follow us:

Latest News

Rayman, Booker and Lara star in the Games with Gold for March
The transition from February to March is the shortest turnaround time to get free games with the Games with Gold program. Also, at least for this March, there are multiple GOTY contenders in this batch. ... [read more]
Velocity 2X goes multi-platform
The Sony exclusive Velocity 2X will make its way to Xbox One and PC later this year thanks to Sierra Games. ... [read more]
Forza Horizon getting Fast & Furious expansion
Microsoft released a teaser of the upcoming Fast & Furious expansion for Forza Horizon 2 by showing a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T and a 2012 Nissan GT-R racing side by side on a curved road. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

Evolve, day 1 DLC, and the entitlement of gamers
Evolve hasn’t been out for 72 hours yet and gamers have already decided to make it public enemy number 1. This is thanks to the umbrella claim of “2K charging full price for an incomplete game, as well as for DLC that should have been included with the original purchase.... [read more]
PAX South Tour Guide Pt. 3 - Quick Tips
So far we’ve told you what to do in San Antonio as well as where to eat and drink while at PAX South. Now we have a few quick tips for those traveling to our great city. ... [read more]
The OG Replay for Jan. 19
We're less than a week from PAX South and everyone here is excited. Not only is one of the biggest gaming events coming to our home city of San Antonio, but we're going to have our own panel. ... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Dragon Age: Inquisition Review
Every time I tried to play either Dragon Age Origins or Dragon Age 2, I’d find myself playing for the first 10 or so hours before turning it off and playing a different game. I gave it one more chance with Dragon Age: Inquisition.... [read more]
Driveclub Review
Originally announced at the PS4 reveal event in Feb. 2013, Driveclub was due for release as a PS4 launch title. Development misfortunes led to an 11 month delay and the game was finally released in the first week of Oct. 2014. The game faced major challenges at launch as the... [read more]
This War of Mine Review: A new angle on war games
11 bit studios made a name for themselves with the Anomaly series where they flipped the script on the tower defense formula. They flipped the script again with This War of Mine that doesn't put you in the shoes of soldiers fighting a war, but rather the people trying to sur... [read more]

Latest Videos

PAX South 2015: 8-Bit Eric does a Starr Mazer interview...kind of
On display at PAX South was a game called Starr Mazer, which mashes shmup gameplay with point-and-click adventure gameplay. 8-Bit Eric tried to do an interview with the developer, and well, you'll have to see what happens. ... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Shiny the Firefly Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at Shiny the Firefly on the Wii U. An indie game developed by Padaone games where you control a firefly on a rescue mission to protect its babies.... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Ping 1.5+ Review
8-Bit Eric takes a look at the Wii U puzzle game Ping 1.5+ from Nami Tentou Mushi for the Wii U. ... [read more]
Plants vs. Zombies Review
Posted on September 24, 2010 by

“Seriously? Plants against zombies?” I thought upon first seeing a boxed copy of Plants vs. Zombies in a store a few months ago. I raised an eyebrow at the cartoony zombie on the cover and then dismissed it as another attempt to cash in on the current zombie craze.

Fast forward to San Japan 3, and among my fellow freakos I saw someone dressed up as the zombie from the box cover carrying around a flower in a pot. I thought to myself, “Okay, the game is apparently popular enough to cosplay,” but I was still uninterested.

Next thing I know, O.G. assigned me the Xbox Live Arcade version of Plants vs. Zombies to review, so I guess I couldn’t dismiss or ignore it any longer. Good thing, too, because I would have otherwise missed out on a fun game from the house that Bejeweled built: PopCap Games.

Like most of PopCap’s games, the concept is simple: defend your home from invading zombies. Also, like many of PopCap’s games, once you get into it you CANNOT STOP PLAYING. I started at about ten o’clock at night, blasted through the single-player campaign and ultimately fell into bed at four in the morning, a bleary-eyed, yawning, exhausted, very entertained heap of gamer.

Plants vs. Zombies is a “tower defense” game in which you use plants to defend your home on the left side of the screen. The invading zombies shuffle in from the right side of the screen and in typical zombie fashion, walk in a straight line across six rows. To keep the undead away from your tasty brains you must place plants in their path that either shoot projectiles at them or slow them down.

While on the surface, pitting plants against zombies doesn’t sound like a fair fight, there are wide variety of offensive and defensive plant types to use to keep your home and brains safe. Initially, the player starts out with basic units such as a “Peashooter” that shoots, well…peas and “Wall-Nuts” that zombies must eat through before they can continue. As you progress through Adventure Mode you will unlock additional plants to help you fend off the zombie horde.

While the game starts out assaulting you with basic garden-variety shambling undead, new zombies will show up as you continue through the campaign. Zombies wearing traffic cones and buckets on their heads require more shots to defeat, pole vaulting zombies leap over the first obstacle they encounter, and newspaper carrying zombies come at you faster after they lose their reading material. There are over twenty different zombie types to be encountered, and players will need to adjust their defensive strategy as new ones are introduced.

At the beginning of each level of Adventure Mode, the player is given a quick peek at the incoming zombie horde and then six plant types must be chosen to use in the level. Selecting the right plants becomes more and more critical as the game progresses, and once your pick your floral fighters the game begins.
 

Sunlight is the resource you use to place plants. Each plant requires the player to have a certain amount of sunlight before it can be placed. Sunlight falls down from the top of the screen as the game progresses and must be caught with the cursor. Sunflowers can also be planted that produce sunlight on their own. The player has to decide whether to plant lower-level attack plants quickly, or use defensive units, which cost less sunlight, to slow down the attack until enough sunlight can be saved up to drop more effective attack units. Plants also cannot be placed repeatedly; each one has a recharge time that must pass before it can be used again, with more powerful units having longer recharge times.

The player gets about a sixteen second head start before the zombies start groaning in. The controls are simple: you move a cursor with the d-pad or analog stick, use A to drop plants, and hold down B to remove them. Attack units fire by themselves and it is very satisfying to sit back and watch a well constructed defense blast away the undead. Some plants provide instant offensive firepower for those inevitable moments of horror when your defenses have been breached, and in the first set of levels, a row of lawnmowers serve as a last-ditch defense, clearing out an entire row of zombies should your efforts fail.

The occasional whack-a-zombie and zombie bowling levels keep the game from getting too repetitive. Nighttime, backyard and rooftop settings add their own twists to the gameplay. Occasionally, after warning you with a humorous note, the zombies will attempt an all-out attack. On those levels, you are given a constant stream of plants that can be immediately placed for a dose of faster-paced action.

Nearly everything in Plants vs.Zombies is done for laughs. The cute cartoony graphics, overly-pleasant background music, funny character descriptions and constant puns maintain the game’s lighthearted tone. A few levels in, you will be introduced to your neighbor Crazy Dave, who sells upgrades and extra plant types. Unlockable mini-games and puzzle levels provide ways to earn extra in-game cash and are fun little diversions. Some of them are zombie-flavored versions of other PopCap games, such as Bejeweled, Insaniquarium, and Heavy Weapon.

Plants vs. Zombies maintains the high production values associated with PopCap Games’ productions. The hand-drawn 2-D graphics look good and fun to look at. The music and sound effects fit the game well. In terms of difficulty, I would describe the game as being moderately challenging. I only lost twice during my initial run through the game’s campaign but did also have a few close calls. Co-op and versus modes provide some replay value.

My only major complaint about Plants vs. Zombies is that some of the in-game text can be hard to read. I play games on a 32-inch television, so if you have invested in a more sizable screen you may not have that issue. It isn’t a game-breaker but if you are one of those gamers who likes to read all of the in-game text you might need to sit just a little bit closer to your screen.

I enjoyed Plants vs. Zombies. It is a fun game with a silly sense of humor and well, ZOMBIES! Hardcore gamers might be put off by the short campaign and limited challenge, but for the rest of us, Plants vs. Zombies will provide lots of fun and laughs.
 

What's your most anticipated game for March?

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
Battlefield Hardline
RIDE
Pillars of Eternity
MLB 15: The Show
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
Bloodborne
Toukiden: Kiwami
Mario Party 10
ScreamRide
Ori and the Blind Forest
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Time to start 2015


Call of Duty: World at War Review

Plants Vs. Zombies Review

Plants vs Zombies free on iOS devices

Other Gaming News From The Web