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Review: Plants Vs. Zombies (PSN)

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011 by

At last, PlayStation 3 owners may finally experience the ridiculous fun that comes from playing Plants Vs. Zombies, one of the most charming and addictive games since, well, whatever game PopCap put out before it. For PS3 owners, it’s been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait.

At face value, Plants Vs. Zombies might resemble a tower defense game with a really uninspired layout; at least, that’s what I always imagined whenever I saw screenshots. As soon as you play, though, you’ll understand that this isn’t tower defense in the traditional sense; No, it plays more like a real-time strategy game that’s been boiled down to its most simple and fun elements.

In Plants Vs. Zombies, the lawn is your last line of defense between you and the zombie hordes. They’re right across the street, they’re hungry for brains, and they will try to cross your yard, slowly and methodically (some might say brainlessly). To repel the zombie invasion, you’ll need to make smart use of your plant arsenal.

Choosing which combination of plants to use against the various kinds of zombies makes for great fun. Some plants are good at dealing damage, others have defensive uses, and all are useful depending on the situation. For example, a potato mine will take out any kind of zombie that steps on it, but it needs some time to grow before it’s active, and magnet mushrooms will rip helmets and other metal objects away from zombies, letting your peashooters finish them off more easily. Altogether, there are over 40 unique plants to choose from.

You’ll need to manage your “sun”, or the energy you need to grow plants, and strategically place those plants so they can quickly dispatch approaching zombies. If any of the zombies manages to reach your plants, it will start eating them. Zombies left unchecked can quickly undo your defense, leaving your door (and brains!) exposed and ending your game if one makes it through. Plants Vs. Zombies never feels too easy or too challenging, the pacing is just perfect.

Plants Vs. Zombies is a triumph of gaming excellence; an addictive formula of elements that will keep you playing for a long time. It’s accessible, it’s rewarding, and the controls on the PS3 feel natural and solid. Recommending Plants vs. Zombies is not only easy, it’s a no-brainer. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.

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See Plants Vs. Zombies in action:

Platform: PlayStation 3 (PSN)
Also available on: Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo DS, PC, Mac, iOS

About the Author

Mark A. Brooks uses the A. initial in his name so as to seperate himself from the teeming legions of other Mark Brookses (there are at least 65,000 in the state of Michigan alone). Keep up with him on twitter, because why not. @unoriginalG

Mark A. Brooks has written 631 posts on Delta Attack
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  • Markham Asylum

    After playing the web version, I broke down and got in on Xbox Live Arcade last weekend. I’m somewhere in level 4 and loving it. It’s hard to stop playing.

    The last PopCap game that ensnared me was Peggle, though it didn’t grab me nearly as strongly as Plants vs. Zombies has. It’s truly munching on my brains.

  • mulletsaurus

    Awesome! It’s a brilliantly designed game, kept me busy forever.

    • Markham Asylum

      I just played two sub-levels. After the first I unlocked the forward/backward shooter. I figured that was dumb, but also thought it wouldn’t be there for no reason. Then came the miner 49ers… Jesus.

      • mulletsaurus

        I still never stock those split pea plants, they’re too conditional for my liking. I’ll usually just let the miner take my sunflower and then scrub it out with a squash/cherry bomb/hot pepper response. At night, the magnet shrooms will suck the pick axes right out of their hands.

        Although I recall one instance where I had to use split peas, not sure when that was but I don’t think it was during the campaign.

  • http://www.airbornegamer.com/ Adam

    Plants vs. Zombies is truly a simple, addicting and fun game. I’ve had it on my PC for a while, and it’s great to play when I’m getting tired of a more mainstream game, or when I just wanna kill 15 minutes.

    • mulletsaurus

      Yup. It makes a good, relaxing chaser for when you’ve just put down something like Dead Space 2, also.

      PvZ 4 Life!

      • Markham Asylum

        Err, for death.