Product Type: Microsoft Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... live in your garden and you help them grow up. There are over 60 different pinata species that can visit your own personalised garden... more
Viva Pinata: Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Member Name: TJGardner
Viva Pinata: Limited Edition (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Stunning Graphics, Customise Everything, Interact with friends using Xbox Live
Disadvantages: Can Feel Childish
I am not ashamed to admit that Kameo is my favourite Xbox 360 game, I believe that it showed of the capabilities of the Xbox 360 right from the start and it still is in my opinion a very beautiful game, so you can imagine how eager I was then to get my hands on Rare's latest wonder that is Viva Piņata and while it isn't quite what I was expecting, I was certainly surprised with what I saw.
To explain this game to people who don't know, basically you are given a patch of land which you must make into a garden which is unique and colourful enough to attract the wild roaming piņatas and make them become residents, as your garden improves and you attract more piņatas, you will then be awarded with different upgrades which enable you to improve your garden even more.
The upgrades that you will receive include improvements to your shovel which lets you enable you to make ponds, cut down trees and bash evil piņatas on the head, being able to do these things comes in very handy and will help you attract all sorts of different piņatas to your garden.
Now this may all sound a bit strange, it's not very often after all that you get a game on a next generation console that is basically based on gardening, but this is so addictive and rewarding, for example when you build a pond and a visiting Quackberry (piņata duck) comes by and then decides to stay you will be so chuffed with yourself or when your garden improves so much that you are awarded more space, it just feels great.
At the beginning of the game you are given a shovel (as mentioned above), a bottomless pack of grass seeds and a watering can, the first task is then to clear your newly acquired patch of land of all the junk lying around, you do this by bashing it with your shovel, you then need to turn the hard soil soft, again your shovel comes in handy for doing this, once this is done you will attract your first Whirlm, this is basically a piņata which isn't really too fussy and only requires so soft soil as a requirement to live on your land.
A person you may want to come acquainted with next is Seedo, he will occasionally wander into your garden and when you speak to him he will throw down some seeds, you can then plant these, give them a water and see the flowers or in some cases fruit start to grow, this in turn will help attract other types of piņata to your garden, although most of them have specific requirements that need to be fulfilled before they will become residents.
Another thing that you need to be aware of in the game is the circle of life, certain piņatas make a nice lunch for their fellow residents and therefore it is essential that you make baby piņatas by fulfilling the requirements needed before the piņatas are in the mood for making love. The process of mating is fairly simple and is in the form of a mini game in which if you are successful will result in your Piņatas doing a sort of love making dance and soon after that a egg will be delivered. Piņatas will also become ill so you must make sure that if this happens you call the doctor straight away as otherwise your piņata's will be split open and eaten by the sour (evil piņata) that lurk about at the edge of your garden.
As you get better at the game you will start to unlock the islands shopkeepers and businesses, this will enable you to buy items such as seeds, accessories for your piņata, helpers as well as being able to build homes for your resident piņatas and an added bonus you are also able to use Xbox Live to send your friends crates full of absolutely anything you like bad or good via the post office.
Of course to improve your garden you will need money and thankfully you can sell anything in your garden, the best way to make money though is to keep breeding your piņatas and then sell them off, the more you do this, the better your garden will become which enables you to acquire more space and therefore more piņatas.
Viva Piņata is a game which is rich in colour and gameplay, it may not appeal to everyone but I would recommend it highly, it is equally playable by adults and children and anyone with a family may find themselves arguing over the Xbox 360 controller, thankfully you can each have your own garden though so it's just a case of sharing your Xbox 360, so while this game is unusual, if you want to play something fun and different it is essential.
Disclaimer: I am the user Wotta at Wonderwallweb.com so this review has also been uploaded there. Just to prevent any confusion.
Summary: Unique and fun, just what the doctor ordered!