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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Game Review Number Three: Viva Pinata

Current mood: geeky

Views: 1,281
Comments: 14

It's time for Gaming Review Number Three! Huzzah! Hooray! Etc etc.....


This time around I'm going to have a ganders at Viva Pinata.


Viva Pinata – Shake It Like A Party Animal!


Viva Pinata is a.... gardening simulator.


That's right, gardening simulator. It was released back in late 2006. It was developed by Rare Software, who were behind many well loved N64 games, such as Banjo-Kazooie, and even Goldeneye.


Concept


No! Wait! Don't stop reading at gardening simulator! Let me continue, and hopefully, you will catch Pinataitis too, and become a fan of the game!


At the start, you're dumped on the paradisical Pinata Island, and given a small allotment, to turn into a fantastical garden.


Starting out with only the most basic spade and watering can, you must gradually transform the plot of land, and attract a wide variety of Pinata to come and inhabit your garden.


As you attract more Pinata, and place more plants and ornaments in your garden, you gain experience, which brings with it access to higher level items, and a bigger plot of land, which in turn allow to attract more and more high level Pinatas.


So say goodbye Whirlms....


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and hello Roario!





Graphics


The game was released in late 2006, so if you're expecting an absolute visual extravaganza, you're going to be sorely disappointed.


However, whilst the visuals are somewhat basic, they suit the style and feel of the game perfectly, and the bright colours and fanciful designs really bring the gardens created in the game to life.


Gameplay


Viva Pinata plays in a similar vein to games such as The Sims, in that you have a pre-defined play area, which you can populate with a variety of furniture and in this case Pinata.


The game throws you challenges in the form of Pinata requests. Parties naturally require Pinatas in order to be truly partytastic, so every so often the game offers you challenges to attract certain pinata within a certain time to be sent off to the parties.


These challenges can be ignored if you feel you may not be able to achieve them, but they add experience to your Gardener Level if you meet them.


There are also “Romance Dances” that need to be completed in order to allow your Pinata to breed.


These take the form of maze mini-games, with hazards to avoid and coins to collect.


Naturally though, the real lure of Viva Pinata is the constant desire to attract bigger and better Pinata, which, believe me, will keep you hooked for hours on end!


Sound


The audio in Viva Pinata is pretty decent.


The noises made by the Pinata are suitable for their design, but the true joy of the audio comes in the form of the relaxing background music.


It's this coupled with the bright and colourful visuals that make Viva Pinata one of the most relaxing gaming experiences out there.


Overall


Viva Pinata is by no means cutting edge in any sense of the word, however, it is most definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.


Viva Pinata is a truly fantastic time sink, and is as much an aid to relaxation as it is a video game. It comes highly recommended, so go and check it out, you should be able to pick it up for about 5!


Score: 8.5/10

Graphics: 6.5/10

Audio: 9/10

Gameplay: 9.5/10


Available On: 360, PC, DS

7:51 pm - 14 comments - 2 Kudos - Report!
Comments
SG_dave wrote on Aug 31st, 2010 11:19am

I'm sorry 'carpi, but i struggle to see the draw in any game that can be described as "in a similar vein to games such as The Sims".
Thye bore the hell outta me.

quote

Demon Wolf wrote on Aug 31st, 2010 11:32am

The Graphics in this game are very good, Final Fantasy 13 doesn't get even close.

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creelers wrote on Aug 31st, 2010 11:48am

:haha:

This game owns Space Marine kills 10 million aliens in 8 hours.

That's Halo for you simpletons.

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Count Seanula wrote on Aug 31st, 2010 11:55am

:heart: I think that's all I really need to say

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Regibald wrote on Aug 31st, 2010 12:12pm

Needs more in the review :p

Whatever these kudo things are, you can have two of them.

quote

cornmancer wrote on Aug 31st, 2010 12:41pm

Only skimmed because I'm hungry and should be making myself breakfast, but good job as always. Graphics are way better than FFXIII yadda yadda but I think DW got that already. I'll probably buy it at some point simply because I love Rare.
Now time for some food.

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the_white_bunny wrote on Aug 24th, 2012 7:12pm

i bought it on XBLA for my girl. she has a folder with every pinata,variation,how to turn the evil ones, ect....

so it must be doing something right for her to get so into it.

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