13 March, 2011

Plants vs Zombies

This review was requested by sHx, a commenter at Bishop Hill.

Xbox 360-Arcade, PS network, NDS, PC, iPhone, iPod, iPad
“Plants vs Zombies”is a defence/strategy game based in your backyard where you are expecting a zombie attack and must protect it against those zombies by planting different arrays of plants to fight off the oncoming hordes.  At the very beginning of the game you start out with only the very basic plant-types such as “Pea shooters” and “Sunflowers”; but, as you continue fighting off the walking dead, you will receive new and exotic plants, with their own unique abilities, such as “explode on contact”, “immobilizing all zombies on the screen” or “make a zombie turn around and fight for you”.  Not only do you receive new plants but you also receive money to buy more plant-slots, and other useful items, from “Crazy Dave’s Twiddy Dinkies” to help you in your defensive efforts against the new and more powerful zombies. As you continue through the game you will encounter more and more zombies with their own individual abilities (including vaulting over plants, carrying an explosive surprise, “floating above the fray” or tunneling under the lawn to bypass your defence and attack from behind).
After some solid game play, this game becomes quite repetitive, there being only a few different game types and limited moves.  As an iPod game it is fun and entertaining, but there is only so much you can do before you start to get bored, I recommend playing this game in short, occasional bursts.

6 out of 10

1 comment:

  1. Alfred, thank you very much for this review, mate.

    I borrowed the game last month from someone who wouldn't mind if I tried it on my PC, after hearing it was chosen as the arcade game of the year or something like that. I was curious how any arcade game could be any good in this day and age of graphic intensive shoot'em up games, and RTSs and RPGs.

    Anyway, I only played the game once (yup, right to the end!) so I'm not sure if it's repetitive or addictive, but I can tell you that the last time any arcade game filled me with such mirth was the days when my friends and I would frequent gaming parlours with pocketful of coins to play Space Invaders, the Pacman and the Bomber.

    What I found outstanding about Plants Vs Zombies isn't so much the game-play, which is hardly an improvement on the basic arcade game structure, but the cartoon quality figures (what? plants? vs zombies?), the colours, the hauntingly comical music (the influence of The Night of the Living Dead, no doubt), and, of course, Crazy Dave.

    I am mad about Crazy Dave. He doesn't utter a single comprehensible word -and hence the mandatory subtitles-, but thinking about him still brings a smile to my face. I think his character is based on Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons. He is everything Groundskeeper Willie wished he were.

    I believe your rating of 6 out of 10 for Plants Vs Zombies is a little harsh. I thought it's worth at least 8 out of 10 because this is the kind of game that would bring out the 8 year-old out of anyone between the ages of 18 and 80.

    BTW, I looked at Portal the other day and thought it was such a weird game. I've never seen a game like that before where you lose your balance and orientation in a blink. In that sense, the game resembles the movie the Cube a little. I am stuck on one of the levels where I just cannot get the trajectory of the moving energy ball right, and I used to think I was good at geometry and the billiards.

    Anyway, again, your review is much appreciated. I see your little brother likes writing reviews as well. I wish I had a Dad like yours.