Zombie enthusiasts, throw all of your notions of zombies away. You’re about to be rocked!
Have you ever needed a game to give you a break between the hardcore titles? Help you lighten the mood from a bad loss but still keep you thinking? Well the new XBLA arcade game “Plants vs Zombies” from Pop Cap Games does just that.
Plants vs Zombies has been out since 2009 for the PC and Mac but was just recently introduced to the consoles and other Apple products. It was mega hit when it came out and it was just a matter of time before they came out with a console version.
The basis and story of the game is that you’re a homeowner trying to defend against waves of zombies. Your only arsenal is plants, fungi, and the occasional help from your friendly neighbor, Crazy Dave. As you progress through the levels, you are generally rewarded with new plants so you can adapt your defenses to the new zombies. There are 50 levels to play through and they give you a variety of scenarios to complete them on. Some levels take place during the day and some at night. This really affects your game plan as to what plants or fungi to use and how much sunlight you can collect, which is how you buy your plants.
There are also times Crazy Dave will come in and have you play some mini-games such as whack-a-zombie or bowling. Other times you are given pre-chosen plants on a conveyor belt and have to work with what you get in order to defend yourself. Something new that PC and Apple product players haven’t been introduced to yet is the competitive and co-op multiplayer modes. The highlight would be the versus mode letting one player take control of the zombie horde and the other in control of the plants. Though great fun, the multiplayer modes are only available locally.
With the combination of the graphics and sounds, it creates a cutesy but eerie environment. The soundtrack, reminiscent of No Doubts “Hella Good”, goes great with the surroundings and causes no big annoyance being looped. The biggest focal point of the whole game are the type of zombies the developers designed. There are many types (26 in all) of zombies you’re put up against and most definitely not your average run of the mill ones. Normal zombies, business zombies, pole vaulting and dolphin carrying zombies, there is an endless combination of zombie armies that will come and attack you. It’s trying at times, but it really only adds to the amusement and charm of the game. Rest assured though it is a zombie horde, there is no gore except for the heads that pop off when a zombie has been defeated. As for the controls, it handles well. A little touchy at first with the on-screen cursor but you’ll become accustomed to it. As for the in-game controls, they are very easy and not complicated.
Even though I wasn’t able to unlock all the modes and test them out (believe me I tried, but after seven hours of game play, I needed a break) Plants vs Zombies will definitely be a hit on XBLA, just as it was for the PC and Apple products. This is one zombie game the whole family can sit down and enjoy. It has everything needed to keep a casual gamer satisfied or a hardcore player amused. In Crazy Dave’s words, this game is A-O-Good!
Replay Ability: 9/10
Overall Rating: 9/10