* Prices may differ from that shown
Viva Pinata: pocket paradise is a game where you have little patch of land which is over run with weeds and trash, your objective it to clear this and plant seeds to grow crops and plants in order to attract and raise Pinata, you unlock different pinata's by gaining experince points by completeing all the requirments for all your resident pinatas and breeding them.
Firstly, you start the game with a little patch of land, this throughout the game gets bigger and bigger as you level up and gain experience points, as well as your land being run down you start with a set of run down tools such as an old watering can and a broken shovel as you level up you get better shovels that have more options, also as you unlock more villagers you can buy better watering cans that don't run out of water like the first can. You also automatically start off with a pack of endless small grass seed, later in the game you can unlock a long grass seed packet which you will need to buy to fulfill the requirements of certain Pinata.
The first Pinata that you will unlock is a worm type pinata called a 'Whirlm' most of the Pinatas are based on real animals ranging from a worm to a hippo but they all have quirky names such as 'fudgehog' (hedgehog) and Squzzil (squirrel) You will attract the whirlm because you have new clean soil, this will make it a resident, you then find out the requirements for it to be in love, with a whirlm it needs to have 1% of your garden soil and a house in your garden, this you get given by billy the builder for free when you first start, you then mate your whirlms and Storkos will bring the egg and it will hatch, this is how you breed your pinata's.
Each Pinata has different requirements such as a sparrowmint (sparrow) will only become resident after you have breed to whirlms and to romance this it needs to eat a whirlm. Also the requirments for residents and romance can be anything from having a certain number of trees, certain plants, pinatas or even an ornament, a Horstachio (horse) needs a large amount of grass where as the Chippopotamous (hippo) needs a very large amount of water which you can dig with your shovel once you have the right upgrade.
For every pinata there is a varient certificate, this is where you feed a certain pinata a seed or flower it will change colour giving you the achievement, in the game it doesn't give aany hints at all and I had to find out through youtube, but you evolve some pinata also such as a Taffly can be evolved by sending it into a flaming torch, setting it on fire and it becomes a Reddhott, you can do this with a lot of them which the game doesn't make very clear so not sure how younger children would realize that without asking someone else, altogether there are 60 different kinds of pinata to collect. There is one pinata called the Jeli which will only ever appear in the game once and it will not alert you when it is close to your garden, I find this very annoying because I have not succeeded in catching one yet so I've only ever completed the game 99%.
It does become rather tedious breeding the same pinata over and over again to get the achievements for a different pinata but it is deffinately worth it when your really close to leveling up. I found that once I had all the garden upgrades and it was as large as it could go, I started to ease off a bit and pace myself and relaxing with it, I wasn't in such a hurry to get as many different pinatas at once, I took more pride in the garden and fertilizing the plants so they got more flower heads on them making the villagers very proud of my garden, once you get into this game, the time really flies by and the next time you look at the clock you'll notice you've been playing this for 3 hours straight and you never even noticed.
The game play for this is around 15-20 hours although you can of course spend as long as you want in this game even if you have all the pinata's you can still breed and send them to the children's parties, there are other side tasks to do in this game including helping Ivor the beggar get back on his feet and help turn all the sour pinata's back good again. I think this game is mainly aimed at children and adults would be put off by the 3+ on the front of the game however do give this ago it is one of the best ages I've ever played, especially if you love fun silly games.
You can buy this in any game shop and online at amazon prices range between £10 - £25
Viva Pinata was something of a flop on the Xbox 360 back in 2007. A somewhat sedate, colourful, child friendly game on a console known for shooty exploding things and obscene name calling whenever you played online. It's a pity because it was an absolute gem with some of the most stylish, endearing gaphics and surprisingly deep yet accessible gameplay. A few spin offs and sequels have followed but the series just hasn't captured the audience it deserves. So, developers Rare have taken a punt on the Nintendo DS; the unofficial home for innovative and original games that can't find an audience elsewhere. Essentially the game is a remake of the original Xbox 360 release, I was expecting a significant amount of dumbing down but it's remarkable just how true to the original Pocket Paradise is. A few hours of gameplay and you'll probably feel like Viva Pinata was designed for the DS.
The game opens by placing you in control of a small plot of soil full of rubble and junk. Providing you with tools such as a handy spade, seeds and a watering can you are left to restore your patch of land and turn it into a flourishing garden. Spruce the place up a bit and you'll begin to attract Pinatas, paper animals filled with sweets that each have their own needs and desires. Meet their needs and they'll move into your garden for good and forever be worrying your turnips. Pinatas come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments. Overcrowd the garden and you'll have a fight on your hands. it's a great concept for a game and generally works out well in practice. Managing your garden while keeping your own little ecosystem working can be tricky but it's always fun and everything is done with a bit of charm. It's the best kind of game for kicking back with on a sunday afternoon but also works well for quick sessions on the train or just for a break from other jobs. It has enough depth to occupy one for hours with Pinatas to feed and breed or long term goals for you garden to work on but it compliments this with excellent pick up and play characteristics. It's easy enough to just turn it on, water your seed and harvest a few crops, manage your garden a bit and then put it away and come back later. It's full of options while keeping interaction fairly simply, I wouldn't say this is an ideal game for very young children as it relies on some basic reading skills and a good head for menus and sub menus but I think it would absorb a ten year old.
As a DS title it's exemplary, touch screen controls are always responsive and it uses the bottom screen for the main game while leaving information on the top. Thoughtfully, it include a screen swap button so you can easily switch the blurb to the touch screen and probe for further details if you need to. It runs smoothly and with the amount of gameplay on offer I'd imagine it's eating up a very large portion of the cartridge. Its biggest strength is that it never feels like a more sophisticated game that has been shoddily wedged onto the system. Rather Rare has taken the time to rebuilt Viva Pinata from the ground up with the DS player in mind.
A slight niggle is in the graphics. For a DS game I have no complaints and they always represent the game well but it's such a shame that the DS can't quite carry the phenomenal patterns, colours and textures of Viva Pinata that the original had. While that might sound like a petty gripe, it was one of the most immediate attractions of the console version. While the DS' limited power rarely prevents it from running some great games, it does still have its drawbacks. Slightly less obvious but equally disappointing is the limitations on the size of the garden, while it expands as you develop, it never quite opens up enough to breath.
A few other things didn't make the cut to the portable version but these are minor really. Mating Pinatas no longer requires playing the minigames though the little mating dances are still here. Tools are a bit simplified and missions are intergrated into the main game a little more. Most of these changes are positive and help make things feel a bit more streamlined.
Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise is not for everyone. It's for fans of open ended, interactive gameplay. Fans of games like Sim City, Harvest Moon and maybe even Animal Crossing. It's not too pacey and not too complex but does require planning and patience to get the most out of it. For people who enjoy that sort of gameplay then it's an absolute pleasure and offers a huge range of different activities and ideas. It's a game that you can sink a lot of time into and get a lot back in return and it's a first class DS game, making the most of the console at all times. Players of the 360 titles might find the lack of eye candy a little disheartening but should warm to the idea of the same excellent gameplay on a handheld system. Highly Recommendable.
I bought Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise for the DS expecting it to be mildly entertaining but perhaps a bit childish, & was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was & how much gameplay I got out of it.
I originally thought it was based on a children's TV programme, however it turns out to be the other way around, & the TV series is based on the original Viva Pinata Xbox game, released in 2006. You don't need to have seen the TV series or be familiar with the earlier game in order to understand or enjoy this version.
You start off with a garden full of rubble & the aim is to develop it so that it attracts different 'pinatas', which are creatures that mostly resemble cartoon animals, for example the Lickatoad looks like a toad, & the Sparrowmint looks like a bird. You can decide how much grass, soil & water to have in the garden, which seeds to plant, & which decorations to buy. Different combinations attract different pinatas, & more options are available for developing the garden as you progress through the game.
When you attract your first pinatas, you grow quite fond of them as you're so pleased they liked your garden. However before long you become more ruthless & realise the older pinatas have to be sold to make room for newer, more valuable ones in your quest to become a Level 10 Gardener & reach 100% completion (your progress in these areas is tracked on the top screen). It becomes surprisingly addictive & I have had many hours of play trying to get every last pinata award in the game & reach 100%. I didn't find the gameplay childish at all, & although it eventually gets slightly repetitive, it doesn't get boring as you still want to reach your goals.
The game is well-suited to the DS as every action involves the stylus (although you can scroll around the screen using the arrow keys). The music & sounds are quite fun & not distracting, & the animation is very cute. The controls are very easy to learn thanks to little tutorials that appear every so often in the game when new skills are needed.
Viva Pinata Pocket Paradise is a good game, not great but kept me amused for a while.
It's all about managing your very own garden from a run-down mess to a garden of paradise for your pinatas.
You start off with a small patch of garden that you must tidy up and then the game really starts, as you plant vegetables and plants with the aim to attract various pinatas.
Each pinata will be unlocked along the way as you build a garden to their individual liking, as each one prefers different flowers, fruit or other garden requirements such as a certain type of grass or water.
The aim of the game is to attract the pinata and then to keep them in your garden by making them residents and then making them do the 'romance dance' to reproduce. To do this you must see what their resident and romance requirements are and this could be eating a certain other pinata, eating a certain fruit or seed and then giving them a nice new house to live in.
You must also make sure that your pinatas are all generally happy, otherwise they will fight and you can do this by buying nice new accessories such as hats, scarfs, glasses etc. I found this quite fun, as you can make them look quite silly!
In the garden you will also be faced with bad pinatas, called Sour pinatas, such as Sour Shellybean and these just generally try to cause trouble by doing things like leaving poisonous sweets that make your pinatas ill.
There is also the evil Dastardos, who will try and take away your ill pinatas if the doctor doesn't get to them in time!
As the game commences and you attract more pinatas you will eventually unlock more garden area for you to work with and attract even more stunning pinatas.
You can also sell your pinata, which I normally do by making the pinatas reproduce and some of them can actually make you a nice wedge of cash and this allows you to buy some pinatas.
There are so many pinatas in this game and they all resemble real life animals and they have names very similar to various sweetie items, for example:-
fudgehog- looks like a hedgehog, contains the word fudge.
bunnycomb- looks like a rabbit, sounds like honeycomb.
buzzlegum- looks like a bee, sounds like bubblegum...etc etc.
Along the way you also unlock various garden characters with a shop each for you to perform certain actions, for example if you go to Willy Builder's shop, you choose a pinata house that you need and he will come build it for you, Costalot's shop allows you to purchase many different items such as seeds, fruit, vegetables and decorative items for your garden.
There is quite a lot to keep you entertained for a while, I just got a little bored of doing very similar things (like trying to fulfil each pinatas garden requirements) over and over again.
This is a weird game!
I liked the sound of it - little cute pinatas (funny little creatures for the uninitiated) that you had to build a garden for to help them flourish. And to start with, it was fun. You get lots of instructions on what you need to do to attract the first pinata into your garden, and I successfully got the first type (a little wormy like thing) living in my garden, bred it with another one, fed them carrots. All of which was great and I was starting to enjoy tending to these funny little creatures.
But then it got a little more difficult - the instructions ran out, nothing was indicating what I needed to do - I looked through every option on the game, read the manual cover-to-cover, and still...no clue.
I fumbled around in my garden for a while, building paths and hoping to magically attract a new pinata and help my garden flourish, but to no avail. Eventually I gave up and went back to brain training.
Okay this game may not be for everybody, but so far the kids and everyone who has ever played it with me or that I lent my game to loved it, even the guys(who never admit it).
The game involves you nurturing your owen garden and using equipment and buying and growing stock, food etc in order to bring wildlife to the garden. You must fulfill different tasks in order for different animals to com eto the garden and they start of from the worms and go up to horses, bats, toads, cats, moths you name it.
All the creatures you see in the game are soo cute even the ones who are evil. The game is adictive, to the max. This game will have you sitting around playing with your pinatas, breeding them and getting your garden bigger and bigger all the time.
Very simple gameplay for this game you get a spade, a watering can and the magic abilty to sow grass. And then you you plant and grow crops formoney etc and to get new pinatas as residents. The game will keep you entertained for many hours. With all sorts of critters and manyhours of good gameplay, you will like to play this game
For those that don't know, Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise is developed by Rare, who is actually owned by Microsoft. Since they're not in the handheld business though, and the touch screen goes perfectly with this game, the game was made for the Nintendo DS. 2 Viva Piñata games so far have appeared on the Xbox 360, and though this game isn't as good looking graphically, the DS version is actually still a full game, complete with loads of Piñata.
Before the review has even properly started, I know it will be pretty hard to describe what exactly you do in this game, because it's so original. It's technically a simulation game though you can't call raising a garden of Piñata simulating really. Because, as a basic description, that is exactly what you do-raise a garden of Piñata.
You have a small patch of land, initially dirt. You can plant seeds to grow crops, and put down grass in order to raise Piñata. In order for more Piñata to become available you must gain experience by attracting and breeding Piñata, and growing plants and trees. It all sounds so dull when wrote out like that, but in reality it is an incredibly fun game, with some nice humour and it is obviously made with the same intentions as Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. Not specifically for the casuals, but a relaxing game none-the-less. Piñata in the game represent real animals, ranging from the Worm to the Bear, all of them brilliantly created with a lot of heart.
The aim of the game has been described above, and that is pretty much what the gameplay is too. You don't control the Piñata themselves; you have very little interaction with them. The aim is to make them appear, where they walk around the outskirts of your garden, teasing you because they won't enter. Then you must fulfil the requirements to make the Piñata visit your garden, where a colourless version of them will walk through the garden for a while until you meet the requirements for them to become a resident, where they will burst into colour and will never leave your garden.
It's remarkably well done and watching a Piñata go around the outskirts of your garden, just teasing you ant not entering can be extremely frustrating, though more in a humorous way than an annoying way. Obviously as you level up the Piñata requirements become a lot harder, or more time consuming at least, and the difficulty curve slopes extremely well. Although the start is maybe a little slow (especially when playing it through for the second time), it quickly becomes a relaxing game with progresses at a decent place, obviously depending on your ability. As you level up the Piñata will not only become a little harder to get but also more interesting, this definitely helps keep you playing the game. With 60 Piñata to get, the game will last you a good few hours if you are new to the series (12-15 hours at least) and though this time decrease on further playthroughs it will still last you a fair amount of time and there is enough replay value in there for you to play more than once.
What are the requirements for Piñata though and how do you fulfil them? Well, the requirements do change a fair amount, but generally they involve having a certain amount of plants or certain species in the garden. There are 4 different terrains you can have (dirt, short grass, long grass and water) certain Piñata need these as well which means you are constantly kept active with your gardening tools, planting seeds and buying objects to place in the garden to attract piñata. To buy of course, you must make money, which involves selling crops and Piñata. With 3 or 4 different Piñata walking around the outskirts of your little garden, you are certainly kept active having to alter your garden to accommodate for certain species, as you can not always meet every requirement at once. For example, a Horstachio (Horse) requires a large amount of grass, whereas a Chippopotamus (Hippo) requires a large amount of water. There's a day and night cycle in the game meaning certain Piñata will appear and disappear at certain times, and watching a Hippo walk out of your garden, not knowing when it will next return is frustrating when you realise you have to keep your garden to his requirements. It is this frustration that keeps you playing though, desperately wanting to acquire certain Piñata, in the type of addiction I used to get when playing the old Pokemon games and needing to capture a certain Pokemon.
Thanks to the stylus everything is controlled extremely easily. There are not too many menus in the game, as mostly you just have to choose some equipment from the HUD and use it with the stylus, but throughout, the controls are superb. If you want to plant a seed, you get out the shovel, use the stylus to take away some dirt, and then drag the seed, or whatever you are planting to the dirt, and pressing OK. It is easy to see who Rare wanted to put this series on the DS, because it is the type of game that touch screen controls are made for.
If you want a relaxing game, you can't get much better, though the game certainly has its faults. In order to gain experience points you must acquire and breed piñata, feed them foods for them to change colour, and grow trees and plants. Overall it is quite fun, though the breeding can sometimes get tiresome. When you gained one of a certain Piñata, you can pay someone to fetch others for you. So when you have a lot of money, it becomes quite pointless breeding, because Piñata can be acquired so easily. However, it is something you are forced to do when you are on the verge of levelling up (each level will bring you more Piñata) but there is nothing else to do except for breed. Breeding is the one time the game becomes frustrating in a bad way. If you learn to do it from the start, so it just becomes part of a daily activity to breed certain Piñata then it is not that bad. However, and this will be the case for most people new to the series, it's easy to just get lost in trying to acquire new Piñata, so you are left with large chunks of time where you can do nothing except breed, slowly watching the experience bar raise until the game becomes truly fun again. That is not to say the breeding is completely boring, it can be a laugh when you have other things to do. Piñata have requirements for breeding also. Also, breeding is one of the times the games humour shines through. Considering the premise of the game, it is mainly aimed at the young, though it does have some great innuendo to keep adults entertained. A lot of it may be childish humour, but it keeps you entertained anyway. When breeding for example, no graphic acts can be shown obviously, so there are provocative dances in mini-cut scenes which, whilst childish, have some funny innuendo.
There is slightly more to do of course and to keep the game from getting too relaxing Piñata can fight, and then there's "Sour Piñata" which you must keep out since they can make your piñata ill. The 2 dangers don't happen too often, just enough to keep you on your toes so you are left with an extremely pleasing game.
There is one problem that is worth mentioning, regarding Piñata. There's one Piñata that only appears in certain save files, which I find to be poor game design. Although you can trade between save files, it means some people must start again to get one Piñata, and it is down to luck whether he appears or not. Getting 99% complete and being one piñata down because of luck is quite irritating.
Overall though it is a brilliant game, and one any DS owner should look into. It costs £18 on Amazon and is easily worth the money because it is a brilliant game with only a few small annoyances. Although it is not like Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing, it has the same relaxing feeling, so if you're a fan of any of those two games then it's worth checking out.
I played Animal Crossing for around 6 months and it started to get a bit repetitive so I looked around for something similar to play, and this was recommended to me.
In the game you're given a garden - the aim is to basically attract new Pinatas to your garden through the others you already have, the plants and fruit etc. As you go up levels, your garden gets bigger. It's similar to animal crossing in the way that there's no actual goals as such, but a lot more satisfying when you up a level and have more to do.
The pinatas eat other pinatas and fight to leave various sweets around the garden - mainly used for romance and producing more pinatas.
I found myself feeling like a kid and feeling a bit disheartened when one of my pinatas was attacked and burst, but you soon get over it when a new one comes back!
The controls are simple, and the graphics and sound are very bright and fun with a childlike feel.
Although there's no actual aim of the game as such, it's great for sitting and relaxing in front of the tv, as there's not too much concentration needed, highly addictive!
~'Really, sex, violence and flowers?~Look at those happy smiley colourful animals in the picture-you gotta be kidding!' ~
C'mon I know that's what you're thinking.... :) but bear with me...I will explain!
Viva Pinata Pocket Paradise is a spin-off game from an XBox 360 game originally released in November 2006. It was one of those games that was critically acclaimed but then didn't do as well as it really deserved, and has recently been given away free with consoles... that's how slow it's sales were. But that has renewed interest in the concept and led to an XBox 360 sequel in May 2008, and this Nintendo DS sequel which was released in September 2008.
After playing the original version for a little while and enjoying it, I wanted to have the DS version for playing during my sometimes long and boring commute to work (that and my boyfriend got bored watching me play it on the TV in the living room!) So I asked Santa for it for Christmas and he must have thought I had been good this year because there it was on Christmas day...
~Ok, enough with the life story, what's the game about?~
Right, this may sound a little odd but basically you have a garden which you have to look after and fill with pinata (the hollow animals you have at Mexican children's parties which are filled with sweets and you hit with a stick until they break) with the aim of sending them off to childrens' parties for rewards.
You start out with a rubbishy bit of ground which you have to tidy up and plant grass and flowers, and then you attract your first Pinata. This is a worm like creature called a Whirlm. From there on you have to attract more pinata to your garden, meet certain conditions to get them to breed (this is called romancing in the pinata world), and feed them certain foods in order to develop different variants... or even get them to evolve to different species of pinata.
Some of the pinata are carnivores and need to eat other pinata in order to be ready to romance (the Whirlms are pretty much bottom of the pinata food chain!) but in a non-scary way. They throw things at each other until one breaks and then they eat the sweets which are inside the broken pinata to the sound of children cheering. Actually, that does sound a little sinister now I read it back. The others all eat various plants, flowers or fruits which you have to grow or buy. When your pinata are ready to romance, a little heart appears over their heads. You point them in the right direction and then they go off and do their little romance dance and a little while later an egg is brought by Storkos (a lady in a bird outfit who flies, of course!).
The egg hatches into a baby, and your garden population increases... you can sell the babies, wait for them to be requested by Pinata Central (the guys who send them out to parties) or leave them running around, although your garden will get a bit busy if you do this!
Other pinata can earn money for you (chocolate coins being the currency of this game) by producing items you can sell. For example, a Buzzlegum will produce honey and a Goobar will produce wool.
The general aim of the gaim is to attract all the pinata (there are 60 different variaties in this version with 7 new ones not in the original game), gain all the possible awards for breeding them and developing different variants and species, while earning as many chocolate coins as possible. And that's all there is to it!
Sex, incest (breeding children with parents/ grandparents/ aunties/ uncles etc!), cannibalism. General all round family fun!
I think it's great! The DS version handles much more easily than the Xbox version as you use the touch screen to menouvre (?) around your garden. Getting your pinata to do what you want seems a lot easier and you no longer have to complete a mini game every time you romance one of your pinata, making the game play a lot quicker.
The top screen shows you information about what is happening in your garden, and about your pinata. It shows animations of pinata which are visiting your garden or if they are doing their romance dance for the first time. This used to interupt the game play but now can you watch it, or carry on with what you are doing if you're not interested!
Most of the characters from the original game are here- but with the added benefit that they you don't have to listen to their repetitive phrases this time around! You can pop down to Costolot's to get your seeds and garden pharaphenalia, and Willey Builder is here too to build your pinata houses.
The pinata themselves are cute, with names based on sweets and sounds (my personal favourite in the Shellybean, which is a snail like pinata) and you can get quite obsessive about collecting them all- I got all excited the first time I got a pinata which wasn't in the original game. Sad, I know. You can even name them all individually and dress them up in hats and other silly outfits! Just don't get too attached to some of your pinata, if your favourite Whirlm gets eaten by a visiting Fudgehog you're gonna be sad!
This game is not as complicated as it sounds, but it's not really for people who want a game with a definite ending. This is an open-ended which I am told this a similar idea to games like the Sims and Animal Crossing, but I haven't played these games myself so I couldn't say how they compare. It's supposed to be aimed at children, in fact the concept has been made into an animated children's TV show, but I'm not really sure how many children will have the patience needed to complete all the objectives.
This isn't really my area so this won't be too in depth!
Developed by Rare Ltd
Published by: THQ
Genre: Life Simulation
Released September 2008
Official Nintendo DS Magazine rating: 90% earning a Gold Award
Currently £18 on Amazon.co.uk