Plants Vs Zombies – Xbox 360 Review
The Zombies have made their way to the Xbox 360, Was it worth the wait? Or is it to late? Find out in this review.
The time has come for console gamers to get some of the PopCap addiction that is known as Plants Vs Zombies. PC Gamers and iPhone gamers have been blessed by this addictive tower-defence title and now Xbox 360 owners now have the chance to build up your defences against the Zombies. New comers to the franchise will find this game highly enjoyable and addictive, previous players may find it not to different from the previous releases may find this version slightly disappointing.
The game put’s the player in the middle of a zombie invasion, the main objective of the game is to protect your houses, front yard, the back yard and of course your brains from being ‘Nomed’ on from the Zombies. How will you defend yourself against the invasion? by the use of cute innocent flowers, cherry bombs, pee shooters and more! The gameplay takes place on a 5×9 grid, and only one plant can be placed per square. It’s pretty straight forward and will come to ease after a few waves of Zombies, don’t get too cocky though because it will take some time to fully master. The game features like its predecessors a large variety of zombie types, and different environments that present unique challenges, such as a pool and a curved roof.
If you have previously played Plants Vs Zombies on PC then you will notice a noticeable difference, their is no mouse its all analogue or d-pad. A lot of gamers worries were that porting it to a console which doesn’t operate with a mouse. PopCap did an amazing job making it feel very fluent and easy to manoeuvre, PC gamers should slowly come at ease with the use of the analogue or d-pad. It can admit that using an controller is not as fast as a mouse when trying to harvest sunlight and planting plants, but it’s not a major issue and doesn’t take away from the gameplay experience. The 360 controller’s bumpers cycle through seeds, the ‘A’ button plants, the ‘B’ button shovels, and the triggers suck in the sunlight. The left analogue stick controls the cursor, which moves around the screen as smooth and quick as if you were using a mouse.
This time around there are some new modes that PopCap have brought to the 360 version of Plants vs. Zombies: Cooperative and Versus. Sadly, the modes are unfortunately offline causing you to invite your friends over to play the modes. You will also have to play the singeplayer Adventure Mode to get the opportunity to unlock these game types. It’s a shame PopCap decided to take the unlocking route for the multiplayer as it does become frustrating, also on top of that learning the multiplayer controls.
Once you have unlocked the Cooperative mode, each player chooses unique seeds, and sunlight is not shared. Communication and teamwork is key. How this mode work is that one player may will have to focus on collecting more sunlight to setup there defences , whilst the other plants the attacking plants to hold of the zombies. New to this mode is the ability to launch butter at zombies, which freezes them in place. Similar to the Frozen Pee Shooter. The Co-op Mode really does come down to be a very strategic and and intense experience in the later stages of the game.
Now the Versus Mode changes in roles, one player will now control the zombies as the other layer controls the plants. The objective of this mode is different, the player planting the plants will have to destroy three targets held by the zombies. The player controlling the zombies remains to reach the other player’s house. Similar to the Arcade Mode where you have to collect sunlight to be able to plant more plants, the player playing with the zombies has to collect brains. You can then build gravestones to defend the attacks of the shots fired by the plants. This mode also cause’s and epic and frantic battle between the plants and zombies. If no one is winning, after a while the game will go into a Sudden Death mode. This means no more plants can be grown and zombies will no longer be bale to build gravestones. Once this happens the game really picks up more momentum, especially the zombie side.
The new modes are extremely addictive and fun. It’s a shame there was no online multiplayer causing the game to be limited to local play. The game would of definitely benefited from online play.
Looking at the visuals of the game, its not outstanding and actually feels like the Xbox 360 version has just received the iPhone port but upgrading it for HD. This does become frustrating throughout as it doesn’t look like it has been properly rendered and configured for HD TV’s. Myself at the time of playing the game for the review I was playing it on my 42 Inch LG HD 1080p TV, this was making me notice how much the title looks like it was running in 480p only. It is a shame, depending on your TV of course will change the visual’s, the game could of been done on a higher resolution but sadly looks like a lazy port.
If you have played the PvZ series before, you would of already known how catchy the music is, if you haven’t then just sit down and listen to the awesome tunes. The sound effects are unmistakable and is awarding to the ears. If you have surround sound, you’re in for a treat.
Overall – 3/5 – Great
In the end, Plants vs. Zombies console port is fulfilled with mixed opinions. On one hand, the poor graphics and lack of online play are major disappointments. On the other hand, the game is still a blast to play, and there is a lot of content, including mini games, puzzles, and survival modes. If you have played PvZ before then you will probably continue to have the same enjoyment you have had with the previous, the multiplayer although no online still brings some new gameplay elements. New comers will find a new excitement and addictive gameplay will cause you spend countless hours on end battling the zombies.
Plants vs. Zombies is available now on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 ($10) Microsoft Point