May 14, 2008
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The sequel to what many consider to be the best game nobody has played (Hey even Rare knows it) was on the floor at yesterday’s Microsoft Showcase. Rare’s Justin Cook and Adam Park were on hand to demo the game for us. The presentation opened with a discussion of the first Viva Pinata and how it seemed like a game meant for children but was so deep that it required a hardcore gamer’s desire to truly play and enjoy the game. This core issue with Viva Pinata is what Viva Pinata 2 is seeking to address. The game play this time around is much friendlier to the new player highlighted by a helpful tutorial on the game. There is seamless dynamic coop over Xbox live also included in Viva Pinata as well as on the same screen for local players. Another casual friendly addition to the game is the aptly named Just for Fun mode. In Just for Fun mode you have infinite money and no enemies in the world. You can truly sim pinata it up to your heart’s content without any fear of the game world effecting you.
The general game play mechanic from the first VP is back. You plant a garden and watch it grow as your pinatas live out their day to day lives. You receive good magic energy for doing good deeds and evil magic energy for doing evil things. Rare felt like gardens in the first VP were not diverse enough. Thus they added two new surfaces which they feel will truly make it such that no one garden closely resembles another. Sand and snow make their debut as plantable landscape in VP2. There are also some cool new additions in the way of what your pinatas can interact with and what you can place in your garden. As you can see in the above video, you can add train tracks and other vehicle based objects in your garden with which your pinata can interact. It will also be easier in VP2 to earn twins and wild card than it was in the first VP. It used to be in VP1 you get a certain type of visitor all too often and it became annoying for the player. That has been resolved as in VP2 you are able to ban certain worms or creatures from your garden. Once you’ve decided it’s time to let em back in you can also unban them.
There is a new camera mode specifically designed for VP2 that the community is going to love. Like in games before it such as Halo 3 Rare will be opening a community site revolving around Viva Pinata 2 where you will be able to take, upload, and share your gardens with the world using the new camera mode. Also, using the Xbox live vision cam you will be able to scan in cards that unlock items and pinatas within the game. You can also create your own cards and Rare claims you can capture the card with almost anything and it will scan such as a zune or an ipod into a vision cam. This will open up all sorts of possibilities to share things with your friends. It’s seriously a welcome addition and about time the vision cam has some extra functionality besides disgusting acts in games of Uno. Having admittedly never played the first Viva Pinata myself I must say the new additions are very intriguing and I look forward to trying out VP2 when it releases.
Tags: rare, viva pinata 2