Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise and Pinata Vision Impressions

It sounds like Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise was designed to deal with one big issue the original title had.

"It looked like a kids game, but was quite difficult to play," said a Rare developer walking us through the game. "We kept the basic principal, you're in a garden and trying to attract animals to it."

But the team's done a lot to simplify the game and make it more accessible to a wider audience. Chief among the changes is a co-op mode that lets you play in the garden with friend. They've also added a fun mode which gives gamers the ability to buy just about anything in the game, removes the bad guys and turns the garden into an instant gratification sandbox.

Other tweaks include adding snow and sand and the sorts of pinatas that would like that sort of terrain. You can also now take pictures in the game and have them sent to a website which will recognise which animals are on display and categorise them automatically for easy searching. There's also an easy to use in-game animal finder which makes tracking down your pet pinatas much less of a chore.

The short demo wrapped up with a look at the Pinata Vision system. Using the Xbox 360 camera, gamers can hold up a specially created Viva Pinata image and instantly import it into the game.

"It doesn't have to be a card, it can be an image on your Zune or iPod that you would just hold up to the camera"

While the tweaks look like they could streamline gameplay a bit, Trouble in Paradise is still very much a Viva Pinata game for better or worse and I'm not so sure it's been simplified enough to attract the potential audience that the cartoon has created for the game.


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