Gardening seemed like a strange basis for a game, though thankfully, Rare managed to pull it off fantastically in 2006 with their release of Viva Piñata. Two years on and the candy-filled animals return for the true sequel (discounting Viva Piñata: Party Animals). This time round the story behind Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise is more understandable and clearly visible: Professor Pester and the sour Piñatas have wiped the Piñata database clean of all Piñata records.  It’s the player’s job to prevent further disruption and to recover the records.

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Schizoid is the first Xbox LIVE Arcade title to be released created using the XNA Creators Club. Despite having a weird name, the concept of Schizoid is simple. Players must eliminate glowing enemies of their colour and protect their partner from trouble. They do this by moving around red or blue ships and making contact with enemies of the same colour. For example, if a red ship touches a red enemy, the enemy is destroyed, however, if a red ship makes contact with a blue enemy, the player’s lose a life. The level ends when all enemies are cleared.

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The Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved series started out as a mini-game within Project Gotham Racing 3 and since then it has exploded into being a huge success. The same mini-game was released on the Xbox LIVE Arcade priced at 400 Microsoft Points, while a Nintendo Wii and DS version was also released at the end of 2007. Now in 2008, the long-awaited Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 has been released and a few fans will be slightly disappointed.

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