Despite how lousy Viva Piñata: Party Animals is as a game, the quality of the visuals keeps it afloat for far longer than it probably ought to. The game aims for the same bright, glowing look as the original Viva Piñata, and though it's not as meticulously detailed, it's mostly quite successful. The piñatas look great, and virtually everything in the environments has a look that equally recalls confetti and candy--there's also lots of confetti and candy. The backgrounds are nicely detailed and filled with activity, and it's not uncommon to see other piñatas leaping around enthusiastically during the various contests. The music is as aggressively upbeat as the visuals, and despite how overzealous some of the piñata voice acting is, it fits the game's overall tone.
Minigame collections and kart-racing games are two of the most obvious, thoughtless ways to cash in on a video game franchise, and considering how daring and unusual Viva Piñata was, it's disappointing to see the franchise go down this path so quickly.