EA’s latest version of ball-o-stick-o can be compared to the much underrated Xbox 360 shooter Shadowrun. No, Shadowrun doesn’t feature a hidden golf mini-game (although Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise does – try knocking sweets into holes with the spade). But like Shadowrun, if you don’t have your console connected to Xbox Live then you’re going to miss out on the best bits.
The bad news is that Trouble in Paradise feels more like a special edition of the first Viva Piñata than a fully fledged sequel. The good news is that it’s still as addictive as ever, and the new refinements make for a better game. It’s a lot harder to unlock the achievements this time round too, but whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of back breaking labour – apart from the whole back breaking thing.