How is Viva Pinata, hombre?

So, I rented this yesterday, I was a bit skeptical going into it. Of course, this thread is what pushed me over the edge and made me finally check it out. I must say, it is really a fun game. It is a bit frustrating at times. Like, when the bunnies wouldn't mate for the longest time, that seem counterintuitive to what I've been taught about the mating habits of rabbits. Oh well...

Also, at some point does you garden get bigger? I'm running out of room quickly for homes for my Pinatas. Also, do you guys sell off Pinatas that you aren't interested in having in the garden anymore? Also, do you fence in your Pinatas so they don't accidentally get eaten or fight with other breeds?

Well, my 360 is toast. I could create a thread about how Viva Pinata killed my 360, since it's the only game I've yet to see trigger that accusation, but nah. However, before it died this weekend, I did have the misfortune of witnessing a cocoadile brutally savage poor SwampYankee, and then the entire community feasted upon his candy innards.

Don't worry Swampy, I got revenge on that cocoadile for you!

As for me, Rocky, yeah, I tend to sell off any pinatas that I don't need to keep around at the time. After a while, once you've got both garden size upgrades and you're coming up with your own personal plan for your garden, you'll find that you have to sell/destroy pinatas and garden items (plants, houses, etc) on a regular basis as they keep accruing faster than you'd expect. At first I didn't want to sell or destroy anything, but you pretty much have to. The good news is, anything that's become a part of your garden can be reacquired easily later on. One vendor hunts down and captures pinatas for you that you'd previously had as residents, and any plant you've grown becomes available in the store as seed you can purchase and plant.

So no worries; there's nothing I've yet seen that you can't easily reacquire if you change your mind later and want it back in your garden.

Nice idea, Farscry, I hadn't thought of naming the pinatas after goodjers. Funny how naming them gives them personality.

I see that you can fire helpers from the X menu. I also hear that you can wack them with your shovel until they go away. You get gold, but Leafos also scolds you.

So how do you create new pinata species? Is it as simple as feeding them new things?

souldaddy wrote:

I see that you can fire helpers from the X menu. I also hear that you can wack them with your shovel until they go away. You get gold, but Leafos also scolds you.

So how do you create new pinata species? Is it as simple as feeding them new things?

D'oh! Didn't know there was a non-violent approach to getting rid of the help. I bought a gatherling but she kept picking up my romancing crops and leaving my money-making chili crops laying on the field.

It looks like Variants are caused by feeding them different foods. Evolving pinatas requires a catalyst.

www.pinataisland.info has a good wiki.

Sorry to hear about your 360, Farscry. Our original one froze twice yesterday and that worried me (once in Viva, once in Tony Hawk). Thankfully it's one that was manufactured before January of 2006 so we can send it in for free if it croaks.

souldaddy wrote:

So how do you create new pinata species? Is it as simple as feeding them new things?

You can also mess with an egg before it hatches to get a species variant like a two or four headed snake.

I gotta check the date of manufacture (how do I do that?) on my system asap.

So how do you create new pinata species? Is it as simple as feeding them new things?

Well, first off, there are variants and there are mutations. You can make (color) variants of each species by feeding them something special. Looking at the journal, it seems as though most species have 3 possible variants, but some have more or less. Mutations, however, happen by doing something a bit more special. Sometimes it is just feeding them something, but most of the time it is more complex than that. Mutations are much more rare, and not every species can be turned into something else.

I'll list off the ones I've done in spoiler vision in case you are interested.

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]
Sparrows become canaries by eating buttercups.

Flies become fireflies by setting them on fire and then putting them out with your water can.

Snakes become two headed snakes by whacking their egg with your shovel at just the right time. Wait until the egg starts bouncing around, and hit it after the larger hop. The same trick can turn two headed snakes into four headed ones.

Once you can buy the "mystery house" you can mate a pig and a swan to make a flying pig.

[/color]

What I'd like to know is, for those who have played both this and Animal Crossing DS, how do they compare? Which is better?

I haven't played any of these kinds of games, but I was thinking about picking one up for the little lady.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

What I'd like to know is, for those who have played both this and Animal Crossing DS, how do they compare? Which is better?

I haven't played any of these kinds of games, but I was thinking about picking one up for the little lady.

Other than the aspect of gathering cute animals into a world you have a measure of control over, they are entirely different kinds of games. Both are good fun, but they really have very little in common in terms of game mechanics, and thus it is a bit hard to compare them. However, I would say that it is fairly safe to assume that anyone who enjoyed Animal Crossing (or the Sims, for that matter) would probably get a kick out of Viva Pinata.

zeroKFE wrote:

spoilery stuff

Did you and luna read an faq or something? I feel like I missed some tutorial or something. It seems like a game you have to read guides to get the most out of, that or spend insane amounts of time playing (I admit, I haven't played it much yet).

That's a tough question, Fedaykin! While Animal Crossing and Viva Pinata may seem similar, they are very different from each other. Animal Crossing is all about making friends with the animals that live in your town. You can do favors/run errands for them and send them letters. You earn money by fishing or working for Nook (the town store owner), which allows you to upgrade your house and buy nice things to put inside it. In my opinion, the DS version of Animal Crossing wasn't as good as the Gamecube version. One nice thing about the DS version of AC is the ability to travel to other people's town over WiFi, although it can be tough to find someone to visit unless you personally know someone else who is also playing it.

Viva Pinata is all about creating a harmonious garden. You have complete control of what goes on and not all of the animals will get along with each other so you have to find the balance. Thankfully the game allows you to have as many gardens as you want so it's never really a big problem.

One thing I'd like to add is that starting a game of Viva was overwhelming for me at first. There was so much information they piled on at once, but when I understood the mechanics of the game it became a lot more fun. Animal Crossing starts out at a slower pace and stays that way. I can't say one is better than the other, they are both fun and super cute games and I'm sure your fiance would love either one.

souldaddy wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

spoilery stuff

Did you and luna read an faq or something? I feel like I missed some tutorial or something. It seems like a game you have to read guides to get the most out of, that or spend insane amounts of time playing (I admit, I haven't played it much yet).

The first one I figured out on my own while trying to make variants. The second two I figured out after reading one of Lobster's posts. The last one I got from a wiki ( http://pinataisland.info ) because it was needed to tame one of the later sours, and I couldn't figure out what the hell to do about it.

So no, most of it I didn't come up with on my own. Really, I think that this stuff is really there to just reward people for spending a crazy amount of time just screwing around and trying random stuff.

lunabean wrote:

Good details.

Exactly. They are two different genres of games with a common theme. AC more in the style of Harvest Moon (although still a completely different sort of game!), simulating peaceful interaction with a world and its inhabitants, whereas Viva is essentially a very, very cute god game.

zeroKFE wrote:
lunabean wrote:

Good details.

Exactly. They are two different genres of games with a common theme. AC more in the style of Harvest Moon (although still a completely different sort of game!), simulating peaceful interaction with a world and its inhabitants, whereas Viva is essentially a very, very cute god game.

Viva Pinata feels like a really good city building game, one that fixes a lot of problems with that genre. City building is all about placing resources in a sort of harmony with everything else. The problem I've had with them is you figure out the pattern to the game and your cities all start looking the same. Viva Pinata makes all that irrelevant because where you put things is fairly forgiving. Instead you focus on pleasing these pinatas, and they are an awesome group. I sometimes feel like I'm playing a Pixar movie, the pinatas have that much personality.

Making those redhott taffly evolutions is like printing chocolate!

Desram wrote:

Making those redhott taffly evolutions is like printing chocolate!

Indeed. I can think of no better cash farming method, actually. Wish I had figured it out earlier, actually.

I kind of like breeding Fourheads, but only in the way you initially get them. Their house is about one-fourth the size of my garden.

Desram wrote:

Making those redhott taffly evolutions is like printing chocolate!

I had zero preconceived ideas about Pinata and could not have even told you what genre the game was. I open this thread and this is the first thing my eyes decide to read.

I am totally getting this game now, but I don't know why.

So far, this game is incredibly tedious. Is there any way to skip the 'minigame' for the Whirlm romancing? (I put it in quotes because it's not a game. Games involve challenge.)

I could see making you do a given minigame five or so times to prove you had mastered it, but making you do it over and over and over every time you want a new one -- when you have to make them constantly to feed the other pinata -- is boring and stupid.

You shouldn't have to breed whirlms if you don't want to. They should just constantly show up so you always have 2.

I agree that the "minigame" sucks, particularly for higher level pinatas as it still sucks, just is harder.

I just started it yesterday. Very, very cool. I was frustrated initially, because I couldn't get my animals to stop fighting with each other, and all the tutorial videos were really getting in the way (why can't I skip the damn things?). But then I started a new garden, and only got the kinds of animals I wanted.

By the way, the redhotts are awesome. Thanks to them my gardens are now filled with all sorts of ridiculous accessories.

What an excellent game, I got it on sale ($39.99 US) and it's worth every penny so far. I feel like I'm chasing about a dozen carrots on sticks, but it's all great fun.

Where is this sale Certis? I am wanting to add this to my collection ASAP.

Flux wrote:

Where is this sale Certis? I am wanting to add this to my collection ASAP.

Best Buy, but that's here in Canada.

Certis wrote:
Flux wrote:

Where is this sale Certis? I am wanting to add this to my collection ASAP.

Best Buy, but that's here in Canada.

Awesome thanks for the info Certis

I have been wanting this game it looks interesting

I will have to go to BestBuy and pick it up

cool

I made the mistake of getting my five year-old son and my wife started on this.

Now my pinatas are starving due to lack of 360 sharing.

What an awesome game! I've finally had time to devote to Viva Pinata, and I'm hopelessly addicted. You can tell from the videos that this game is gorgeous, and the personality in each and every square inch is the best work I've ever seen from Rare. I feel like I'm playing a Pixar movie, monkeys are running around with little fez hats, the doctor is jetting everwhere in his little gokart, there are hippos and swans and crocodiles (all with annoyingly cute names), everything adds up to a wonderful experience.

Basically, you grow plants and raise pinatas. Everything feeds off each other to form rather complex ecosystems.. You lure pinatas in stages, each are fun and the requirements are laid out in the game's journal. I've seen maybe 40 pinatas so far, none of the advanced ones, but I've only had a handful actually set foot on my garden and even fewer have come to live with me. Plus there are things like fertilizer, pinata housing (the ducks live in a pirate ship), pinata accessories like hats and goofy teeth, fencing, garden ornaments (a Banjo Kazooie statue!), garden helpers, secrets to discover, strange visitors, evil (called "sour") pinatas, on and on. All this might sound complicated, but it isn't really. Rather, Viva Pinata has depth, it's a basic game that you can play a long long time.

My only 2 problems - the interface is too convoluted and pinatas don't always do what I ask them too. There is also a strange learning curve. Rare shows you the basics but the medium to advanced concepts are left up to you to discover, and there isn't that much to discover. I recommend an FAQ to get you started, the achievements faq on that page pointed me in the right direction without ruining the game for me.

Other suggestions for beginning players: breed redhotts to make money; once you have a nice stash to sit on, the game becomes more relaxing. After you get a pinata species to breed for the first time, use romance candies on them if you want more; this makes the game a LOT less frustrating. It also helps you gain the Master Romancer awards, which you get for having 9 pinata of the same species alive at the same time. I'd also suggest learning how to create variant species; look at the pinata faq (just the whilrm section) to give you an idea of how this is done. Also, you can start a new garden and skip all the tutorials, keeping your money and tools and gardening level. If you ever get really sick of your garden, just start a new one.

The strategy I'm using right now is to get Master Romancer and all variants in the starter species. This gives me plenty of money, and I also keep the extra species away. I've got enough money to pay the hunter to get them back when I need them. Also look through the journal, see what's in there. The player awards has a nice chart that lays out every milestone you can have with each of the pinatas, very useful.

I'm hopelessly addicted to this game. It feels like a nice evolution of Dungeon Keeper or Startopia even. I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said, but this is a truly delightful game.

As for making money, you can get Redhotts really early and they sell for 2100 bucks a pop. Just get a taffly, direct it to a torch (purchased at the shop) which will light it on fire. Douse it with the water can and poof, it evolves into a redhott. I breed tafflies like crazy and am raking in the cash now.

(22:08:22) Certis: Good evening

(22:08:28) Fly: Heya.

(22:08:55) Certis: I've just been upgraded to the biggest garden size today, I barely had 40% of the last size filled

(22:09:20) Fly: Cool. How many hours have you spent with the game, anyway?

(22:09:38) Certis: I would put it at roughly ten total.

(22:10:22) Fly: I've just informed my wife of your accomplishments. She says that we are losers and tells me that I should tell you about the condition of our REAL garden.

(22:10:30) Fly: She'll never understand!

(22:10:55) Certis: It's the moment you put a bee keeper hat ... on a bee, that you realize how great it is.

(22:12:04) Fly: Wow! I don't even know that was possible. I haven't even poked around those pinata customization options yet. Just yesterday I looked at the journal and logbook and realized how much information there is, and that I could replay the pinata intro and romance movies.

(22:12:31) Fly: You know what I like best about pinatas? Unlike my real dog and cat, I don't have to pick up their poop.

(22:12:42) Certis: Big plus

(22:12:55) Fly: I wonder if my dog is full of candy...

(22:13:14) Fly: Where is that shovel of mine?

(22:13:15) Certis: A scapula and some gloves is all you need to check

(22:15:52) Fly: I wonder how long before pinata garden ennui sets in and I move on to something else. It may be a while yet. A big garden is nice, but there's so much more.

(22:16:06) Fly: I haven't even mailed out any pinatas yet.

(22:16:41) Certis: I'm THIS close to getting some monkeys

(22:18:34) Fly: Those rascals! They've been poking around my place ever since I planted that one kind of tree, a Cocoa-nut or something. I can't remember the name. If the game doesn't have a cocoa-nut tree, it should.

(22:19:27) Fly: Hey, I have two two-headed snakes: Twingersnaps. Next: four heads. I believe that's the limit, though.

(22:19:48) Certis: It's a monkeynut ... or something, tree. I've taken to fertilizing all my trees and bushes as they grow, make a big difference. Three bushes fertilized properly can match the out put of seven non-fertilized.

(22:22:00) Fly: What about fertilizing them after they're grown? I've tried that, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. It's been a while since I planted any trees or shrubs. Back when I went through my first Johnny Appleseed/Arbor Day phase I didn't even know there WAS fertilizer. Now I've got a ton of apple trees that have been around forever but won't make apples. It's very disconcerting.

(22:22:46) Certis: Sell them and grow new ones, I think fertilizer only works while they still need water.

(22:23:15) Fly: Sounds like a plan. I'm gonna do it.

(22:23:25) Certis: I've got three gooseberry bushes dropping like a dozen berries at any given time. I'll have a doenut in no time.

(22:25:24) Fly: Ah yes, the elusive doenut.

(22:25:54) Certis: Still won't come in, but he keeps showing up outside.

(22:26:33) Fly: Have you got a bunch of long grass? Seems like that was one of the requirements.

(22:27:31) Certis: A given amount of long grass, or a ton of short grass. I have some long stuff for the look of the thing, but not a ton.

(22:27:46) Fly: This is one of those games that results in bizarre metal overlaps will real-world activities. I was poking around the front yard today and in the back of my mind Viva Pinata logic kept intruding.

(22:29:14) Certis: I was told I was making "Pinata sounds" when we were heading out today, it was a little disconcerting.

(22:29:33) Fly: Please tell me you're joking. Your are joking, right?

(22:30:10) Certis: I just grunted so she'd move while I grabbed my shoes, I swear.

(22:30:19) Fly: Well.

(22:30:22) Certis: It MIGHT have sounded like a doenut, but I admit nothing.

(22:30:47) Fly: I guess as long as you don't do that while you're, um, "romancing"...

(22:31:29) Certis: My ribs are bruised from coughing, I just whimper and go to sleep, these days ;)

I'll let you know how this is once my son and girlfriend stop playing. It's fun to watch at least For what it's worth, I always dig the music in Rare games, and I think it's top notch here. I might get a chance to get my garden going tomorrow so I'm pumped.

My girlfriend is naming her Pinatas after 80s and 90s sitcoms. Balki, Carlton, Mrs. Garret.. pretty funny stuff.