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"Viva Piñata"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Viva Pinata'.
Tue 04/11/08 at 12:57
Regular
"THFC"
Posts: 4,488
Xbox 360 – Viva Piñata

While this is nothing of a new game, to me it is and I am sure that a lot of people may have let this one pass them by, thinking it was a childish game that lacks any depth. Well I would have to disagree with that somewhat. The first time I have played a game by Rare for a very long time and for me they have not let me down. I am still playing through the Viva Piñata experience and I am so far enjoying it.

Let’s start with the graphics; they are cute, and bright. But then the game is about Piñatas and they are meant to be colourful, plus it is a nice change as so many new games have darker plots and thus a darker graphical image is used. It is an older Xbox 360 title and so the graphics are not going to stack up against GoW2 or FIFA – but considering the age I am impressed, I think the graphics and colours are perfect for the game. The animations are nicely done, with each piñata having a slightly different pattern of movement and their mannerisms are all different, making each specie unique, another nice little touch.

Some of you may not actually be aware what the game is about, well basically you take control of a very sad looking plot of land (starts of rather small), and you get given a spade and set on your way. In most God games you only see the tools you are using and nothing of your character. As you re-create the garden to your liking you will meet requirements that make certain piñatas think your garden looks like a blooming nice place to live, and so they come along and sample it, when they are visiting your garden if you meet more requirements they will stay, for example if you have a certain plant, you might get a bee like piñata arrive, if it then eats two of them plants it will stay. To start with you are limited to what you can do and you will all get the same type all the time, but as the town opens up and you can buy new accessories for your garden and plant more seeds, the ability to specifically choose what kind of piñata arrives becomes more skill and less luck. The plot is simple and the game play is your average God game but with interesting new animal like piñatas arriving with the skill element to keep them in your garden and the ability to build plenty of houses or other things in your garden, I think it will keep fans of the genre or those enjoying a light hearted pick up and play game very happy.

The controls work well, very simple by moving with the left and being able to rotate, choose your equipment in the main menu and see stats or rename your piñatas with the y button while hovering over them. The controls are pretty much set in stone, except for when you make your colourful little friends mate (well they dance rather than do what you would think) but mini games are used to initiate the “mating” ritual, and this provides just a bit of variation in the game play and keeping things from going stale too quickly. Not too much else to say other than the control are easy to learn and simple so no one gets frustrated moving their cursor or trying to get to that one space they need to. This in these kinds of games is very important!

The loading times seem to be pretty quick and unlike some newer games my Xbox does not sound like it is trying to move Michelle McManus while playing the game. Not the biggest issue ever but it is nice to hear it run smoothly and not fear for the Xbox’s life. All the menus and navigating them is easy enough, anyone should be able to find what they are looking for without listening to the tutorial which does go on for a rather prolonged period in my opinion (I know it is meant for kids as well)

So while some may say it is unusual for a 20 year old man to play with piñatas, I would say lighten up and enjoy the game for what it is, plus your girlfriend is bound to like it so you can play Xbox and keep them happy! While I am yet to really say anything bad about the game, it does have flaws and a few of them. As an older and more “hardcore” gamer, there is not really enough to keep me coming back time and time again, it is just a gentle relief from the more intense games and allows me to build up my Gamerscore and enjoy the simplicity of the game without thinking about where the next enemy is, or how much life I have left. It will entertain most people for a while, some longer than others but with aspects gamer players will find lacking I doubt many of you will be rushing out to buy it.

Please do not be put off by that if it sounds like your kid of thing, I had wanted the game since I bought my Xbox and got it off a friend which I am very thankful for and I will keep it and play it time and time again, just because it is a nice way to chill out and play an easy going game, I don’t have to sit up and be on the lookout, I can go at my own pace and enjoy creating my garden, my way and that’s what I like about God games.

Hopefully this review has helped those of you who have heard about the game and thought about getting it, and if you do have any questions please discuss them here, also if you want help finding how to get that certain achievement or luring that piñata into your garden, ask it on here as I am sure most of you have played it and we can all help each other make our gardens a better place!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, my final score of Viva Piñata for the Xbox 360 is – 7.8/10
Tue 04/11/08 at 13:43
Regular
"THFC"
Posts: 4,488
Thanks pb - yea i have not finished it yet but you dont need to play more than a few hours to know where its going, i reckon as soon as GoW2 gets to me i will struggle to play much else
Tue 04/11/08 at 13:29
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Good review. I think that summed up the game quite well.

7/10 from me, I did enjoy it but it was a case of not enough to keep me occupied for too long and there were some annyoing niggles.
Tue 04/11/08 at 12:57
Regular
"THFC"
Posts: 4,488
Xbox 360 – Viva Piñata

While this is nothing of a new game, to me it is and I am sure that a lot of people may have let this one pass them by, thinking it was a childish game that lacks any depth. Well I would have to disagree with that somewhat. The first time I have played a game by Rare for a very long time and for me they have not let me down. I am still playing through the Viva Piñata experience and I am so far enjoying it.

Let’s start with the graphics; they are cute, and bright. But then the game is about Piñatas and they are meant to be colourful, plus it is a nice change as so many new games have darker plots and thus a darker graphical image is used. It is an older Xbox 360 title and so the graphics are not going to stack up against GoW2 or FIFA – but considering the age I am impressed, I think the graphics and colours are perfect for the game. The animations are nicely done, with each piñata having a slightly different pattern of movement and their mannerisms are all different, making each specie unique, another nice little touch.

Some of you may not actually be aware what the game is about, well basically you take control of a very sad looking plot of land (starts of rather small), and you get given a spade and set on your way. In most God games you only see the tools you are using and nothing of your character. As you re-create the garden to your liking you will meet requirements that make certain piñatas think your garden looks like a blooming nice place to live, and so they come along and sample it, when they are visiting your garden if you meet more requirements they will stay, for example if you have a certain plant, you might get a bee like piñata arrive, if it then eats two of them plants it will stay. To start with you are limited to what you can do and you will all get the same type all the time, but as the town opens up and you can buy new accessories for your garden and plant more seeds, the ability to specifically choose what kind of piñata arrives becomes more skill and less luck. The plot is simple and the game play is your average God game but with interesting new animal like piñatas arriving with the skill element to keep them in your garden and the ability to build plenty of houses or other things in your garden, I think it will keep fans of the genre or those enjoying a light hearted pick up and play game very happy.

The controls work well, very simple by moving with the left and being able to rotate, choose your equipment in the main menu and see stats or rename your piñatas with the y button while hovering over them. The controls are pretty much set in stone, except for when you make your colourful little friends mate (well they dance rather than do what you would think) but mini games are used to initiate the “mating” ritual, and this provides just a bit of variation in the game play and keeping things from going stale too quickly. Not too much else to say other than the control are easy to learn and simple so no one gets frustrated moving their cursor or trying to get to that one space they need to. This in these kinds of games is very important!

The loading times seem to be pretty quick and unlike some newer games my Xbox does not sound like it is trying to move Michelle McManus while playing the game. Not the biggest issue ever but it is nice to hear it run smoothly and not fear for the Xbox’s life. All the menus and navigating them is easy enough, anyone should be able to find what they are looking for without listening to the tutorial which does go on for a rather prolonged period in my opinion (I know it is meant for kids as well)

So while some may say it is unusual for a 20 year old man to play with piñatas, I would say lighten up and enjoy the game for what it is, plus your girlfriend is bound to like it so you can play Xbox and keep them happy! While I am yet to really say anything bad about the game, it does have flaws and a few of them. As an older and more “hardcore” gamer, there is not really enough to keep me coming back time and time again, it is just a gentle relief from the more intense games and allows me to build up my Gamerscore and enjoy the simplicity of the game without thinking about where the next enemy is, or how much life I have left. It will entertain most people for a while, some longer than others but with aspects gamer players will find lacking I doubt many of you will be rushing out to buy it.

Please do not be put off by that if it sounds like your kid of thing, I had wanted the game since I bought my Xbox and got it off a friend which I am very thankful for and I will keep it and play it time and time again, just because it is a nice way to chill out and play an easy going game, I don’t have to sit up and be on the lookout, I can go at my own pace and enjoy creating my garden, my way and that’s what I like about God games.

Hopefully this review has helped those of you who have heard about the game and thought about getting it, and if you do have any questions please discuss them here, also if you want help finding how to get that certain achievement or luring that piñata into your garden, ask it on here as I am sure most of you have played it and we can all help each other make our gardens a better place!

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, my final score of Viva Piñata for the Xbox 360 is – 7.8/10

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