this perfectly, but it also goes that extra mile of capturing an audience beyond its target. Everyone can enjoy this game and will as soon as they lay eyes on their first exotic piñata resident.

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