Monday, November 3, 2014

It's Like a Slaughterhouse, For Kids - Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise Freebie Ryview

Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise, by Rare.

Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise is free via Xbox 360 Live Games With Gold until November 15th, 2014.

Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise (which I'm rather sick of typing all the way out already) is a sandbox style game where you raise cute little piñatas so you can stuff them full of candy and send them off to be mutilated by excited young children. It's truly a horrific concept, but as far as I can tell the piñatas make it back safe and sound afterwards, so I'm really not sure how this universe operates.

At any rate, the game centers around building a garden to attract wild piñatas, which can then be tamed and romanced to create new piñatas for further mutilation. I will also say, for a game targeted at young gamers, the whole thing is very confusing. The in game hints are acceptable, but even then sometimes it was a little difficult to know which direction to go in to find a certain item or tool. And there were numerous situations where I knew what the game told me to do, but I had absolutely no clue how to do it. Not the easiest game to follow.

Step 1: Press the "X" button. Step 2: Do all the things with little to no explanation. Step 3: Profit

And then there are long introduction videos for every single new character or piñata, that you can't skip through. You can skip through the info card afterwards, but that was usually the important info you needed to actually do anything about the previously featured new character or piñata.

That being said, once you get past the initial confusion of how to select a floating shovel and make it do your bidding, the actual gameplay is pretty fun, given that you have full rain over creating your garden and developing it to your liking. And the cooperative play is fairly good, given how easy it is to drop in and out, although the controls and views change radically when using the cooperative mode, which is certainly a very strange sensation.

Gardening is more fun with friends. And fire.

The game also features a whole bevy of cute creatures, most of whom you're trying to lure in with plants and candy (as one does) before you force them to mate with a partner via a romance dance (also as one does). It's very cute and kid friendly, so I really can't complain. And sometimes after shooting a bunch of space aliens it's nice to sit back and watch two "not-ladybugs" dance around the house I just built them so some crazy version of a stork can throw an egg at them.


I'd recommend this game to gamers with kids, but the kids may need some assistance, especially early on in the game with trying to learn how the hell to do anything. Past that, if you're an adult gamer who loves cute stuff, this is the game for you. If you're a gamer who doesn't want to sit through a bunch of cutsie unskippable videos and play a game specifically designed to basically have to plot, then you should probably go back to grinding loot caves in Destiny.


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Let me know what you think of Viva Piñata: Trouble In Paradise!

Until next time,


Images courtesy of Wikipedia

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