Viva Pinata 3 - what we want to see

The first Viva Piñata was a bit magical. Your bright, cheery piñata garden was a pleasure to gaze upon and tinker with as you saw fit. With a steady trickle of new piñatas to woo into your lush sanctuary, you could set yourself to work building a utopia or simply sit back and enjoy watching nature unfold.

Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise continued the piñata-nurturing, garden-building tradition, but felt more like an expansion than a sequel. If a third Viva Piñata is ever announced for 360 (we're not counting Party Animals), we want to see a proper balance this time between maintaining the core piñata gameplay and adding enough new content to make it feel like a fresh experience.

Full partnership in garden sharing

Playing a garden co-op can be a fun, relaxing way to hang out with your friends over XBL. And it's amazing how quickly you can get things done in VP with two sets of hands. Piñatas that seem like they would take hours of work to obtain suddenly become residents, and piñatas become happier than ever with more watchful eyes guarding them from ruffians and quarrelsome fellow piñatas.

The problem is, Viva Piñata has never allowed gardeners to share a garden equally. Someone always has to be the owner of the garden and the other one the visitor, even if the owner gives full access to the visitor while they're playing together. The person who starts the garden can access it whenever he or she wants, whether playing co-op or not, while the visitor can only access if the owner is present. Because of this, it's difficult for all the non-owner players to feel fully invested in a co-op garden. It would be vastly preferable if there were an option to grant all co-op players equal access to the garden, so that anyone can work on it by himself if he so chooses. Of course, co-op gardens would have to be played online so that there would never be conflicting versions of the same garden offline, but that's not a big deal.

Streamlined menus

Costalot, we're looking at you. Lots of little tasks take way too long in Viva Piñata, from buying garden items to looking up your garden stats. The menus are definitely pretty, and the main petal menu is great, but the in-depth menus and shop menus can definitely be tedious. Flipping through your logs of piñata accomplishments (species seen, visitors, residents, romanced and master romanced) should be a delight, but the cumbersome design takes away from the experience. Pages are often sluggish to load, and the data is spread out over a zillion pages so you have to sit there flipping pages to find the info you're looking for. Even looking up important details like how many pinometers of water you have in your garden takes far too long.

The menus were a major complaint in the first Viva Piñata, so it's odd that absolutely nothing changed in Trouble in Paradise. In our fantasy Viva Piñata 3, we'd like to see streamlined, more efficient menus that let us do things like browse for items alphabetically and see more data on the screen at once.

Give us new stuff right off the bat

We're glad Trouble in Paradise kept the core gameplay of the original, but even calling it Viva Piñata 1.5 seems a bit generous. It did add 28 new piñatas, but TIP starts too similarly to the first Viva Piñata, with Whirlms and Sparrowmints and so forth. Most of the additions, like teaching your piñatas tricks and visiting the Pinarctic and Dessert Desert areas to trap new piñatas felt underwhelming and did nothing to improve the formula.

Instead, how about starting with all-new piñatas, and only adding old piñatas later in the game? That's how Pokemon does it (new starters every generation) and it works every time (do not question this!). Or how about instead of just romancing your piñatas, you had the ability to create a friendship between two species to end conflicts between pinatas? Any experienced gardener knows that it's impossible for Buzzlegums and Raisants to coexist, and the same goes for Kittyflosses and Barkbarks, and a Horstachio won't tolerate sharing a garden with a Ponocky or a Zumbug. Shouldn't there be a way to bridge this gap? That's the kind of addition we'd like to see in a new Viva Piñata.

More online content

Garden sharing is fun, but we want even more. Leaderboards for example, showing friends' and strangers' most valuable piñatas and gardens would be awesome, because it would spur friendly competition among gardeners, which is something the series has lacked in the past. Being able to leave your garden to go on a stroll and see your friends' gardens would also be a nice addition. Much like Club Look-See in My Pokemon Ranch (except with real people instead of NPCs), visiting other people's gardens just to look around can provide inspiration for your own garden.


  • panchitoskiwalker - April 14, 2012 12:26 a.m.

    i think that if there was a new game there should be a way to get pinatas from the sea, like fish, sharks, killer whales, octopuses, sponge bobs or stuff like that, also if you dont like ruffians its because you dont like a little challnge.
  • pinatamadjay - September 26, 2010 2:48 p.m.

    we all know about the swanana and rashberry cross breeds but if they create a viva pinata 3 we all know it would be welllllll cool to cross breed different speicies like syrupent and a parrybo (syrupbo) or sparrowmint and a whirlm (spirmint)
  • Rowdie - August 12, 2010 6 p.m.

    Excellent points. PP, is what made me stop playing. He definitely needs to go. Instead of a bunch of individual garden saves, how about gardens covering the island. Then they can be of different sizes and you could do an island tour; a first person walk through of your connected gardens.
  • Glyphs - August 11, 2010 4:01 a.m.

    I agree on Garden size and Pinata Vision, but maybe with Kinect there'd be better scans, and Skittles the Pretztail to pet and groom. A new more hands on approach to the whole thing!
  • seanhayden - August 10, 2010 10:46 p.m.

    I agree with Bloodstorm, so many people trash Viva Pinata because they believe its too childish or silly looking. But I agree with everything said here, I hate ruffians ._.
  • bkoz117 - August 4, 2010 6:02 p.m.

    Never owned TIP, but I still go back to the original from time to time. I would definitely buy a new viva pinata.
  • LarzimusPrime - August 4, 2010 2:49 p.m.

    What about a little Kinect intergration? I dont mean a full blown Kinect Game but if done right it could be the game to show Kinect and Controller Co-Exist... And Hate to point this out, but didnt Rare recentaly state they were staying away from thier existing franchises for a bit??? But Id still buy a Viva Pinata 3 regardless, I love those little Paper Mache Guys...
  • JayBeat - August 4, 2010 12:48 p.m.

    Viva Pinata was delightful. I would be interested in a sequel, when it's cheap.
  • philipshaw - August 4, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    Too bad Rare are not the company they used to be and are stuck making Kinect games,the chances of this game happening are very low
  • theemporer - August 4, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    There was a 2!?
  • Bloodstorm - August 4, 2010 12:36 a.m.

    The first one on Co-Op is impossible without a persistent sever where the garden is saved and running for everyone to access. It shall never happen. I'd love for a new Viva Pinata. Extremely addictive and anyone who says something against it is just to insecure to give it a go. I'd love to see way more Pinatas, especially to start with. Like you said, TIP lagged at the first because it was just Whirlms and Sparrowmints all over again. Not to mention it didn't start you off with a fixer-upper of a garden so it felt like an expansion and not a new game. I also agree with the Ruffians. I wouldn't miss em. Give me more Sour Pinatas to challenge me as they are much more dynamic foes and much more rewarding to finally get rid of. I want gardens to be HUGE. Likes 6 of the gardens there are now. When you have Eliphanillas and the bigger pinatas the garden isn't that big. I'd like to build habitats and ecosystems. Having the ability to get species that don't get along to live in one garden and tolerate each other would be great too.
  • MadMan5150 - August 3, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    Viva Pinata was truly a guilty pleasure of a game. If they were to make a 3rd title they would definitely have to add some different breeds and a more interesting game-play mechanic for the breeding mini games. A bigger size garden would be an added bonus as well.
  • Logan2911 - August 3, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    more violent pinata fights make it rated T or M
  • ycsm570 - August 3, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    I would love to see a new Viva Pinata game, and these suggestions would definitely make it worthwhile.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - August 3, 2010 10:57 p.m.

    I never thought I'd see the day..
  • Cwf2008 - August 3, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    So long as they let you continue the pinata incest and murder im ok
  • TheDicksOfDanAmrich - August 3, 2010 10:29 p.m.

    I smell another parody from Dan Amrich.

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