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Posts with tag Viva-Pinata

MS supports Viva Piñata franchise heading to DS

Chatting with Eurogamer, Rare engineer Joe Humfrey re-confirmed Microsoft's' understanding ways when talking about Viva Piñata making its way to rival Nintendo's DS, saying that "they see DS as a very viable platform." Humfrey is of course talking about their upcoming Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise project that'll bring those adorable piñatas to the DS. Which, admittedly, seems a bit odd at first, but makes sense from an "let's do all we can to expand the franchise" mindset. "They put the Viva Piñata franchise on TV to reach a broad audience, they put it on PC to reach a different broad audience, and they're doing the same thing with the DS," says Humfrey, "they're trying to widen the audience of the franchise."

And we fully agree. A DS version of Viva Piñata is going to roxorz and Microsoft should embrace Nintendo's portable handheld, that is until our Xboy releases. When that happens, we won't play nice with Nintendo.

Trouble in Paradise trailer teaches us evil

Rare just released a new Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise trailer today and even though we don't get to see any in-game goodness, we do get to be completely entertained. You'll have to jump over to Eurogamer to watch the vid, but it's worth it because you'll get to watch Professor Pester detail his evil plan to his fellow henchmen and hilarity ensues. Hmm, now after watching the trailer we have a mad jonesing for some desert dessert and chilled penguin on a stick ... yummm!

2008 Yearbook: Microsoft Game Studios

After a solid year for the Xbox 360 in 2007 many thought the system could never showcase the same amount of quality exclusives in a single year.

In the 2008 Microsoft Game Studios Yearbook, we've compiled a list of this year's graduating class with a detailed account of each title's current status and the stories surrounding them.

From heartbreaking cancellations, surprise feature announcements and expected sequels, the 2008 MGS Yearbook is filled with fun facts and information on your soon-to-be favorite titles. Also included in the yearbook are special joke awards given to each title that releases in 2008 that poke fun at the details most commonly argued about in the comments.

From Ninja Gaiden II to Alan Wake, the 2008 Microsoft Game Studios Yearbook will have something for everyone.

Ladies and gentlemen allow us to introduce the 2008 Microsoft Game Studios graduating class ...

Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise confirmed, hits retail this September

With numerous leaks behind us, Microsoft has just confirmed that Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise is really real and is scheduled to release sometime this September.

The sequel to the cult-hit Viva Piñata aims at building upon the piñata managing experience by adding a plethora of new features. In Trouble in Paradise, gamers will encounter over 100 different piñatas, including 32 new ones that you'll be able to teach tricks to and purchase toys for. Not only that, but Trouble in Paradise will add the ability to change the weather, hunt for rare piñatas and will introduce new game modes including free-play as well as local co-op. The Vision camera will also be utilized in the sequel by adding the ability to "scan" barcodes found on cards which will instantly add the animal into your garden. Finally, gamers will be able to take pictures of their piñatas or gardens, upload them onto the internet to share or can be assigned a special barcode to share with friends so they can add the piñata to their garden. Check out the official Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise webspace, view the screenshots below and get pumped for more piñata fun this September!

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise

Viva Piñata and Scene It? sequels are real!

As hard as they tried, Microsoft just couldn't keep the lid on this week's Microsoft Gamers Day 2008 announcements as we just got word that both Viva Piñata and Scene It? are getting sequels. It looks like we now know what Rare's secret project is.

Mention of both sequels was discovered on one of Microsoft's press sites, where someone accidently uploaded all of the categories for this week's MGD08 announcements including categories for Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise and Scene It? 2. And being the good reporters that we are, we went out and confirmed that both of these two unannounced titles are in fact listed on Microsoft's press site, though all game media has since been pulled. But not before the crew over at NeoGAF grabbed screenshot love from the Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise folder. So, not only do we get leaked word that Viva Piñata and Scene It? sequels are headed our way, but we also get a first look at Trouble in Paradise! Enjoy the screens!

Gallery: Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise

Rumor: Rare game a sequel to a released 360 title

More rumors folks! This time it's in regards to that unannounced Rare game that's going to be hitting before year's end. According to a poster on NeoGAF who claims to be under NDA (a claim backed up by other posters' reactions to the info), the title is a sequel to a game of Rare's that has already been released on the 360. Logically, that narrows things down quite a bit. Is it Kameo? With Banjo Kazooie on the way? No. A Perfect Dark game? With Gears 2 on the way? No. Jetpac Re-Refueled? Hell No.

Given that this is a rumor, we could still be way off base, but we're gonna call this one as a Viva Pinata sequel. If it is, hopefully Microsoft will actually market it this time around, so people know about it and it actually sells.

Gears, Forza 2, Viva Piñata become UK Classics

In the UK, beginning May 16, gamers will be able to pick-up a trio of titles marked down and packaged as Xbox 360 Classics. Late last week Microsoft announced plans to add Gears of War, Forza Motorsport 2 and Viva Piñata to their classic line-up, the PAL region equivalent of the Platinum Hits brand in North America.

As yet another push into a market where the brand is known (sorry, bad example), but not as popular as they would like, Microsoft hopes adding three fantastic titles priced to go at £19.99 will entice new gamers into the Xbox 360 camp.

Gallery: Xbox 360 Classics (UK)

Rare has new, unannounced, game due in 2008

Buried deep within the latest addition of the craziness that is the Rare Community Letters page (called Scribes) lurks the possible announcement of a new Rare game, one that could see release before the end of the year, if the response is accurate. The response was to an email regarding the Viva Piñata IP and the status of new games in it. Justin, a Rare Designer responded:

"The Viva Piñata team is working on a new title that we hope to be able to tell you about soon, and should be in the shops before the end of the year (it's not Banjo)."

He then makes a bit of a joke about having said too much already and having to watch bad movie adaptations of good books. Or something. Either way, if read at face value, this could be confirmation of one of the "secret" games that seem to be missing from 08, and which execs like Shane Kim don't seem too worried about. What do they know that we don't? Hopefully something good, and hopefully this isn't just a mix-up with something silly happening at the end, like the "unannounced" game turning out to be Fast and the Furriest.

Viva Pinata's birthday brings old-school assets

Viva Pinata's UK birthday is just around the corner and in celebration Rare is opening up their super secret chest of hidden Pinata game assets and revealing all kinds of info nuggets. Every day, from now through Viva Pinata's birthday on December 1st, BIGSheep over on the Pinata Island forums will post a special Pinata goody for everyone to enjoy. Today's gems include early Pinata drawings, the first general game description and a screenshot taken from the very first game build. And, if you look close enough, you'll notice that they used some recycled Banjo and Kazooie models too. Enjoy your daily trek over to Pinata Island to get a Pinata nugget and be sure to wish your Fizzlybear a happy birthday come December 1st.

Shipping this week: return of rawk edition

It's one of those weeks. Yes, we know there are plenty of games releasing this week -- quite a few in fact -- but this is one of those weeks with a banner game. Of course, we're talking about Guitar Hero III. Chances are, if you want this game, you picked it up over the weekend and have been rocking faces off for hours now. For those of you that have other interests, here's a list of the games releasing this week that aren't Guitar Hero III.
  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
  • Bee Movie
  • Cars: Mater-National
  • Naruto: Rise of a Ninja
  • Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition
  • Timeshift
  • The Simpsons Game
  • Virtua Fighter 5
  • Viva Piñata: Party Animals
[Via Joystiq]

Rare: GoW took Viva Piñata'a marketing cash

In an interview with Gamasutra, James Thomas and Justin Cook (two members of Rare's development team) talked about the history of Viva Piñata and how hard it has been targeting a new family-IP to the stereotypically hardcore Xbox 360 gamers. Specifically, Thomas mentioned that last Fall, publisher Microsoft Game Studios left little in the Viva Piñata marketing bank and instead sunk more focus and effort into their new Gears of War franchise. Thomas commented saying that,

"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.

Party Animals achievements hide gamer in-jokes

We're not sure exactly where to file this story. We've got "sneaky developers" and "sneaky marketers." We're pretty sure it should go in one of those files. We're just not sure which. Microsoft has sent out a list of the achievements available in Viva Piñata: Party Animals, and they contain a few surprises for the older gamers out there. There are a few pop culture references in there, such as the "Coulda Been a Contender," "Do You Feel Lucky, Piñata?" and "Int'l Piñata of Mystery" achievements. What really surprised us, however, were the handful of gamer in-jokes. First up is the "Classic Gamer Reward" which states, "Enter the classic gamers code while on the START screen. For a hint, go right into your manual..." We can only assume it refers to the Konami Code. Then there is the "All Your Game Are Belong To Us" achievement. Then there is our favorite achievement, "So Awesome!," the text of which reads "You, the master of unlocking." A Penny Arcade reference and a Resident Evil reference in the same achievement? Wow. Considering Party Animals is aimed squarely at younger gamers, we're betting these achievements were tossed in to bring a smile to all the dedicated gaming parents out there.

Continue reading Party Animals achievements hide gamer in-jokes

Viva Piñata toys busting out of BK

In celebration of the release of Viva Piñata Party Animals Burger King is offering a collection of new kid and adult friendly Viva Piñata toys. The set of eight toys are available in BK's kids meals and include a "surprise in every piñata" where you'll find one of two possible toy options varying from flip books, to yo-yos, to a wicked cool party knocker. The eight Party Animal toys (Horstachio, Sparrowmint, Elephanilla, Fudgehog, Macaraccoon, Fizzlybear, Cocoadile and a Goobaa) are only available at BK for a limited time, so stock up, use them to decorate your desk or give 'em to a piñata'less kid in need.

[Via Pinata Island, Thanks jimmcq]

Viva Piñata Party Animals demo now live

Ask and ye shall receive. It looks like the Viva Piñata Party Animals demo promised by Piñata Island has made its way onto Xbox Live Marketplace. Unlike the original Viva Piñata game, Party Animals makes more use of the licensed characters, endowing them with the voices and personalities that viewers have become accustomed to on the television show. As a party game, it also takes a simpler approach than its predecessor, which was arguably a little to complicated for its target audience. But, enough talk of marketing and design decisions, go give the game a try and see what you think.

Viva Piñata Party Animals demo inbound? [update]

[Update: The Viva Piñata Party Animals is now available, for more details, click here.]

According to Piñata Island, the source for all things Viva Piñata, a demo for Viva Piñata Party Animals should be on the Marketplace today. Actually, according to them, the demo should be available right now. Considering that it isn't available right now, we're guessing one of two things: A) Piñata Island got some bum info or B) something has gone awry. Seeing as Piñata Island has some close friends in the Viva Piñata circle, we're betting on column B. Here's hoping we'll see it sooner rather than later. If you're unfamiliar with the title, check out our impressions of the E3 demo (which is likely the same demo being prepared for XBLM).

[Thanks, xenocidic]

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