dkirschner's Plants vs. Zombies (PC)
| [April 4, 2011 02:15:46 AM]
| I've only been hearing about PvZ for like 2 years, and I finally gave it a try. It's fun. Way more fun than I expected. And way more in-depth than I expected. When I hear PopCap, I just think, "Oh, waste of time little puzzle games like Bejeweled and Peggle," I guess because eeeveryone plays them and I get tired of them real fast. So when I played PvZ, and then couldn't wait to open it again to defend my home from zombies using pea shooters, magic mushrooms, and sunflowers, well, I decided I will no longer dismiss PopCap games. I've played through the campaign, which is around 60 levels (1-1, 1-2...5-10). The difficulty is nice. I didn't encounter any problems until after halfway through, then every now and then a level would kill me a few times, usually after introducing a new zombie type that I didn't know how to effectively deal with.
PvZ does validate my idea of PopCap in that it never ever ends. I finished the campaign, so I've got all the plants and seen all the zombies, but now I can do it again and Crazy Dave will select 3/x cards for me, and I have access to everything, like a new game plus. There is also a survival mode (10), a puzzle mode (18), and a slew of mini-games (20). There is also a small list of achievements (21), which hint at even more modes and unlockables. There is the Zen Garden, where you can grow plants, water them, fertilize them, serenade them, so that they grow and yield cash. Use the cash in Crazy Dave's shop to purchase upgrades, new units, new stuff for the Zen Garden, and on and on. It's at 4 pages of items now, and the costs are soaring, $30,000 for the top items currently (the most I've ever had at once is like $8,000). So it seems like I should replay the campaign, focusing on accumulating money to fund my Zen Garden and upgrades, which will yield more powerful units and more money, and thus more upgrades, and thus more money, and...
PvZ is a funny game. I like its humor. Each plant and each zombie has a little bio (for some reason I never encountered zombie #20 out of 26). A couple of my favorites:
Marigold, a flower that spits out silver and gold coins, "Marigold spends a lot of time deciding whether to spit out a silver coin or a gold one. She thinks about it, weighs the angles. She does solid research and keeps up with current publications. That's how winners stay ahead."
Dolphin Rider Zombie, "The dolphin is also a zombie."
Newspaper Zombie, "Newspaper Zombie was *this* close to finishing his sudoku puzzle. No wonder he's freaking out." (When you destroy his newspaper, he enrages.)
Torchwood, "Everybody likes and respects Torchwood. They like him for his integrity, for his steadfast friendship, for his ability to greatly maximize pea damage. But Torchwood has a secret: he can't read."
I was doing level after level because each one, and this is brilliant, almost EACH little level, introduces a new plant, and about half introduce new zombies. I wanted to complete the levels to read the descriptions, seriously. Humor goes a long way in maintaining my interest.
With so many plant/zombie/environmental combinations (it's either front yard/backyard with pool/roof and either day/night), PvZ is allows for a lot of planning and real-time execution. You have an inventory of 6 (upgradable) plants per level that you select from your entire stock after getting a good look at the zombies waiting off-screen. Whatever types of zombies you see will appear in the level. The levels themselves are grids, and you plant one plant per square. Zombies attack in horizontal lanes, so once you see a type of zombie appear, you can react if need be. Otherwise, plan ahead and be proactive! Basic zombies go down fast, but they become very differentiated, and they all have some plant that can counter their unique abilities. The Magnet Shroom for example attracts any metal object the zombies have, thus countering the football helmet zombie, the bucket head zombie, the pogo stick zombie, and more.
I'm very glad I decided to try this out. It's quite a lot of fun, and looks like it will be for a long time. I'm done with the basic campaign, so don't feel the need to play a lot, but will probably stay familiar and do other modes every now and again.
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dkirschner's Plants vs. Zombies (PC)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Saturday 2 April, 2011
GameLog closed on: Thursday 30 June, 2011