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Review: Viva Pinata: Party Animals

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I’m not a fan of the original Viva Pinata game. It just wasn’t my type of game and I think it was made for a younger demographic. The problem with that is now every Viva title will have that stigma of being a game directed at the younger crowd. This is one situation where I would implore you to throw that belief out the window and at least download the demo before you judge this game. Simply put, Viva Pinata: Party Animals is a hoot for all ages.

Viva Pinata: Party Animals takes the characters from the original game and puts them in a competitive world of of fun events. There are over 50 different party games you can play. The game can be played locally and of course, online via Xbox Live with 4 players.

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With over 50 different party games, you’ll never cover them all at once. There’s your typical Mario Kart style races, guessing games, games that require you to whack pinatas, games where you collect candy, games that use reflexes and rhythm and games where you get to shoot objects. The races are held on 4 different track types. There is Beach, Civilized, Frosty and Factory track locations. During the races, you can pick up power ups and use them to your advantage. It’s typical Mario Kart style game play with rockets, speed ups, speed inhibitors and other candy coated goodness. The tracks look gorgeous in a Viva Pinata style with loads of colors.

The other games are really a blast to play. You’ll be doing anything from eating apples to burping your toy boat across a pool. The game is ok to play alone but really shines when other people are playing. Xbox Live is another option if you can’t find anyone to play against. I think it’s hilarious to do things to other players to keep them from winning certain events.? Theh problem with Xbox Live however, is that there aren’t enough people playing to get full games in.? At least not at 2am in the morning.

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Believe it or not, This game does come with some level of difficulty. As you play along and more challenges get unlocked, you are faced with learning the challenge. It may be something as simple as whacking a pinata, but the first time you do it there’s so much eye candy on the screen you’ll be lost. I know, it happened to me several times. Once you do a new challenge at least once, you’ll do much better the second time around.

This game is definitely for the family. If you are a hardcore gamer, I can’t recommend this to you. However, if you are an achievement whore, there’s 1000 achievement points to hunt for in Party Animals and they are all easy to get. I racked up 250 without even trying.

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Again, this game is not for the hardcore but it’s great for parties and family fun. Just because your a burly man who pwns noobs in Halo 3, doesn’t mean you can’t sit down with your kids and have some candy coated fun with Viva Pinata: Party Animals. It’s part Pen Pen Tricelon, part Mario Kart and part Mario Party all in one great Xbox Live package.

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