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Posts with tag VivaPinata

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 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]

No Viva Piñata DLC coming, evar!

Fellow Viva Piñata fans, if you've been waiting ever so patiently for some new downloadable content to hit the Marketplace then developer Rare has some bitterly sad news for you. In their somewhat monthly Scribes column, where the team answers fans' letters and questions, Rare fielded a question about the possibility of some new content for Viva Piñata. Their answer ... not a chance, more specifically they said that "we aren't doing any downloadable content for Viva Piñata because we are much too busy doing something else...". Too busy for Viva Piñata? We raise an eyebrow to that!

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]

Party Animals demo will be available "soon"

There's a short and sweet (zing!) interview over on PinataIsland with Viva Piñata: Party Animals lead designer Cameron Davis where he talks a little bit about the game and confirms that a demo will be hitting the XBLM soon. When chatting it up about the game, who it's targeted towards, and its achievements, Davis was asked about plans for a Party Animals demo to which he responded "It should be out very, very, very soon, if not already". And after taking a look at the old XBLM and seeing no Party Animals demo available, we're going to have to hold Mr. Davis to his "very, very, very soon" answer. So, watch the Marketplace for some mini-game fun when the Viva Piñata: Party Animals demo drops "soon".

[Thanks, jimmcq]

Rare is bringing Viva Piñata to the DS

During the final day of Comic Con, Rare held a Viva Piñata panel discussion and made a surpeise announcement that Viva Piñata will be heading to the Nintendo DS. So, it looks like Shane Kim's talk of bringing the franchise to the DS making sense ended up being one of those sly hints of things to come. Viva Piñata on the DS is being developed by Rare and will be very similar to its lovably fun Xbox 360 version featuring the same core gameplay elements. Nothing more about the DS version was mentioned other than it'll be teh awesomeness, but we'd like to hear when the DS version will hit retail, if it'll incorporate the DS's wireless features and how pretty it is.

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!

13 minutes of Viva Piñata: Party Animals

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.

X3F hands-on: Viva Pinata: Party Animals

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.

Continue reading X3F hands-on: Viva Pinata: Party Animals

Everyone has a Viva Piñata confession

It's true. We confess. We love Viva Piñata and we always have. And Viva Piñata Confessions has taught us that we aren't weird, we don't have a problem and that our love of the game isn't something we should be embarrassed about. Even our rebel of a game designer Cliffy B loves himself some Viva Piñata every once and a while. You too can come clean, you too can let go of all the built up anxiety and just do it ... confess. Confess that you love Viva Piñata and aren't afraid to tell the world.

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.

Continue reading Everyone has a Viva Piñata confession

Create-a-Rare-Developer results are in!

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?

Viva Piñata gets parents' approval

Everyone's favorite piñata growing simulator Viva Piñata has received top honors from a collective group we call "parents". The Parents' Choice Foundation awarded Viva Piñata with the Parents' Choice Award in gaming for its "excellent production values, universal human values, appeal to children, and age appropriateness". We're sure it's an honor, but we wonder if such an award will deter older gamers from picking up the game. We know how sensitive some fanboys can be when it comes to their gamercard and playing "children's games", so does the new Parents' Choice Award further embarrass/deter those who are uneasy about trying Viva Piñata?

Create-a-Rare-Developer, win wild-card piñata

Our piñata loving friends over at Piñata Island are holding a contest where the winners will receive an extremely rare in-game Viva Piñata wild-card piñata. To win, all you have to do is pick a name of a developer off of the credits list and make a piñata that you feel best fits that person. Draw a piñata, build one out of wood, or use paper mache, it's up to you. Oh, and be sure to make up a brief back story for the little guy too. One lucky winner will have the choice of picking a discovered or undiscovered wild-card piñata or have a Mystery Crate sent to them. Three other runners up will get a discovered wild-card piñata of their choice. All entries must be posted on the forum by May 5th, so find a developer and make a piñata already!

[Thanks, jimmcq]

Those silly, little, inbreeding Whirlms

The latest VG Cats comic features one of our favorite Xbox 360 games, Viva Piñata! Actually, the comic focuses on the darker side of our piñata game ... a side few have the courage to openly talk about. You'll have to read the comic to get the full impact, but let's just say giving too much power to a Viva Piñata gardener can have twisted consequences. Guys, we all know inbreeding Whirlms isn't acceptable in our society, but the answer is not feeding a Whirlm baby their parent's "candy". Sick, sick sick ... this is just sick.

Microsoft's posse leads in NAViGaTR nominations

The nominees for the 2006 National Academy of Video Game Testers and Reviewers (NAViGaTR) awards were just announced with Microsoft leading the pack in nominations count. Microsoft garnered 29 nominations for various games including games like Gears of War and Viva Piñata. Speaking of Gears, it's up for an amazing 16 nominations including Graphics/Technical and Game of the Year. With over 1,150 media critics, analysts, and journalists making the final decision, we'll be keeping our eyes open on May 20th to see if Gears can add to its ever expanding trophy case.

[Via TeamXbox]

Viva Piñata demo now available

A demo of Viva Piñata is now available on Xbox Live Marketplace. Clocking in at just under a gig, the demo promises to let you raise your own sparrowmint piñata. Viva Piñata vets will know that sparrowmints are available fairly early in the game, but the demo should give players about 30 minutes to an hour plenty of gameplay. Considering the high hopes that Microsoft originally pinned on the game, we wonder why it took this long to release a demo. With any luck, maybe this will convince more gamers that Viva Piñata is worth checking out. Trust us, if you give it a chance, you'll find that Viva Piñata is very addictive.

Update: It looks like the demo has more gameplay than we thought. Enjoy.

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