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Rant & Rave: Plants vs Zombies 2

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True with the game’s subtitle, PopCap (now owned by EA) decided that it’s time poorly authentic zombie games such as Dinosaur vs Zombies, Angry Ninja Birds vs Zombies, Zombies Hate Plants and the like to move aside as the much-anticipated sequel to the breakaway hit that changed the face of tower defense games, Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s about time virtually comes to life.

Surprisingly, PvZ 2 (currently available only on iOS), unlike its predecessor, turns out to be a free-to-play game only seasoned with in-app purchases that actually increase the gaming experience the game has to offer. But beyond this kind gesture underlies more surprising features that make this sequel even more addicting than the previous.

 

Gameplay

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PopCap made sure that players won’t find themselves lost with the slightly revamped gameplay by sticking to the original game’s winning formula: grow plants of varying abilities to protect your brains from being munched by horrifyingly goofy zombies of different skills.

Crazy Dave, as crazy as before, after eating the delicious taco, spins the story by wanting to travel back in time so he could eat the Mexcian delight once more. He then seeks the help of a talking time machine who will serve as an equalizer to Crazy Dave’s insanity all throughout the game. With not much fortune, the time machine sends the player to places such as ancient Egypt, pirate ships, and the wild west which are basically the three time periods the player must conquest in able to get back to the present time.

The three worlds are presented in large maps instead of a linear campaign used in the original. Items like keys, stars and plants will be given as rewards after finishing a certain level. The stars are used to move the time machine to the next world, you would need to accumulate certain amount of stars to proceed to the next world and at the end of your Final day in that world, you will realize that the stars aren’t enough yet and so you will find yourself playing all the levels again to acquire more stars.  However, you can just choose to give away few bucks to unlock the next world. The keys are for gates that will allow you to play mini-games so you could earn more rewards.

 

Tweaks

PopCap made sure to keep many of the same plants such as the Sunflower, Peashooter, Wallnut and Potato Mine – which are actually the basic plants to start with.  Along the way, the player will unlock more plants necessary to fight zombies that become even more skillful as the player advances to the next level.

 

Official-Game-Trailer-for-Plants-vs.-Zombies-2-Its-About-TimePlayers will no longer be facing Thriller-inspired dancing zombies, or Zamboni riding zombies, instead, sunlight-stealing Pharaoh zombies,  seagulls carrying tied-up zombies, and pianist zombies who can summon dancing cowboys, all inspired by the three time periods will test your strategic management of the garden.
Fret not however, because the arsenal got even plentier. Among the latest additions the family, Bonk Choy, a Chinese Cabbage, stands out from the crowd. This high-damage low-range plant could punch zombies one brick forward and back. (Best to plant beside a wallnut) Also, Bloomerang, a flower-like plant, allows you to hit zombies back and forth. If you plan of planting lots of it, however, you need to have as many sunflowers as possible, as it is a little thirstier of sunlight.

 

Power ups

Afraid of not vanquishing a huge wave of zombies? This time, you can meddle more in the game, as zombie power-ups are introduced which come in three different flavors.These let you literally pinch zombies’ heads, flick them off the board and zap them with electricity.  These three, though fun as they may seem, come with prices to pay that will make you not use it as frequent as you might think.

Another fate-changing device added is the plant food which allows you to super-charge your plants when things get rough. For instance, if one of your lanes contains only one peashooter and a bucklehead zombie approaches, you will find this feature very useful as it will turn your peashooter into a gatling pee for seconds. Plant food can be obtained by killing  luminescent zombies and can only be stored and used on the current board.

 

Final verdict

Though it’s true that deviating from the same gameplay can stray some PvZ 1 fanatics away, it also stirs the tendency of boring out the players because the outcome becomes way too predictable. Veteran gamers of the PvZ might underrate the sequel and find it rather overly facile, precisely because of only few garnishings in the over-all layout of the game. Perhaps maybe one of the reasons why PopCap decided to prolong the sequel for over 4 years is to overexcite the crowd and diminish the “veteran feeling” of consistent gamers.

The use of time-travelling would also pave way for more updates, meaning from time to time, more worlds to unravel, more exciting plants to watch out for and more ridiculously annoying zombies to vanquish will certainly be coming later in time.

 

Rating: 3.5

By Cirilo Cariga

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