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Viva Piñata (Xbox 360)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Robstein (175)
Written on  :  Dec 19, 2006
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars

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Summary

Holy cow, it's 6:30 in the morning already??!!

The Good

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting to get into this game as much as I have. It's weird, very kiddie, and weird. I said "weird" twice on purpose. As much of an oddball as this game is, I found it nearly impossible to stop playing. I found myself spending hours trying to coax a "Mousemallow" to decide to stay in the garden so that I could use it (and its offspring) to in-turn attract a "Syrupent". It's ridiculous, I know, but I couldn't stop. Graphically, this game is no slouch either. If you zoom in on a critter, you can see their "fur" is really finely cut tissue paper. Not only that, but if you zoom in close to the ground, you can see that the grass is just as detailed. Another nice touch is how the creatures interact with the environment. Birds will perch on trees and houses, bugs will crawl up the side of plats, etc... It's actually pretty impressive.

The Bad

My biggest gripe with this game is the interruptions. They slow down after about the two hour mark, but they're really annoying. Imagine enjoying yourself, building a home for your new resident or what have you, and then Leafoss (your guide to the world) jumps in with some info, such as a new species visiting your garden. That by itself isn't too bad, but then imagine it's about 45 seconds later, and you're deciding where to place a "Buzzlegum" hive, when suddenly, she interrupts you again to tell you that visitor from 45 seconds ago just became a resident. Now, after an cut-scene you can't skip, you have to go back to the builder, select the hive, find a spot for it, etc... The fact that this type of thing happens all the time makes it pretty hard to over-look.

The Bottom Line

It's like someone tossed Pokemon, the Sims and Animal Crossing into a blender and hit "liquify". Then they took this goop and rigged it to pump directly into your veins. This game is item-collecting, animal-raising, world-building crack.