Okay, confession time: I never played Viva Piñata the first time around. The allure of festive animal husbandry was insufficient to entice me into the console purchase required. I've researched the original (by, uh, watching some YouTube videos and such), but I went into my quick demo of Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise without a real preconceived notion of how Viva Piñata is supposed to look or play.
How was this ever anything but a DS game? The tasks involved in playing Viva -- watering and planting plants, clearing land, building structures for critters -- make so much sense in the top-down perspective of Pocket Paradise that it's hard to imagine this game in a different perspective on a different system. It would be so much harder, I think, to manage a large-scale garden in a more zoomed-in view. Having a larger, wider look at the goings-on in the garden makes the game seem more natural and easier.