Plants vs. Zombies (Available on 3DS, Android, DS, DSi, iOS, PC, PS3, Mac, Vita, web browsers, and Xbox 360)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Tower Defence
Publisher: S.O.E. / PopCap Games
Developer: PopCap Games
Note: This review is solely based on the PlayStation Vita version of this game.
Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Plants vs. Zombies E10+ for animated blood and cartoon violence. Blood is virtually non-existent, and the overall atmosphere in this game is about as spooky as a Disney cartoon.
Plays Like: Many other tower defense games from years past. You set up plants to block zombies from entering your house. Wave after wave of zombies will continuously try to get through your defenses until you thwart their efforts for about five to ten minutes.
Review Basis: Finished all 50 levels of the original release on PC, and played up until 4-2 on the Vita version to see the differences.
Plants vs. Zombies is one of those games that has been released for every platform known to man, with different pricing depending on the platform. For example you can pick up the iPhone version for $2.99, the iPad version for $6.99, the PS3/Xbox 360 version for $14.99, and the same for the Vita version. Regardless of which version you pick up, or how much you spend on it, this is one game that’s totally worth it. It’s one of the very best tower defense games ever created, and one you simply must play.
The overall concept, and that way it takes such a basic idea and turns it on its head, is downright amazing. You’re trying to prevent zombies from entering your house by harnessing your incredible…gardening skills. That’s right, by planting a variety of deadly killer plants you can wipe out the incoming zombie hoard. Armed only with a handful of seeds, and the advice of crazy Dave, you take on wave after wave, level after level of zombie-killing action. It sounds insane, and it is, which is why it’s one of the best downloadable games ever made.
+ Excellent gameplay. In order to plant anything you need to harness the sun’s incredible ultraviolet rays. Planting sunflower seeds allows you to collect sun points, which can then be traded in for plants.
+ Day/Night system is great. During the day you can collect sun points from the natural weather outside, or by planting sunflowers. At night, you have to plant special fungi that will release sun points. The strategy is to plant just the right number of sun-producing plants and defensive plants that will protect your house.
+ Improvements come one level at a time. As you progress through the game, more and more new abilities are unlocked from stronger plants to different seed slots, which allow you to carry a certain number of unique seeds with you per level.
+ There’s a perfect difficulty curve. Each new level brings one new challenge from a different zombie-type to a new environmental obstacle.
+ Play how you want to play. You can use the touch screen to play through the game as you would on Android and iOS devices, or you can play through it with the analog sticks and buttons as you would on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. However you decide to play, the game controls perfectly. Oh and being able to shake the Vita to collect the sun point is genius.
+ There’s so much to do. Not only do you have the 50-level adventure mode, but also there’s a puzzle mode, survival mode and tons of other mini-games to keep you glued to your Vita. There’s also the Crazy Dave store where you can spend in-game coins you collect during the adventure mode to unlock new and powerful seeds.
+ Technically perfect port. Some versions of this game featured some slowdown, but not the Vita version. This is likely the best looking and playing version released on any portable device thus far. It looks just as colorful and vibrant as you could imagine from the included screenshots.
+ Trophy support that even includes a platinum. I know many of you trophy hunters will be pleased to hear that. The entire trophy list is different than the one featured in the PS3 version. Happy hunting.
+/- One minor nitpick I have is that you can’t save your favorite seed loadout. Before each stage you always have to go back and select your favorite seeds. This was done because each new stage throws something new at you, but it would have been a neat option just the same.
– Nothing overly new. A small complaint, but this is the very same game we’ve already played a hundred times before. I think it is time for Plants vs. Zombies 2.
Having a zombie with a pot over his head and a rubber ducky floating device trying to swim in under the radar, only to get destroyed by the ever-lovable exploding plant. I love when that happens.
Plants vs. Zombies was a hit right from the get-go. This latest version on the Vita comes in at a fair price compared with the other console versions, and features the same amount of content. This one an ultra easy recommend. If you haven’t already played this game before, what the heck are you waiting for? If you have, then it’s simply a matter of whether or not you need another version.
Average Score Scale: 8.5 (+/- 0.5) out of 10
Personal Final Score: 9/10 (Inflated)
Reason for +0.5 Inflation: If you haven’t played this game before, or if you adore it so much you want to experience it on Sony’s latest portable. Trophy hunters will also find a lot to like here.
Reason for -0.5 Deflation: If you’ve already played this game to death on another platform, you might find the $15 asking price a tad steep.