"So much of the [marketing] money went towards Gears of War, which is going to sell millions anyway. It was a bit of like, 'What about the other franchise?' I think we got left in the wake somewhat."
Here at X3F we've always been enthusiastic about Viva Piñata and give it nothing but praise. But, even for us, trying to get other gamers to try the game is a bit of a task seeing that it is somewhat nontraditional. Maybe Microsoft didn't do a good job at marketing it and maybe Gears of War was more important last year, but we have confidence in their commitment to bringing the somewhat under-achieving Viva Piñata franchise into focus again ... heck, we've got BK toys to prove it.
PINATAcast over on the Piñata Island forums did just that, he proposed to his girlfriend by using Viva Piñata and sending her an in game crate filled with a single diamond (the only diamond his diggerling has ever unearthed) with the message "will you marry me?". She was playing on her console in the other room and when she received the message, giggling and laughter could be heard, because she thought it was a silly joke. But PINATAcast was serious and went down on his knee asking for her hand in marriage again. Knowing that he was serious, she started crying, said yes and their wedding is tentatively scheduled for this Spring. Congrats PINATAcast, your interesting proposal worked and we hope you have a happy marriage filled with lots of sugary sweets and fuzzy Bunnycombs. Those damn Bunnycombs are so cute.
Even though we didn't expect to see any new Viva Piñata DLC hit the Marketplace a year after its release, this official confirmation is somewhat sad. But we don't need it, you're fine the way you are Viva Piñata and don't let anyone tell you differently.
[Via Xbox 360 Rally]
So, there you have it fanboys. Viva Piñata will be on the Nintendo DS and Horstachio will have a new condo to call home. Touch screen and all!
Our friends at Piñata Island -- these guys -- have gotten their candy-stained hands on a thirteen minute video of Viva Piñata: Party Animals. The video was taken with the lead designer, Cameron Davis, of Krome Studios, developers of Party Animals. The video shows off several of the mini-games, as well as the races, which serve as the transition between mini-games. All of the games -- save the racing sections -- are controlled via the left stick and a single button, which Davis says should allow anyone to pick up and play the title. The game also includes drop-in / drop-out versus play, so anyone can join or leave a game at any time. Finally, Davis reveals that the E3 demo should be available on Xbox Live Marketplace in the near future. Hit the "read" link to check out the video.
As a game designed to appeal to a younger audience, Viva Piñata had one fault that probably stood out the most: other than the cutesy characters, it wasn't really designed to appeal to a younger audience. The game is fairly complicated and requires some pretty intense micromanagement in later levels (at least it does if you want to advance). Furthermore, VP does almost nothing to capitalize on the children's property around which it is centered. The various piñatas, which are wacky and wisecracking characters on the children's program, are little more than grunting, mindless animals in the game. With Viva Piñata: Party Animals, Microsoft looks to take on all these problems at once. We took it for a spin at E3 to see what sets it apart.
And if our inspirational talk doesn't make you believe in the wonder that is Viva Piñata, be sure to check out the embedded video after the break. Those piñatas truly have an affect on a person's brain.
The winner of Piñata Island's Create-a-Rare-Developer contest has been chosen. For those that don't recall, the purpose of the contest was to create a new piñata species (named after a Rare developer) for Viva Piñata. It looks like Piñata Island received loads of outstanding entries. In the end, though, it was the Goldipop (pictured above) that beat the odds and won the grand prize (a wild-card piñata). The piñata is named after Andy Pollington, fights with anchors and contains delicious orange suckers. Hit the "read" link to check out the runners-up and honorable mentions.
Has a 360 game inspired you to create anything artistic lately?
Update: It looks like the demo has more gameplay than we thought. Enjoy.