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Viva Pinata 360 Review

09/05/2009 Family Teen Gamer Review
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Viva Pinata 360

Viva Pinata

Format:
360

Genre:
Strategy

Buy/Support:
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Other GamePeople columnists have reviewed this from their perspective - huh?:
Family Guide Gamer (DS)
Eclectic Gamer (DS)

I don't quite understand this game, it has me completely perplexed. It is ridiculous and bizarre, seemingly completely pointless and with nothing to actually drive you to do anything. But somehow it is incredibly charming and I absolutely love it!

This game was actually the first game I ever played on my 360, and it pretty much personified everything the machine stood for, and what marked it out as better than its competitors - fun.

You look after smiling, jumping, living Pinatas. If this doesn't tug at your humourous heartstrings, then I don't know what will. I'm blowed if I understand the plotline as to quite why I seem to be caring for these myriads of Pinatas which hop around my little garden patch, though I'm sure it was explained at some point in honesty I was far too preoccupied by watching my Fudgehogs attempting to eat my Mousemallows. Oh, but watch out for Dastardos, he makes your poor Pinatas very ill, don't you know. If that happens you may even have to call the doctor out to make them all better again! Or, of course, you could hit them with your shovel until they explode and lots of sweets come out. Let the sadist in you go wild.

Looking after his little Pinatas and getting them to breed so he had baby Pinatas frolicking around, whilst listening to Jack Johnson in the background and enjoying peaceful acousticy vibes.

Truthfully though, what makes this game such a masterpiece isn't the gameplay at all, it's the incredible atmosphere created. Any game can appear exciting, lots of flashing lights, big sounds, and quick music tends to do the job. It is far harder however, to create a relaxing, peaceful and friendly atmosphere. The characters are fun, their names are even fun-er, and all of the relaxing aspects of gardening and looking after sweet little imaginary animals can now be obtained from your living room, without that terribly off-putting aspect of backache in the morning. What's to lose?

Don't think that this game is only accessible to certain genre-lovers or age groups, either. I walked in on eighteen year old friends playing it in their bedrooms, alike as I have had my niece playing it attentively for hours. Another nifty little 360 goody is the ability to stream and play music on either a computer or the machine its self over the game you are playing. This being possible, the eighteen year old guy in question was in a relaxed world of his own, looking after his little Pinatas and getting them to breed so he had baby Pinatas frolicking around, whilst listening to Jack Johnson in the background and enjoying peaceful acousticy vibes. Not that this is necessary at all, as the music in-game sets the scene very well, and the little animal noises are all very fun. The graphics are gorgeous too, it must be admitted, and immerse you into an entirely fantastical world.

Of course, I've been reviewing this game purely as a form of escapism that everyone will love, but in honesty (and slightly embarrassingly) I got really into this game! I found myself naming all of my Pinatas (there was Fred the Fudgehod, who married Fiona the Fudgehog) and trying to make them all as contented as they could be. I was enjoying the little meta-games you got to play whenever two animals needed matchmaking, I was enjoying changing my garden so that many new Pinatas would come along I was thoroughly enjoying everything! I even found myself getting slightly too annoyed when the bad Pinatas came and fought with my little Pinatas. So yes, I hit the bad Pinatas with my shovel.

This game is absolutely huge, and almost completely open.

I have left out huge numbers of complexities in this game, people to meet, things to buy, problems to overcome and each and every second something new seems to occur! More Pinatas, and 70 of them each with different needs to accommodate, life is certainly never dull in the life of a Pinata gardener, I'll give it that as a feasible vocation. This game is absolutely huge, and almost completely open. There's no way I could tell you everything about it, and where would be the fun in finding out for yourselves if I did? This game is well worth a buy just to satisfy your curiosity!

Oh! I've forgotten what Pinatas are all about! Children's parties! It's the upmost honour when one of your Pinatas gets picked to be shipped off in a massive crate to go and entertain children on that earth planet thingy! Actually, thinking about it, the Pinatas all seem very happy to go and get pummelled by children until their sugar-guts come out then they always come back to your garden in perfect condition - odd. Must be magic.

I see only one thing wrong with this game. You'll never want to swing a stick at a papier mache animal ever again!

Written by Rowan Brown

You can support Rowan by buying Viva Pinata



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Rowan Brown writes the Teen Gamer column.

"I write about my favourite games from a younger person's perspective. It's often surprising how different this ends up to other more grown up reviews."


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