Excerpt: As much as we were hugely looking forward to Rare's Viva Piñata follow-up, Trouble in Paradise, there was always the feeling that the dev team would struggle to make a true sequel. Although the original game had a few problems, the core idea and gameplay was near-perfect, making for one of the Xbox 360's best games. Being a sim, Rare couldn't simply build some new levels and a few new enemies and have a sequel.
Excerpt: Rare and Microsoft Game Studios have brought back the Viva Pinata series, and this time the series goes back to its garden creating roots. Which makes us very happy here at Family Friendly Gaming. Over one hundred pinatas are available to the player in various gardens. The different area themed gardens are a nice improvement over the last Viva Pinata game (not counting Viva Pinata Party Animals).
Excerpt: Microsoft has really been grooming the Xbox 360 along quite nicely in order to attract families to the console. Family Friendly Gaming has taken notice, and jumped into the pond with coverage. Viva Pinata is based on Pinata Island, where the little party critters are groomed in garden as opposed to being created. The player starts out in an area that has seen better days, and needs some tender love and care. This is where we the game players come into play.
Summary: Viva Pinata has a great art style and a ton of depth, especially compared to similarly targeted games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. Microsoft added a bunch of new features for this second edition, many of which have a minimal (but positive) impact on the experience. The online co-op is a godsend, as it helps speed up the tedious pace and gives you someone to conspire with during the boring sections (of which there are still more than a few).
Conclusion: Despite having the potential to plant the gamer into a modern reimagining of The Poseidon Adventure, (but with less tidal waves), Hydrophobia falls short of its promise. It’s a wasted concept and it’s let down by lazy execution. It’s a shame that another intriguing concept has been squandered, but such is the life of an XBLA title.
Excerpt: NOTE: This review is intended for parents of disabled children and specifically focuses on what parents of disabled children need to know about this game both in terms of content and accessibility. Viva Piñata, a game in the budget-priced Platinum Hits series for Xbox 360, is an overwhelming success for parents on nearly every count.
Excerpt: NOTE: This review is intended for parents of disabled children and specifically focuses on what parents of disabled children need to know about this game both in terms of content and accessibility.
Conclusion: Technically, the HydroEngine may be a step forward for water physics, but everything else has taken numerous steps back in Hydrophobia. At 1200MS points, we weren’t expecting something especially long, but quality should never suffer this much irrespective of price. The game looks nice, even if the environment is very one-note, the behaviour of the water is spot on and the production values are impressive.