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Viva Piñata: Party Animals

Viva Piñata: Party Animals

Viva Piñata: Party Animals

Viva Piñata: Party Animals is a video game developed by Krome Studios for the Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console and set in the world of Viva Piñata. The game was first announced at Microsoft's E3 2007 press conference on July 11, 2007, and was released on October 30, 2007 in North America, November 15, 2007 in Australia, November 16, 2007 in Europe, and December 6, 2007 in Japan.

Unlike the original Viva Piñata, Party Animals is based on elements from the television show, including its characters and voices. Furthermore, the title provides a mini-game based experience, similar to the Mario Party series, rather than the sandbox environment of the original. There are over 40 mini-games, as well as kart-style races which are conducted on foot.

A 974MB demo appeared on Xbox Live Marketplace under the Bringing It Home banner on September 20, 2007.

Viva Piñata: Party Animals Gameplay

Similar to other casual Xbox 360 titles such as Fuzion Frenzy 2, Viva Piñata: Party Animals is framed as a game show, where contestants compete against each other while announcers provide colorful commentary.

A game of Party Animals consists of three or more race events, each followed by one or more randomly selected challenge mini-games (depending on selected game length). The goal is to be the player who has earned the most candy ("Candiosity") after the final challenge is completed. Games always feature four player characters, although only one of these need be human-controlled. Multiple individuals can play on a single console (causing races to be conducted split-screen), or players can play online via Xbox Live.

Players earn candy based on their performance during the challenge mini-games, with fixed awards for first, second, third, and fourth places. The races themselves do not earn players candy, but instead determine a bonus which influences the winnings from the challenge events which follow. As a result, candy awards are always a combination of these two separate placements, with players required to do well in both event types to guarantee overall victory.

There are eight playable characters: Hudson Horstachio, Paulie Pretztail, Fergy Fudgehog and Franklin Fizzlybear, as well as their newly introduced female counterparts.

Viva Piñata: Party Animals was not particularly well received by the gaming press, despite the appreciation of its vibrant visuals. IGN criticized the fact that many of the mini-games were simply minor variants of each other, with most being aimed at young children. The review remarks that, "A few of them will be enjoyable for those under the age of seven, but if you're any older than that there's absolutely no challenge to be found within Party Animals". The GameSpot review similarly frowned upon the lack of true variety, noting that "... the variants end up feeling so similar to one another that the game might as well just have six minigames".

Somewhat more positive remarks were earned from TeamXbox, where the reviewer felt that the better mini-games balanced out the poorer ones. The review concludes, "The wide range of minigames almost guarantees everyone will find at least something they like in the title, and I’ve yet to find anyone who didn’t get a thrill out of the game’s fast paced racing".

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