Chungking Espresso

Trouble in Paradise and the Vision Camera

Posted in Gaming by Simon Ferrari on October 18, 2008

So Trouble in Paradise is, on the whole, a solid offering for the animal collection/customization set. The new hunting features and expanded flora and food options are delightful. The biggest flaw are the races and beauty contest which just seem tacked-on and too simplistic/random (I guess this is so people who bought Party Animals don’t feel like they wasted their money). Also, the new weeds are a terror early on in the game when your shovel isn’t that great yet. Most of them can be safely grown behind a fence so you can get your plant growth experience, but if you play this game don’t plant hemlock if you have more than a couple pinata in your farm. The flying ones will get in there quickly and spread that partciular weed all over the place. Another big issue is the fact that a lot of the early content of the game is pretty much wholesale re-hashing of the first Viva Pinata. This would be almost intolerable if it weren’t for the Vision Camera’s ability to scan in cards of any pinata, which is kind of cheating. But I think you’re cheating yourself if you spend the time to re-collect all of the pinata you acquired in the last game. So I would urge you to card in all the pinata you got in the first game, and then experience all the new animals and hunting and evolution without using these cards. This is by far the most satisfying Vision Camera experience I’ve had so far. It’s kind of uncanny how the game can read the cards off of a computer screen (it does take some tweaking and hair-pulling, though). What would I like to see done with the camera in the future? If this game can read these cards based basically on lines and a barcode, I don’t see why it couldn’t take in basic changes in facial expression. I think it’s probaly capable of reading changes in mouth alignment and browline, since it’s clearly reading line data here. So somebody please put this in an RPG so I can make my character look neutral, happy, sad, angry etc. to influence conversation trees. That would be totally bad-ass.

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