Review by sanitarium5555

"Absolutely Great......For an hour!"

I have been a die-hard fan of Rare, since I was a little kid playing Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo. At the tender age of 4, 5 (Maybe six), I discovered that some game developers just "have it". A god-like gift, allowing them to craft seemingly perfect games. Rare's last two forays into the gaming industry were welcomed with open arms, but let's just say the arms were folded quickly after. Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo were GOOD, but they didn't emit the elegance of Rare. Soon after, Rare fully announced "Viva Pinata", a game they've been working on for the past few years. I thought to myself, "I'm definitely buying this". What could you not like? It's by Rare, It's a sim game, and it's quirky and fun-looking! Well it was, but it quickly stopped. Welcome to the wacky, briefly fun world of Viva Pinata.

|STORY= 3/10| You can't really imagine Rare having a game with a lame story, but here it is! Viva Pinata is about a desolate, and dirty piece of land that you must craft into your own personal Garden of Eden. As the grass gets greener, and as ponds form, and as houses are built, you will attract pinatas, which add to the fun! There are a bunch of quirky, and funny characters. The one you'll be seeing the most is Seedos, your own little personal assistant, with a mask. Other characters include people to help you out with every little thing. The designs for the characters are actually great and unique, but it's just...not there. It seems as if the writers were from another company posing as Rare. Nevertheless, Story shouldn't matter in a game like this.

|GAMEPLAY=5/10| The object of Viva Pinata sounds great on paper, and even in spoken word. You gotta make the best piece of land you can, and many, many species of Pinata animals will make themselves at home, that is if you meet the requirements. There are over 60 types of Pinatas, each with they're own personality, and you spend a majority of the game buying seeds, crafting land, building houses, and other stuff to attract them. However, it doesn't sound that easy. Pinatas will come to your garden as black-and-white creatures. You have to meet a certain amount of requirements to make them "move in", which is extremely frustrating if your garden is already big. When they're moved in, you want to have more of the same kind, so they can reproduce, right? In order for THAT to happen, you have to meet another list of requirements for both pinatas. These requirements aren't something like "Must have House", or "Must have Grass". I'm talking about stuff along the lines of eating a certain number of fruits that you have to grow trees to get, and making other pinatas move in, just so you can eat them, and repeat the process over and over again. This game is supposed to be kid-friendly, but for someone MY age, I don't understand a bit of it.

|GRAPHICS=9/10| To distract you from messy gameplay, the graphics in Viva Pinata are phenomenal, and Pixar-quality. Each pinata is given different facial expressions and designs. Rare added incredible detail to the game, that goes to the point where you can zoom in, and see individual blades of grass, or pieces of paper on your pinatas. Weather effects are excellent, too. Water and rain looks great.

|SOUND=8/10| Rare's been known for fantastic sound and music in it's games, and Viva Pinata is no exception. There's voice acting for literally everything that's alive in the game, and ANYTHING can make a noise. To accompany the great sound effects, we have Orchestrated Music by one of Rare's top dogs in the sound department. The music can feel whimsical, like an old Looney Tunes cartoon, to mysterious and fearful.

|OVERALL=6/10| What more can I say? I've been a fan of Rare for a long time, and it seems that every project they make it worse than the one before it. Viva Pinata tries to be something different, fun, and quirky, but in the end, it ends up being a frustrating experience that'll keep you occupied for at least an hour. If you're over the age of eleven, prepare to be confused when you're playing this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 07/09/07

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