PopCrack PopCap are back once again and they’ve finally put their landmark Plants Vs Zombies on a home console!
I thought long and hard about the start and content of this review. Plants Vs Zombies came out in May 2009 and has been widely heralded as a work of genius. So I thought simply putting-
GO BUY IT DUMB ARSE!
-would suffice as the review.. any questions?
Oh you want to know about the new modes and control scheme… fair enough then.
Yes this is the Xbox 360 iteration of the PC and iOS smash hit and for all intents and purposes it plays exactly the same as those versions. The action is still frenetic yet completely enchanting. You still take your selection of plants and mushrooms and use them to do battle with the on-coming hordes of brain hungry zombies. At it’s heart Plants Vs Zombies is an iteration on the tower defence sub-genre of strategy titles. What it does though is take that premise and make it appealing to all ages and gamers.
The game looks great on the Xbox 360. Popcap’s trademark zany characters and backdrops look fantastic on the big screen. Favourites like the squash’s or cabbage-a-pult look awesome. The music and sounds of the original title have been ported over well along with a slightly jazzed up menu tune that works well enough.
The main focus of this update to the original is the addition of multiplayer elements in to the title. To be honest these add a little to the overall package but are not enough on their own to warrant a purchase. Especially as the multiplayer is local only. That said the elements on offer in the multiplayer are fun. The co-op adventure mode passes a few hours and the mini games for multiplayer are good solid fun for a short while.
The controls map really well to the 360’s controller. I was pretty surprised to be honest as I was dreading this aspect. Having played the game using a mouse and on touch screen I know how rapid your responses need to be to make this game work well. A woolly controller implementation would have spelt disaster in the later stages of the game. Luckily PopCap have been clever with their implementation of the control scheme and it soon becomes second nature.
On the subject of control, please make a PS3 version PopCap and use Move support – after seeing it used effectively in Flight Control HD I think it would work wonders here too.
The game still stands up as a testament to great gaming design. Super simple concept, hard to master and totally addictive. The transition to home console has gone very smoothly. It will suck away hours of your life as you plough head long through the 50 levels on offer and then chill out in the Zen Garden. Or maybe you;ll spend an age working your way through all the quirky challenges and mini-games. No matter what this game is still great fun. The addition of the Heavy Weapon inspired mini game was a nice touch also and rounds out a great value for money package from PopCap. Sure it works out a little more expensive on XBLA than it does on iPad or Steam but the game you get is still 100% worth every penny.
For me, the definitive version has to be the iPad edition (not that I own one) due to it’s touch controls but this is still a superb title. It just manages to hit the much sought after “one more go” bone in your body that leaves you hours later a drooling smelly mess after only sitting down for “one quick go”.
You really don’t need me to tell you what to do here. This is Plants Vs Zombies on the Xbox 360 – buy it… no, stop reading and go buy it… tch look here’s a link go go go!