Plants vs. Zombies Review

Plants vs. Zombies is a 2009 tower defense video game developed and published by PopCap Games, released for Microsoft Windows, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, Nintendo DS, Android, PlayStation Vita, iOS, OS X, Google Chrome, DSiWare, Bada, Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10, and BlackBerry Tablet OS. The game involves homeowners who use a variety of different plants to prevent an army of zombies from entering their houses and “eating their brains”.


Positives:

  • Tons of replayability
  • Locks of unlockables
  • Great soundtrack
  • Great amount of humor
  • Fun animation style
  • Extensive campaign
  • Gameplay is highly diverse
  • Lots of alternate modes
  • Great multiplayer co-op

Negatives:

  • Gameplay can be repetitive
  • Could’ve been better competitive gameplay

Campaign:  The game features an extensive Adventure Mode consisting of fifty levels which players defend Crazy Dave’s home against the hordes of zombies led by the evil Dr. Zomboss.  The gameplay is simple but with the progression comes more difficulty, but not overly difficult.  The Adventure Mode can be played both single-player and two player co-op.  It doesn’t really have a story but its setting is what makes the game engaging.  Crazy Dave adds all kinds of commentary that can be hilarious if not a little redundant. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay:  Players have only one goal, stop the zombie hordes from getting into your house and chopping on your brains.  To that end, players will have to utilize 48 types of plants and fungi, each with their own unique offensive or defensive capabilities.  Planting costs “sun”, which can be gathered for free during daytime levels and by planting certain plants or fungi.  The playing field is divided into 5 to 6 horizontal lanes with the zombies moving along one lane.  Like the plants, the zombies come in all shapes and sizes, 26 with their own unique abilities. At the start of each round you can pick which seeds to take into battle and with the limited amount of slots in your inventory, half the battle is in picking effective units. The array of choices means you can customize your strategy. The levels themselves also determine which plants that should be deployed as well as what kinds of zombies that will appear, environmental factors such as fog or darkness. (5 out of 5)

Graphics:  The overall presentation is just fun and silliness helps to provide a lot of humor.  Everything from the plants, to the zombies, to the level designs is just simple but artistic.  At some moments the game can be dark but also there is the vibrancy of day levels or rooftops. The dialogue doesn’t seem overly intrusive.  (3 out of 5)

Sound:  The sound effects are handled nicely. Plants, zombies, and levels have their own unique sounds. The music is fun and definitely keeps the gameplay engaging.  The “Zombies in Your Lawn” ending song is just freakin awesome. Laura Shigihara does a great job of composing the music appealing to both adults and youngsters. (5 out of 5)

Replay Value:  The replayability is pretty damn high with a huge variety of gameplay modes that extend the gameplay significantly.  Players can take on the Adventure Mode again, utilizing different tactics with all the fully unlocked roster of plants.  There is the Survival Mode where the hordes just keep coming. Zen Garden is pretty hardcore where players can grow plants in a garden, and gain some serious cash.  There are a large number of minigames and puzzles that can be unlocked such as I, Zombie, Vasebreaker, and a PvZ version of Bejeweled.  There is even the multiplayer which features modes that include co-operative and competitive.  (5 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Plants vs. Zombies is not only a great game but one of the best damn tower defense games.  If you’ve played the game as extensively as me, it can feel a little repetitive.  However, that doesn’t stop it from being a good time.  It features a ton of replayability, great sound, fun gameplay, tons of unlockables, and fun multiplayer.  Plants vs. Zombies gets 5 out of 5.

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