Guilty Gaming Pleasures: Viva Pinata!

This is a bit of an old one but I thought I’d do it because I am quite fond of this game, even though I got some good-natured (mostly!) abuse from my friends for playing it. They looked at the bright colourful graphics and immediately thought kids/Girly game so to that I say BLEH! (again).

Viva pinata was developed by Rareware of goldeneye, banjo kazooie fame. This is a game where you have to build a garden… (Hey stop laughing in the back!) and you have to attract animals to your garden and make them residents by fulfilling a certain goal or two to make them stay. This is where micro managing comes in because you only have a limited area to build your garden, and at the same time you have to get as many different species of pinata to stay to progress to bigger areas and better levels so you can attract rarer types of pinata, admittedly this is starting to sound like a certain famous game where you… Gotta Catch Em All? I don’t know maybe its just me…

As ive mentioned the animals are living pinatas and they have appropriately candy based names such as, Fudgehog, Chewnicorn, MouseMallow etc which I think you’ll agree are all masculine grown up names and nothing remotely kiddy about it… Anyway as you make more and more of the little darlings resident in your garden, you level up and earn more space to expand your garden into plus more equipment like better digging shovels or water cans etc, also different seeds with which to attract different pinata to your garden as some are only attracted to specific plants and sometimes there a bastard to get a hold of.

(From the party game that they made in the viva pinata universe)

As ive mentioned before there is a leveling system, which takes the form of a flower petal and as you grow more stuff, attract more pinatas among other things the petals get filled in and when a flower is formed you level up! (I’m not helping my cause here am i?).

The enemy or opposing force if you will are the “Sour” pinatas who come into your garden randomly to try and sabotage your work either by attacking your good pinatas or shitting out bad candy for the pinatas to eat and then get sick…. Work that one out. They can be stopped all together by leveling up and buying sections of a totem pole, which when activated keep them from ever visiting your garden. However you can tame the “Sours” and cause them to change into their nice forms for various bonuses etc.

There are also secret pinatas you can get by mining in your garden (yes i said mining) and eventually discovering hidden pinata eggs which im proud, yet ashamed to say that i ended up getting all of them. Also you can evolve certain species by feeding them specific food and then hitting the cocoon at a certain point, which when taken out of context is really fucked up!

All of this is wrapped up in a micro managing strategy game, which in all honesty a lot of fun to play behind its cutesy art style. But it suffered in sales, i expect because of its art style seeing it for the first time I think the first reaction must have been, no blood?, no guns? no thank you! Now don’t get me wrong i like that stuff in games too but there’s always room for playing different genres, why tie yourself down to one specific game type and miss out on the many great experiences that games can offer you? Go out there and try something new guys and girls you may be surprised.

Oh and finally they did try to make a tv series out of this, initially releasing episodes on xbox live which I did watch, once! And it predictably sucked but hey extra points for the effort guys!

I leave you with this (kill me now ugh)

Thank you for reading

Dave

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