Another weekend, another addition to RareFanDaBase’s Rare Revisits series. This time around, I would like to explore what is arguably one of the most personal environments in the studio’s storied history.
Upon the opening of 2006’s Viva Piñata, you are introduced to the garden, a lush paradise that has been ravaged and torn to ruin by Professor Pester and his Ruffians. As the player, it is your duty to restore this relatively small chunk of land — which initially appears as a plain of dirt — to its former glory.
Now, that is a fairly simple concept, and is about as expansive as Viva Piñata’s incredibly threadbare story goes. That being said, however, I do appreciate the preamble that is provided at the game’s outset. I could have easily just been introduced to this crop of land and been told “Here it is. Now, get to work.” The notion that you are reclaiming a piece of brilliance that had been lost gives the whole proceedings a greater sense of purpose.
With that being the case, this is one of the most personal locales of any Rare game. The garden is a blank canvas whose appearance and function is wholly dependent on your choices. You may desire to raise bunnycombs exclusively, with a crop of pumpkins off to the side. I, meanwhile, may opt to raise a variety of piñatas, while also decorating the land with pirate statues. You might want to create a small pond, while I may prefer to form a wholly aquatic setting. The variety of choices are so vast that no two gardens will look exactly the same.
How do you feel about Viva Piñata’s sole location, though? How did you manage your garden? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!