Piñatas sure know how to party…
Right off the bat we’re treated to the flashy and energetic opening of the show, which has been modified a little to fit the game. The menus that follow the visual theme set out by the original VP and are all well organized and easy to follow. In the game setup, there are number of options for game type (offline, online) and length; including the usually absent “short” which you can play through in 10-20 minutes…. Nice! There is also a nice new option called “keep it close” which will adjust the scoring to do just that. This is, of course, great for the parents playing with their kids – Now little Timmy won’t always have the upper hand.
The game itself is broken into rounds that start with a foot-race which is followed by a number of Challenge games. The race portion is fast-paced, with characters collecting power-ups and items to use against their opponents as they vie for that coveted first place. Tip: if some
jerk other player covers the track in honey, butterfly wings are the solution. Your position in the race determines how many bonus points you’ll receive after each Challenge game. This is where I would guess the game does most of its “keeping it close” since they send out Mr. Galagoogoo to dole out the points and we all know how unpredictable he can be.
The Challenge games themselves are creative, and very easy to pick up (as they should be). They range from simply running around collecting candies (from a giant candy-tossing ball…. Odd) to pin the tail on the Zumbug (using what I can only imagine are high-powered tail launching rifles – complete with scope!). Each game runs for about a minute and then you’re onto the next Challenge game or race. Honestly, I found the pacing was perfect for this type of game. I want my party games to pop; I don’t want to sit through boring nonsense between rounds (Fuzion Frenzy 2… grrr…), spending more time out of the games than in them.
Overall, I think Krome Studios really hit the mark with Viva Piñata: Party Animals. From the flashy graphics and amusing animations, to the over-the-top voice acting and fantastic soundtrack, to the creative Challenge games and furious foot-races, VP Party Animals is a premier party game that I highly recommend for everyone.
Oh, and I have to send out some props to Xbox for their choice of venue for this event. It was at Hernando’s on Wellington St. in Toronto, and it couldn’t have been a better fit for the game. Nachos, quesadillas, bright and colourful décor, friendly staff, and a fantastic party game equals a great time!