Plants vs. Zombies Review

Take great care of your plants.

Whether you are driving on the freeway to work or sitting at your desk, you must have caught yourself daydreaming about the preparations you would take in a zombie apocalypse. Where would you defend yourself? Who would be with you? And most importantly, what is your weapon of choice?

[image1]I would be set up at Costco with family and friends who are armed with an assortment of weapons: a katana, a chainsaw, a 12-gauge, a ray gun, a lightsaber, etc. I’d be on the roof with my 50-cal in hand, Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide in quick reach, and claymores surrounding the area while an AC130 is in the air… what? Don’t judge. Although this has been my plan for quite some time, I had an epiphany these last couple days: my ultimate weapon of choice would be plants!

You might think I'm kidding, but I have tested their defenses against waves of zombies in the aptly named Plants vs. Zombies. The objective is simple enough: defend parts of your home from zombies by harvesting sun and using it to grow different kinds of plants. These plants shoot peas, others shoot snow peas—I always knew peas were a deadly vegetable—which damage and freezes zombies, making them slow down.

However, every offense needs a good defense. The Wall-Nut is a barrier that stops zombies momentarily from advancing. Still, not only can they be eaten by the zombies, but they can also be jumped over by zombies with pogo sticks and poles used for pole vaulting. The Tall-Nut, though, which is basically a Wall-Nut but taller (got it?), prevents zombies from jumping over them. If you think it stops there, you’re wrong. A zombie with a ladder can stroll right on over and place the ladder along the Tall-Nut allowing him and other zombies behind him to climb right over.

For every plant you use, there is a zombie to counter it, so plenty of strategy is involved in order to defend your home successfully. You also have several environment changes that alter gameplay, making it more challenging as you progress. Levels include places like your backyard, which has a pool. There, aquatic plants are available to you and aquatic zombies, which sport floating devices, can attack you.

[image2]All this chaos and fun is found in Adventure mode. If you’re a zombie-killing professional, though, and get through Adventure mode quickly, play it again and the difficulty increases by adding more waves of zombies than before. However, if the mode becomes tiresome, there are plenty of things to do to keep you entertained—so much that six hours will pass by and you missed work, missed that lunch date you were looking forward to all week, and shame on you, but you also forgot to call your mom.

While the co-op and versus mode is something to look forward to, it’s local-only. There are separate levels to play co-operatively if you choose, but anyone can jump into Adventure mode with you and provide assistance. Versus mode allows one player to be plants and the other, zombies. It is fun playing as the zombies, but it doesn’t last long because chances are you will lose more so than not.

The plants side is similar to Adventure mode where you build your defenses and if that fails, lawn mowers will run down over the zombies, giving the player a second chance to re-build. However, on the zombie side, you have five targets exposed, making it incredibly easy for the plants to shoot them down. Once that happens, plants win and there isn’t any second chance for the zombie side. It is definitely challenging, but it seems one-sided.

Survival mode, the mini-games, and puzzle games, though, make up for the disappointment with the game’s local-only multiplayer and its unbalanced Versus mode. I even started building my Zen Garden to earn more cash, so I can buy some overly expensive items from my crazy neighbor, who wears a pot for a helmet and gives me 1000 coins for a taco. Weird, but humorous.

[image3]In Survival mode, you select to play a certain environment – at night, in the fog, on the roof, or in the backyard with the pool. If you win, you’re able to select new plants to use on top of the ones you already planted in the previous wave. As you win more of these survival levels, the difficulty increases to the point where you don’t only get more waves, but more zombies—enough to make you wish you took some anxiety pills.

The mini-games are for laughs and giggles. Video games are meant to be fun regardless, and with Plants vs. Zombies, you experience a lot of it. One of the mini-games called Beghouled is just like Bejeweled where you combine a chain of three or more peashooters, wall-nuts, and mushrooms. While you’re doing that, you’re also being attacked by zombies. Sounds insanely fun, right?

And that’s just one mini-game. There is so much to do in Plants vs. Zombies that it’s impossible to become bored with the game. Between the peashooters and zombies in scuba gear, you will be entertained enough to keep coming back for more. What the Versus mode lacks, the other modes easily make up for with fun and challenging gameplay. With that said, I need to tend my plants. You should take care of yours too. Just in case.

  • Addictive, comical gameplay
  • Creative, challenging extra modes
  • Fun, long-lasting time waster
  • Co-op mode
  • ...even though it's not online
  • ...including Versus mode
  • ...which is unfair anyway

8

Upcoming Releases

Addictive, comical gameplay Creative, challenging extra modes Fun, long-lasting time waster Co-op mode ...even though it's not online ...including Versus…
Addictive, comical gameplay Creative, challenging extra modes Fun, long-lasting time waster Co-op mode ...even though it's not online ...including Versus…
Addictive, comical gameplay Creative, challenging extra modes Fun, long-lasting time waster Co-op mode ...even though it's not online ...including Versus…
Addictive, comical gameplay Creative, challenging extra modes Fun, long-lasting time waster Co-op mode ...even though it's not online ...including Versus…