Plants vs Zombies Review (Xbox 360)
It’s simple its fun it’s addictive and its planting its self on Xbox Live Arcade.
Plants Vs Zombies core gameplay is that of a tower defence game in which players are tasked with building towers that provide different roles in order to repel oncoming enemies. It’s a tried and tested format they may sound dull however Pop Caps Plants VS Zombies manages to put a spin on things. Instead of towers players instead use plants to rebel on coming attacks from zombies; keeping things fresh and varied the game offers a number of different plants to use and a number of different zombies to repel each with their own ability. The simple pick up and play nature is what shines, the easy to learn controls and the clean UI make Plants VS Zombies accessible to everyone be it gamer or non gamer however investing time in the game is rewarded. The broad range of plants at your disposable, all provide different roles such as being more effective against certain enemies.
Plants can only be deployed by gaining sunlight which can be earned over time during levels set in the day, as well as gaining sunlight over time players can also gain sunlight via the sunflower which also accelerates the cool down time of building a unit. The tactical side comes into play when levels set during the night come into play as sunlight is no longer gained without the aid of plants and at this point things become a lot more fun, hectic and strategic. Creating a balance of offensive plants such as the pea shooter or the Fume-Shroom and the defensive plants like the Chomper and Wall-nut add to this resource management and you’ve got a challenge that is both fun and satisfying to overcome. The zombies you will encounter during your time in Plants VS Zombies each offer their own ability and difficulty to overcome be it the bog standard Zombie to the Dancing Zombie or Bucket Head Zombie. Having the ability to juggle all the elements of Plants VS Zombie is surprisingly easy to start off with however in later levels things become a bit more intense but still remains fun and highly addictive.
Plants VS Zombies offers a number of game modes for players to tackle. The main game mode is that of adventure which introduces a new plant to the player after each level as well as this players can earn cash during the course of a level which can be used to buy a number of upgrades such as increased seed space, this allows to have a large choice of plants available to a player during a level, and new plants. Adventure modes pacing is broken up via a number of mini games delivered by crazy Steve who also offers a number of laughs. The mini games range from a zombie variant of Whack-a-mole to a bowling type mini game. Other game modes include the returns of Puzzle, Survival and Zen Garden all put a spin on the core gameplay. Leader boards add a more competitive sense to Plants Vs Zombies as players try to outdo their friend’s high scores, achievements earned in game are visually represented by a house with a trophies around it which add an extra touch of competition. There are also a number of extra game modes to be unlocked via playing though adventure mode which adds extra game hours to the overall package.
Arguably the biggest addition to Plants VS Zombies is the inclusion of Co-op and VS game modes. Co-op is compatible with the bowling mini game and adventure mode, both modes work well in co-op and everything flows in a fluid nature with the only issue stemming from disagreements on how sunlight is spent. The ability to alter difficulty setting to be considerably harder than the solo game lets co-op flourish and feel like a true challenge. The main issue with Co-op is that there is no drop in/ drop out feature nor is there any online co-op which admittedly is disappointing.
VS mode also suffers from a lack of online capability but this doesn’t alter how enjoyable the game mode is. One player takes control of the plants while the other takes the control of zombies and from here begins the fun of trying to take each other out. Zombie and plant types unlocked in adventure mode can be used in VS mode in addition to this VS mode exclusive zombie types can be used such as the trash can zombie. VS mode offers hours of fun but is not without its faults. If a player takes up the control of plants and has none of the unlockable plants from the adventure mode they will feel almost underpowered compared to the zombies.
Overall Plants VS Zombies more than justifies its 1200 MSP price tag. The adorable visuals and strangely catchy music, which includes a fantastic song played during the credits, all add to the fun on offer. Replay value is added by the range of game modes that all offer something fresh and still keep the additive nature of Plants VS Zombies intact. The fluid gameplay is a real testament to Pop Caps ability to create fantastic games as well as being able to port their games to different formats and this is especially true in the case of Plants VS Zombies Xbox Live. Pop Cap have truly created a marvel of a game that manages to be highly accessible and extremely addictive which leaves Plants VS Zombies as one of the best title on Xbox Live Arcade. Sure the disappointment of no online Vs or Co-op does take away from the overall package but this does not stop Plants VS Zombies from being nothing but fun, addictive and well worth anyone’s time and money.