Viva Pinata Review December 3, 2006Posted by dpcough in 360 Live Reviews.
Viva Pinata Review
Viva Pinata is the third game by Rare for the Xbox 360. How does the too cute for some pinatas fare? Find out in the Live Gamer Viva Pinata Review. (Note: Thanks John Porcaro for a copy of the game!)
Viva Pinata on first sight appears as an easy kids game with no premise and way to cute. As soon as you play for about twenty minutes though you are hooked. Viva Pinata is a hard to describe game what it is like. It is like Sim City where you manage a city but here it is a garden but the characters are more Animal Crossing like and blended together for a complete new innovating package.
The graphics in the game are crisp and eye-catching. They may take a few minutes to get used to but they are amazing in textures and lighting. The voices of the pinatas are not human like the cartoon show and just make animal sounds that are really good. The pigs sound realistic and everything merged together makes a great environment.
The game begins with Leafos giving you a shovel and a pack of seeds. You clear away dirt and plant grass so the simplest pinata a Whirm (Rare has wordplay on almost all the pinata’s names) shows up in your garden. Then a Sparrowmint comes because there is a Whirm in your garden and so on and so on through the [over] sixty species of pinatas in the game.
Leafos lives on Pinata Island and gives you tips and hints along your journey. She isn’t the only helper around though. There is Willy Builder who builds the houses, a beggar, Costolot who runs a store, and many more who run shops for you to purchase items in or you can buy their services so you don’t have to do all the time consuming tasks as the game gets very hectic quickly.
About a half hour in depending on how you are doing fights start to break up, sours show up, and sometimes there are even to many things to manage but you’ll get through the times. I don’t know if you will get the same experience though because this game is unique to everyone. There is no premise other than to keep growing and attracting new species guarnteeing as soon as you plant your first grass seeds no two gardens will be alike.
Viva Pinata is a single player game but still does have some Xbox Live aspects. In the Post Office you can send packages to others and recieve packages with virtually anything in the game. You can add chocolate coins (the in-game currency) and attach a message. The only problem is that no gardens are unique and you want to know what others gardens look like so I wish Rare put more into this on Xbox Live. They have stated they may release DLC (Downloadble Content) where you can visit others gardens like they added co-op in Kameo: Elements of Power. Hopefully they do. There are also leaderboards buried deep inside the journal.
Viva Pinata’s unique experinece make it able to be picked up by all ages. Kids can enjoy it with little diffuculty but the hardcore gamer will find much depth within the game. The game hits at something we all have – the joy of discovery. If you don’t play this game because it is too cute you are missing something. Go buy it and see how fantastic it is. It is well worth the $50 Admission. Rare and Microsoft have created a great property here with a TV Show and a lot of merchandise. Wonder what the next game in the Pinata series will be because Microsoft has something going for them, don’t screw up because it’s fun and great.
Final Verdict – 9 Out of 10 Stars Live Gamer Editor’s Choice