Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise

List Price: $29.99

Our Price: $19.50

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Product Description

The original Rare Ltd. team behind Viva Pi?ata has reunited to bring gamers Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise, the newest and most fun pi?ata adventure to date. Available exclusively on Xbox 360, Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise reinvigorates a colorful and engaging gaming experience on the Xbox 360 platform. Now with full cooperative and online gameplay modes, the Viva Pi?ata franchise opens its doors even wider with a new game that provides hours of fun for gamers of all ages, fans of the animated series and animal lovers alike.

'Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise' game logo
Return to Pi?ata Island
The Pi?ata finder feature in 'Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise'
Play is easy with the Pi?ata finder.
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Co-op play in 'Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise'
Team up for co-op play in the garden.
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Full customization in 'Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise'
Pi?atas are fully customizable.
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Teach tricks to characters in 'Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise'
Teach pi?atas tricks with the 'trick stick tool'.
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There's New Trouble on Pi?ata Island
Unfortunately, not all is well on the island, as Professor Pester and his gang of Ruffians have wiped out Pi?ata Central's computer records, posing a threat to parties everywhere. Rebuild the computer database and thwart Professor Pester's evil plot by sending pi?atas at full candiosity to parties all around the world. Build and maintain your pi?ata gardens using your creativity and imagination to attract, trap, protect, train, and manage more than 100 different pi?ata species.

More Ways to Play
While Trouble in Paradise maintains the gameplay mechanics players of the original game will remember, it also adds a few new twists, giving players more choices on how to make their garden grow. These include:

Player Guide System - Replacing the traditional tutorial, the optional Player Guide System directs players through a series of loose goals to help them master the fundamental aspects of the game.

Standard Mode - Presenting a challenge for experienced pi?ata gardeners and dedicated gamers, the Standard gameplay mode provides a more tricky option, where players must keep a watchful eye on their garden. Sour pi?atas, feuding species, weeds, illness and limited money call for you to exercise problem solving and creativity to build and maintain an environment where pi?atas can flourish and grow.

Just for Fun Mode - Designed for beginner players, kids and those just looking to explore Pi?ata Island, this mode allows players to jump into the garden and interact with the unique pi?ata world. In this mode the difficulty has been turned down and the fun has been turned up. Sour pi?atas stay away, resident pi?atas remain healthy, weeds don't plague your garden and you have an infinite chocolate coin bank account, allowing you to turn your garden into a veritable utopia of colorful creatures.

Improved Co-Op Play - While the original Viva Pi?ata had a simple system where two players could mutually control the single game cursor via different controllers, Trouble in Paradise adds drop-in/drop-out offline gameplay for two players and online co-operative gameplay for up to four players. This allows additional players to join the game at any time to assist the primary player with gardening tasks.

Key Features:

  • Customize Your Garden and Pi?atas - Plant flowers, dig ponds, even place sand and snow in your garden to make exotic species of pi?ata feel at home. Buy objects to change the weather, or get new toys for your pi?ata. And nurture the thirty-two new species of pi?ata, including sour pi?atas that infiltrate and wreak havoc in the garden. Choose to tame the sours, or feed them candy to keep them sweet.
  • Play With a Friend - Family members and friends can now share in the joy of creating a garden by plugging in an extra controller. The second player has access to all tools, actions, activities, and can help by collecting magic. It's an entirely new way to play.
  • Play Multiple Game Modes - Use the Player Guide System to master the fundamental aspects of the game. Then, try the Standard Mode where sour pi?atas, feuding species, and limited money call for you to exercise problem solving and creativity to build and maintain your garden. Or enjoy Just for Fun Mode, which allows you to build a garden full of colorful creatures without worries.
  • Experience Pi?ata Vision - Plug in an Xbox LIVE Vision camera and interact with the game through the use of printed cards featuring a unique barcode. Flash a pi?ata card up to the Vision camera, and the content will drop directly into the game.
  • Show off to friends - Use the new photo mode to snap, print, and upload pictures of your unique garden or customized pi?atas to show to friends. Photograph your pi?ata and turn it into a pi?ata card, then share it with your friends so they can scan it and put it into their own garden.
  • Teach Your Pi?ata Tricks - Pi?atas can perform dazzling tricks, if you teach them with the new trick stick tool. Watch as pi?atas play together, perch on each other, and interact in new ways to make them even more appealing.
Add Game Content with Pi?ata Vision
Trouble in Paradise also utilizes the optional Xbox LIVE Vision camera accessory through a feature entitled Pi?ata Vision. With this players can import, activate, create and share game content via optical card scanning technology. These cards do not necessarily have to be purchased, and instead are primarily downloaded from the game's website. Game developer, Rare, and Microsoft Game Studios are also considering making certain special cards available as part of promotions with magazines or gaming websites, ensuring that fans of the Viva Pi?ata franchise can expect fresh, exciting for years to come.

Return to magical Pi ata Island in Viva Pi ata : Trouble in Paradise. Unfortunately, not all is well on the island, as Professor Pester and his gang of Ruffians have wiped out Pi ata Central's computer records, posing a threat to parties everywhere. Rebuild the computer database and thwart Professor Pester's evil plot by sending pi atas at full candiosity to parties all around the world. Build and maintain your pi ata gardens using your creativity and imagination to attract, trap, protect, train, and manage more than 100 different pi ata species.

  • Teach single or groups of pinatas dazzling tricks using the new 'Trick Stick Tool'.
  • Fully customizable gardens and pinatas.
  • All new ways to play including the tutorial-based player guide system as well as co-op, standard and 'just for fun' modes.
  • Xbox LIVE Vision camera support via the 'Pinata Vision' feature allows players to scan in game content and share it with friends online.
  • Game features more than 100 pinata species both tame and wild.

Customer Reviews:

  • This game can be addictive
    My boyfriend and I love this game! It's so fun to name the Pinatas, grow your garden and maintain it. ...more info
  • Viva Fun For Kids
    Best part about this game there are 2 levels you can play; the regular Standard Mode were you grow flowers, trees and take care of pi?atas etc.. plus you have to earn money to buy things and you can only have so many items & animals in your garden because you'll run out of Space and the ruffins-the bad guys-come and break things, pi?atas get sick and die, weeds grow and kill your pi?atas etc... makes the game more challenging for adults.

    There is also a JUST FOR FUN mode which my kids Love!! Just like Standard mode you still grow flowers, trees and take care of pi?atas etc.. but you have unlimited money, unlimited space, no ruffins to come mess up your garden and your pi?ata won't ever get ill. It lets smaller children have fun and not worry about money, space or bad guys. They can put up 50 apple trees and not hear "sorry your out of space". Just for fun is just fun, it takes out all the frustration and lets children be creative and design a prefect garden.
    ...more info
  • Hate to be a naysayer, but...
    I played the original Viva Pinata all the way through, which is a rarity for me to do with any game. I was strangely addicted to it and had about a dozen different gardens. I looked forward to the release of the 2nd version, Trouble in Paradise, assuming I would enjoy it at least as much as I did the previous version.

    Perhaps I burned out on the game previously and didn't realize it, but I found myself becoming bored with this version early on. While there are new pinatas to catch, there just didn't seem to be enough, really, for the price. I liked the idea of having sand/desert style items as well as snow. However, I found the method of trapping the pinata in those locations a bit quirky. Why can't I have a garden there, instead of just visiting?

    The thing I liked the most about the new version was the online play. However, I just don't know that many people who play this game to make it a worthwhile feature. As I said in the title of my review, I hate to be a naysayer, but I just don't think this game lived up to its expectations. Try renting it first to see if you really like it before actually purchasing it if you are unsure.

    Oh, and the whole idea of collecting cards & scanning them in with your vision camera is bunk. I don't own a camera as I just don't see the need in seeing the people I am playing online. So unless I want to spend more money, that's just part of the game I will miss out on....more info
  • Save File No Longer Valid
    Thought it was a fun casual game, just like the first one. Only (big) problem. After getting really far; my save file became corrupt some how. I was even careful about not turning off the consol while the save was in progress and everything. And now I'm not motivated to start again. I would be interested to know if anyone else had this problem......more info
  • Awesome game even for adults and serious games
    Don't let the little kid looks fool you. This is even more addicting for adults. And yes, even hardcore games should have a lot of fun with it, if they go in with an open mind. A must have for any 360 owner who doesn't mind a little cuteness in their games....more info
  • Awesome
    It plays like the first game but much better. The menu system is a lot better and makes buying seeds very fast and it's really easy to find pinatas. There's a lot of new plants and pinatas that will keep you busy for hours....more info
  • Viva Pinata
    Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise
    At first I was skeptical about this game,I thought it was only for 10 year olds and younger. I was wrong ,Teenagers and adults will enjoy it....more info
  • A fun game but...
    ...a word on the "multiplayer" aspect (with two controllers): Player One will lead and Player Two merely gets to follow Player One around and plant seeds. Not very fun if you are planning to buy this game for siblings! Our children ended up taking turns and did enjoy the game, however....more info
  • If you've played the first one you're going to love this one.
    This is such an improvement from the first. I loved the first one and this one just adds to it. The JJF r Just for Fun mode is great for my 6 year old sister. The "way points" help her with the beginning now she knows how to build, plant, water, romance, cut, hire, and trap and bait. A great game for young and old. A must buy game!...more info
  • A Few Memory Bytes from a 5-Star Game
    I'm entirely new to the Pinata "universe." I've seen the colorful boxes on store shelves, and kept thinking, "That game looks way too girlish for a 30-year-old man such as myself..." But last week I picked up Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, loved it, and learned that this title was from the same developer. I decided to give it a try.

    You probably understand the premise of this game by now from other reviews - you have a garden, which you can easily reduce to a flat piece of dirt if you'd like, or turn it into a lush environment with trees and flowers and rivers, all while little pinata animals run amuck. The instruction manual tells you how to handle the major chores, like getting pinatas to live in your garden, or getting them to mate, but it never really tells you WHY, or how to get started. So for the first few hours, I zipped around aimlessly, trying to figure things out. I'm still unsure on a lot of things, such as how to become a "Master Romancer" of a certain species of Pinata.

    But the game is very colorful, it's "cute," though doesn't make me laugh quite like Nuts & Bolts does. It's challenging, and it does certainly whittle away the REAL hours of your life. I've spent way too many "work nights" up until 12am!! There's always "one more thing I gotta do," or something else suddenly pops up that you have to tend to - I can admit it has a LOT more value off the shelf than games like Animal Crossing, which can quickly get repetitive.

    But I have one, significant pet-pinata-peeve with VP:TIP. SPACE. (The final frontier...) My garden has a pond at one corner, with a river that stems from it and runs "west to east." I have a few trees, two small areas for planting soil-only seeds, a patch of sand to attract crustaceans, and then a general fenced area where I pen up the pinatas I'm trying to "romance," protect, or hide so as not to scare off other pinatas. I have MAYBE 14 pinatas total - most of which are two-of-one-species. I keep trying to manage my space - selling off one pinata home so that I can build another. But I often end up having to sell EVERY structure (homes and fences) just so that the game will let me build ONE house... It's ridiculous! There's no way that a baker's dozen of animals and a few stationary trees can tax the computing power of the Xbox 360 to the point that the game decides I can't fit any more "stuff." It becomes so frustrating because you end up having to sell off pinatas that you NEED to continue your food chain just so that you can build a house to romance a different species (of which you've been trying to meet the romance requirements for over an hour...)

    This quickly - and I mean QUICKLY - spins VP:TIP into an "almost good" category. So bad in fact that it lost a star simply based on this issue. The Xbox could easily handle twice as much space with twice as much going on - look at those humongous sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto...

    VP:TIP is a deep and engaging game that quickly punishes it's players with an unnecessary build cap. In an industry that could really use some creative insight, VP:TIP builds us up just to let us down....more info
  • Viva Pi?ata: TiP: 5/5
    Not really a "review" per say, but rather just my rating for the game in written form. This game is great. I rated it 5/5. I played, own and beat the first one. You either like the game for what it is or you don't. A lot of people say if you are new to the series, then to start with this one. It's a little harder and complicated that the original Viva Pi?ata. There was a lot for a person like me to learn and get used to after playing the first. But all the charm and greatness of the first one is right here in Trouble in Paradise. So I guess the question is weather or not Viva Pi?ata: Tip is worth the buy if one already had their fill with the first one. My answer is if you liked the first Viva Pi?ata game enough and want more of it, then yes, it is worth the buy. After all, it isn't the same game. There is a small graphical update. Framerate and loading issues in the first one have been polished out a bit. There are more gimmicks, more shops, more characters, more seeds and more Pi?ata animals. That's all one could ask for in a sequel of this type of game. However, like all games of similar type and genre, it feels more like 1.5 rather than a 2. I know it may have sounded like I am contradicting myself by what I just said, but that aside, if you enjoyed the first one and would really consider playing it again, this is something fresh and new. Again, worth the buy. However for those new to the series, I personally recommend trying your hand at the first one....more info
  • It is a nice pinata game.

    f you're my friend or my poor husband, you've heard me running around for months singing the following (to the tune of "La Cucheracha"):

    Viva Pi?ata, Viva Pi?ata
    It is a nice pi?ata game!
    Viva Pi?ata, Viva Pi?ata
    No two pi?atas are the same!

    Before this week, though, it was a lie. All of my brightly colored papery pals were the same. Same colors, same Candyosity, same names. Never more.

    Viva Pi?ata:Trouble in Paradise from Rare and Microsoft Game Studios builds on the original Viva Pi?ata formula of building a garden, attracting and breeding pi?atas, and sending them off to children who enjoy their sweet sweet candy. Players who "dug" the original will like this one, because it has everything the first game has and more. New gardeners won't feel left behind: the game has an excellent and reasonably interesting tutorial system that will set you up with gardening basics. Besides, it's not that difficult a game.

    That is not to say that VP:TIP is not without depth. As in the original, your job is to build and nurse a budding ecosystem literally from the ground up. Start with clearing enough grass or soil and you'll attract adorable little Whirlms in your garden. They'll soon attract Sparrowmints, who will eat the Whirlms and may themselves be eaten by a Buzzenge as a part of their Romance requirement. It's all a part of the great circle of life. Or something.

    VP:TIP improves on the original in several ways. First, it simplifies the menu system, particularly the buying and selling aspects. Gardeners can now just highlight objects for sale and they are automatically marked, rather than having to trudge all the way to the village. On the retail side, objects are placed immediately in the garden right before the money (chocolate coins) changes hands. This saves you "travel time" and really helps in letting you see how you want to plan your garden.

    Other improvements include the introduction of an actual storyline. Professor Pester, leader of the sour pi?atas, has a plan to destroy this paper paradise forever. He's a man (a "straw" man?) with a plan, which both unfurls and unravels as you level up your garden. The Prof's intrusions can range from just sending Sour Shellybeans to eat up all your seeds to building stone walls that keep essential pi?atas out of your garden until you can pay to knock the walls down.

    I mentioned "no two pi?atas are the same", and this time its true. Not only can you still name each and every pi?ata, and design a custom tag for it, but they also all have varying states of happiness. These states are known as the pi?atas' "Candiosity", and are an indicator of how happy your paper pal is in your garden. The higher Candiosity level, the more your pi?ata is worth, and the more likely that she or he will stay in your garden and make lots of little pi?atas.

    The Prof's machinations, along with a more structured mission system (usually "raise a pi?ata with maximum candiosity and ship it somewhere around the world") really add to the adventure without taking away from the sandbox feel.

    Rounding out the new features are opportunities to leave the garden, both in game and out of game. In game, you can use signposts to nip off to such exotic locations as the Dessert Desert and the Pinarctic region. You don't play in these gardens - you go there, capture new and exciting pi?atas, and bring them to your home garden. Out of game, you can search other folks' gardens if they are on XBox Live, or use the Xbox Live vision camera to scan pi?ata cards (ala Sony's Eye of Judgement) and import new pi?atas into your garden. Full garden multiplayer, both at home and via XBox Live, completes the set.

    If this all sounds like a lot, it is because it is, which is one of the chief issues with the game. The problem is not that it is too deep, but rather that there is too much thrown at the player too fast with not nearly enough space to use it all. For example, in order to get a pair of pi?atas to do their Romance Dance (mate) they need a home. Each species of pi?ata has its own type of home, and even the smallest of these, the modest Whirlm home, consumes a considerable amount of real estate. By the time you've built the Sweetle home you need to complete the final tutorial mission, you're out of room for more pi?ata homes unless you significantly tear up your little slice of heaven. Your garden size does increase, but the first bump isn't until level 12, by which time you'll really need the extra space.

    The more things change, however, the more they stay the same. The developers obviously spent a lot of time lovingly crafting pi?atas and items. Why, then, could they not manage to record all new bits for the speaking characters? As far as I know no one had a deep-seated attachment to the exact phrases spoken by shopkeeper Lottie Costalot as she swindled you out of your coins. In fact, most of her phrases (and the other villagers') were pretty annoying. There are some new spoken bits, but most of it is reruns.

    All in all, though, Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise is a worthy sequel to Viva Pi?ata. The visuals have been upgraded, and the pi?atas actually look like paper. The game controls better, and the new Romance Dance cutscenes are hysterical and adorable. If you haven't seen a VP Romance Dance, check one out on YouTube.

    The bottom line is that if you don't like sandbox games or god games, you're not going to start liking them with Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise. If you do enjoy them, and particularly if you enjoyed the original Viva Pi?ata, you've got a lot of love coming in this title. Share it with your friends! Just beware of papercuts.
    I'm giving Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise 4 Wei?atas out of 5....more info
  • Bigger and Better
    Almost everything about this game has been improved. Easier navigation, more features, more pinata, and 4 player co-op over Xbox live! The cover suggests this is just a kids game, but as any dedicated gamer knows some of the best games made are targeted towards families. This game ups the difficulty and rewards of the first. If you are a fan of the original you will love this one. ...more info
  • Excellent Upgrade
    Viva Pi?ata: Trouble in Paradise is a great sequel to the first. Much improved upon menu systems and many more features, pi?ata, plants, and items. Your pi?ata can now be trained to do tricks which can be fun trying to figure out what they need to eat to get them to do tricks. There are now dessert and arctic type pi?ata to be found via going to those realms and trapping them as needed. The trapping is easy to learn and is nice to let you get away from the confines of your garden. You should not stay there long though as time keeps ticking back in your garden.

    They even did a great job in having the same pi?ata from the original game requiring different things to romance or become a resident. So whatever you may remember from the first game for the most part is different now. The romance games are now more challenging as well. The more often you romance the same pi?ata, the harder the mini-game becomes.

    So, if you liked the first game, you should love Trouble in Paradise.
    ...more info
  • Better than the original
    I own the original Viva Pinata so I wasn't sure that I would find this one any more enjoyable than the previous one. I was pleasantly shocked that some of the things I found slightly annoying in the previous game had been fixed, and the addition of new pinatas was also nice....more info
  • Just as fun as the original, with some new twists
    Rare's second outing for the Viva Pinata series is not much different that the original game. The gameplay is relatively the same, the controls are relatively the same, the graphics are practically the same -- at first glance, you'll wonder what effort Rare made on this second game, other than adding two new play areas and a couple dozen new pinatas.

    You'll start this game somewhat similar to how the original game started -- in a garden that barely has anything. The difference is that you'll get a random animal, some flowers, and will attract new pinatas fairly quickly. In fact, the first 30-60 minutes is extremely fast-paced. Many of the original pinatas will appear rather early. The fun, though, is in seeing the new pinatas appear -- watching the reveal videos and then working to make them residents. After that, you'll need to romance them (and you'll see another new video for that new species). This adds a somewhat fresh take on the same old gameplay. This is probably where Rare put in the most effort -- and it seems they've fulfilled requests by gamers for pinatas that were missing from the original.

    The controls are relatively the same, but Rare has implemented some new twists. You'll now have easy access to your pinatas and all the available seeds with simple bumper-clicks. The camera seems to zoom out more than before, so you'll have a much wider view of what's going on. Cycling through and finding a particular pinata is now extremely easy -- Rare did a great job implementing this feature.

    The game incorporates some new challenges. Langston's factory challenges now require that the pinata be at "full candiosity" before you can send them. This will require additional creativity on the part of the player. You can also visit the new Desert and Pinarctic areas, and trap the new pinatas in those locations. This can prove extremely challenging and time-consuming, and since the game continues in real-time, the pinatas in your central garden may start fights, get sick, etc. In addition to the romancing mini-game, you can now involve your pinatas in races and fashion shows, although there doesn't seem to be much value associated to these other than unlocking their associated achievements.

    The Pinata Vision camera/card functionality is only useful for those with a Vision Cam. Gameplay includes an in-game camera function, so you can snap pictures of your pinatas and upload them to a website, where they can be viewed, shared, etc. This creates a much more social aspect to the game, and creates a greater tie between the game console and the Internet. There are also leaderboards incorporated into the game, and your ranking is displayed on the associated website. Other than just reviewing achievements, this is a great way to show others what you're doing.

    The game's achievements are somewhat difficult to unlock. A player should expect to devote many, many hours to this game. Like the original game, most of the achievements should unlock over time as a player gains experience and levels-up. This game is designed with excessive replay value in mind.

    For the most part, the game seems to run faster than the original. Menus open faster, and travel between your garden and the village areas is much quicker. There have been issues with slow-downs, more so than the original game, but fortunately the game has not crashed. Sounds and music are typical and no different than the original game. The CGI-animated sequences show more detail and are much more fluid this round.

    Overall, the game is fun and immersive. It is quite easy to forget about the real world while playing this game, looking up at the clock, and suddenly realizing that 5 hours have passed. The game forces you think in multiple directions at the same time, and with the added desert and arctic regions and the new mini-games and other features, you'll have more to do than in the original. On the downside, however, most of these new features seem to be tacked onto the original game and don't add much value to your primary goal. If you've played the original, you'll be somewhat dismayed to start this one and have to face the same challenges all over again -- sours, ruffians, Pester, as examples. Fortunately, if you've never played the original, you can pick this game up and skip the original. If you're a fan of the original, you'll likely enjoy this....more info
  • 12 year daughter old took to it after giving it a chance
    We bought an xbox for kids for Christmas. Bought this game for 12 yr old daughter. She wasn't sure she would like it initially, but after playing it awhile both kids were laughing and having a good time. It looks a kinda little-kiddish at first, but then new "pinatas" show up - and they are cool.

    If you have a girl who likes games like zoo tycoon (PC), Cooking Mama (wii), etc then this may also be a good choice. My 10 yr old son enjoyed watching his sister play, but I am not sure if he would have given the game enough chance if he had to play it alone till more "pinatas" showed up.

    Thank you, Viva Pinata, for a "girl" game. :)

    ...more info
  • Great game.
    I feel that if you're a fan of the original, you probably don't need this review. For those who are new to the Pinata games, it's a game where you tend to a garden in order to attract new pinatas to it. Gameplay focuses on growing plants and trees, keeping your pinatas safe and happy, and "catching them all". While it seems simplistic and childish, the game is surprisingly deep like the original. As your gardening skills get bigger, you receive various upgrades to your tools, the plants at your disposal, the size of your garden, and of course, the pinatas that are coming in to see what all the fuss is about.

    One of the greatest things about this is how relaxing it can be to tend to your garden and watch the pinatas roam about. While there is a bit of comic violence in the game, it isn't enough to raise eyebrows and is perfectly suitable for most children 8+. Also, the game incorporates 2 player Co-Op so you can play with a friend or with your children. Hopefully this little review helps you get a decent understanding of the game and whether or not you would enjoy it....more info
  • Sour Galore!
    This is a game that will keep you busy. There are many, many events going on within just one garden that you'll have to be ontop of everything to make your experience with Viva Pinata as smooth as possible.

    The sours will constantly keep you on guard as well, and if they are not taken care of early in the game they can eventually over-run your garden and ruin every plow, plant, and pinata.

    My only complaint is the lack of alerts every time a sour enters the garden. When they first enter an alert appears at the bottom of the screen. After that there are no alerts, and you'll have to rely on scouting the garden to make sure a sour isn't eating a pinata or plant while you attend your flower-bed on the other side of the area.

    Professor Pester fits to his name. He will go into your garden nearly invincible and destroy your pinata's, particularly your most valuable ones. The only way to rid of him is to pay him coins, get a fire-breathing pinata or the ape pinata. This can be tricky if you haven't already have the necessities to get these animals. At this point your up a creek with no paddle. He'll began to appear when your level is higher. You can also try to build a fence around your garden but be aware that other pinata's outside won't be able to get in, and Pester can open gates.

    Also make sure to make as much chocolate coins in the beginning in the game, as the chocolate-craving store owner will gradually rise the price on the Tower of Sour pieces, making them expensive. ...more info
  • An overlooked tour de force for the Xbox360
    Let me begin this review by noting this game is not without its flaws. Some of the challenges are frustrating, the controls occasionally choppy, and mastering the minigames requires a level of dedication uncommon in other presumably "casual games." Those gripes, however, are dwarfed by the game's many virtues, and the sense of joy that comes from discovering them.

    Some familiarity with the series is assumed, but for total newcomers to the Pi?ata series, all you need to know is that this is a game about tending a virtual garden and the various virtual lifeforms who come to visit it. Some only visit when certain prerequisites are met, while others are "evolved" from resident species. The game itself is much like a real-time strategy game in which you are constantly managing resources, improving your virtual world, and preventing (or thwarting) attacks on your innocent residents and the garden they inhabit. The net effect of doing this is tremendously relaxing, as the pi?atas are colorful, playful, and sometimes overwhelmingly cute. The score, essentially the same as the one used in the first game, is beautiful and serene - throw in the sound of rainfall, animals doing their thing, and you realize that your little garden does a serviceable job of approximating the sound and mood of nature (albeit an artificially fraternalistic and peaceable one). You play this game to relax, feast your eyes and ears on some sumptuous visual and aural delights, and advance the story, which has you reconstituting pi?ata records that a villain has destroyed.

    The sequel differs from its predecessor in some material respects: (1) you have access to two different biomes from which you can ensnare both Arctic-themed and desert-themed creatures; (2) seed and fertilizer bags provide much quicker access to the tools needed to develop garden flora and fauna; (3) there are an additional 40+ new species and countless new plants and trees; (4) new co-op modes and just for fun modes, (5) a monumental improvement to the pi?ata location system (you can now cycle through all pi?atas using the shoulder buttons), and (6) there are many more options for beautifying your garden space, including new gates, fences, paving, as well as toys, like the "woo woo train" and disco-light flooring

    I never thought I'd be the type to play this game, let alone write a glowing review for it. I am a big Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil, etc. fan. But Rare has simply created a masterpiece with this series; the games are lovely to behold, maddeningly addictive, and an absolute blast to play with folks who otherwise would not play games (in fact, Viva Pi?ata is in many ways a "gateway" game). Kudos to Rare for creating something accessible and beautiful, but incredibly rich, deep and satisfying. The third entry, if there ever is one, is a long way off - until then, we have this gem to enjoy. :)...more info
  • Long live Viva Pinata!
    Alright! Rare actually has given us a sequel to a much loved game and it doesn't disappoint. Lets start off with the basic information for anyone who didn't play the first.

    Viva Pinata: TIP is a sandbox style game meaning that you have a small area of a world to manipulate but no more than that. You get a square of earth on pinata island for the purpose of attracting wild pinatas, filling them with candy, and sending them through a cannon to parties where kids will beat the hell out of them, eat their delicious insides, and send the battered critter back to you so you can do it again. Rest assured it is G-rated fun. Each pinata has requirements to appear, wander into your garden, and live in your garden. For example, If you plant a hazelnut tree squazzils will be interested in you all of a sudden. The ultimate goal is to get all the species, following me here?

    Now the sequel improves upon the first game by giving us a bunch of new species, new plants, and new garden items, but it doesn't stop there. You can travel to the desert or the arctic to trap special area specific pinatas through a trap system that is mildly frustrating I will admit. You pay for and put down a trap, put bait on the trap that the species you want likes, and now you wait and pray that some other more common species doesn't set the trap off thereby wasting your cash. Probably the least well thought out aspect of the game.

    Other new features are aggressive weeds! That's right, you don't watch your garden carefully enough and poisonous weeds will take over! This actually lends a bit of action and tenseness to a situation that was only mildly dangerous before. To compensate, Just For Fun mode allows kids to play through the whole game without weeds, or other dangers. Perfect for the little ones.

    The menu system has been tinkered with, and pinata central requests are now accessible from the village instead of as random pop up requests. To complete a request this time around you HAVE to have a pinata at maximum "candiosity" Read as happiness. This can be a hindrance but only on your cash as joy candy is quicker than other methods. Pester and the ruffians work in the same manner, same with sours, so if you've played the first you know what you're getting into.

    X-box has given us a plethora of options for X-box Live if you pay for the service, and now Pinata vision! Own a X-box camera? Well snap a photo of special cards and pop! new content for your game.

    Now the verdict. Separating modes for kids and for adults was an expert move and both work well. The new species are creative and fun. Trapping is annoying but you'll get it eventually. The menu is better and easier to use than the first games and other new content makes this well worth the cash for it. If you haven't played the first though, I would still recommend you start with it. Remember to watch those weeds! An A+ game for the whole family....more info
  • A game you AND your girlfriend will love
    Rare Inc. is one of the most creative, unique game-makers of this generation, and they prove themselves yet again with this one. My girlfriend loves it, I love it, and quite frankly LOOK AT THAT PRICE! Go check out Banjo: Nuts & Bolts while you're at it, as well....more info


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