Plants vs. Zombies Review


Back in May 2009 PopCap Games released Plants vs. Zombies for the PC and Mac. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect, sure the name was catchy and the screenshots were interesting but you just never know what to expect from a game until you sit down and play it. Right from the beginning I was hooked. The game had a fantastic art style, great game mechanics and was extremely addictive. I think anyone will agree that with that kind of formula on your hands, you’re going to have yourself one hell of a successful game, well that and the fact that everyone seems to love anything with Zombies. I still remember playing the game at work, even though I wasn’t supposed too. As soon as I told one of my coworker about it, it was all over. All we did was talk about the game, while we were supposed to be helping people with computer issues, we just kept shouting back and forth at each other that we just hit a new level or that we just got a new plant or object in our fight against the zany zombie horde. It got so bad that one of our coworkers just didn’t want to listen to us anymore.

The goal of the game is quiet simple, stop the wave of Zombies from getting to the house that you are protecting, or it’s all over for the inhabitant. To do this you get a massive arsenal of different plants, fungi, and seeds which give you offensive and defensive abilities to do everything possible to take on the brain loving zombies. The controls are extremely easy, you can use the D-pad to move one block at a time to plant everything that’s at your disposal with the X, or you can use the left analog stick too quickly hover over the grid and place your objects. I found that at first it was easier for me to use the D-pad but as I progressed further in the game I needed to move faster, and that’s where the left analog stick came in. The L1 and R1 buttons let you cycle through the different plants, shrooms, or anything else that you might have selected from the ever growing list of weapons right before each level. The circle lets you remove any of your objects that you might have placed on grid by mistake, and the square lets you butter up the zombies in co-op mode to slow them down. Overall the controls for this game are extremely simple, and give you the feeling as if you’ve been playing this game for years. It would have been interesting to see how the PS MOVE could have been incorporated into the game, but honestly I don’t feel that the game is any less enjoyable and the fact that you can play the entire Adventure mode in co-op is a win.

The game isn’t the only thing that seems to have had a lot of thought put into it. The game’s menu is very artsy and humorous at the same time. Once the game loads to the menu you have several options to select from. You can play the game in Adventure mode alone or as I said earlier with a buddy, check the leaderboards, options, your game trophies and extra content which hopefully means DLC down the line. One thing that really stands out in the leaderboards section is the fact that as you progress through levels you start seeing a change in your house as well as the lawn if you received trophies. This is a nice way of bragging to your pals that have the game since you can view each other’s houses. There is nothing like adding insult to injury by saying “my house is better than yours” for laughs. Now that’s not all, you also have the option to view “more ways to play” which brings you to a whole another screen giving you the option to play 20 rounds of puzzle mode, 20 rounds of the mini-games, 10 different ways to play survival mode, unlimited ways to play versus a buddy or 10 different ways to co-op. If you select “extras” from the main menu this takes you to a different screen where you can check all of the whacky mail that you have achieved while playing the Adventure mode, check out Crazy Dave’s shop (this is your average crazy neighbor who has the hottest deals around) to help you on your quest to battle the baddies and an Almanac which lets you review the plants and zombies you have encountered to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. Keep in mind that not all of these options will be available to you at the start of the game.

When the game was first announced that it was going to hit the PSN, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. The news that the game was coming to the PSN pretty much dropped out of no where. About two weeks later it hit the PSN and I couldn’t help but wonder what a bad port this was going to be. I have to say that after trying this game out, all my fears have been taken away. This game is by far one of the best PSN titles I have tried to date. The music in the game is a hoot, right from the menu you know that you’re in store for something a little crazy, something whacky, something that is going to bring a lot of humor. When the game begins the music changes tone, but still stays fresh and quirky as to not get to dark. Another thing that bothered me was the price, $15 for a game that seems to have hit every system known to man except the PS3? Well I can assure you that, I for one would be willing to open up my wallet if there were more games like this one out there. With 50 levels which span across several different locations, such as your front lawn, your backyard pool side, and even the roof tops you’re sure to get your money’s worth. Honestly you feel like the game is going to go on forever as each level throws some kind of a different element your way. As if battling zombies during the day wasn’t bad enough, they come at you during the night, and well if that wasn’t bad enough then they come at you at night while your sight is limited due to fog. This game seriously has it all, crazy levels, all kind of crazy zombies, five different modes, co-op/vs play, 21 mini-games, an interactive leaderboard , and 12 different trophies this title is a no brainer. If this game were a stock I would give it a STRONG BUY!

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Plants vs. Zombies provided by PopCap Games.


Written by: Luke - News Contributor


  1. #1 by EdEN on February 28th, 2011 [ 141871 Points ]

    What, no game giveway? See, this is why Eddie’s reviews are better hahaha!

    Great review Luke. I’m deciding between getting the game on my DS or on PSN but since I won’t be buying any games in march I still have time to make up my mind.

  2. #2 by Dynojunkee420 on February 28th, 2011 [ 860 Points ]

    I’ve yet to play this game on any device, except maybe the iPad for a few seconds in the store. I was interested to hear about it coming out on PSN though. Thanks for the review, I’m pretty sure I’m going to pick this up when I have $15 bucks to spare. That is a hefty price, but with 5 modes, 50 levels, co ops, leader boards, trophies, and not to mention the humor and uniqueness the game has. Sweet deal, thanks.

  3. #3 by MAINEiac4434 on February 28th, 2011 [ 3494 Points ]

    I really love PopCap Games. Peggle has to be my favorite game from them (I play it all the time on my iPhone) but PVZ is a close second.

  4. #4 by Luke on February 28th, 2011 [ 27382 Points ]

    @EdEN I really tried to get a giveaway code but it just wasn’t in the cards, sorry :(
    @Dynojunkee420 you won’t be disappointed, my buddy saw me playing it, went home and bought it. The kid freaking beat it already and now he’s doing all the minis and what have you.

  5. #5 by Oly on February 28th, 2011 [ 132235 Points ]

    Def a great game.. and the way it works on the PS3 is pretty good. Great review Luke!

  6. #6 by Beastxjason on February 28th, 2011 [ 25936 Points ]

    EdEN: What, no game giveway? See, this is why Eddie’s reviews are better hahaha!Great review Luke. I’m deciding between getting the game on my DS or on PSN but since I won’t be buying any games in march I still have time to make up my mind.  

    Was laughing so hard. Great job Luke. I hear brainss! coming from my sisters room every single frigging day. This is all she has played since it hit pc. I dont know if I could bare trying it on psn lol

  7. #7 by Eddie on March 1st, 2011 [ 44542 Points ]

    def a fun game.

  8. #8 by premiersoupir on March 1st, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    So having played it on both the PC and PS3, which platform do you prefer? Even if the analog stick works pretty well for sun collection and so on, it still seems like it’d be slower than the mouse, yes? Also, having to cycle through the plants that one wishes to build seems time-consuming, though the idea, I guess, is that this method prevents one from having to drag the cursor back up to the selection bar at the top of the screen and then drag it back down to the empty plot. Anyway, I still can’t really see playing this on the PS3, but I’m glad to hear that it works better than one might have feared.

    I agree with you on some other points as well: Move support would have been welcome, and 15 USD seems rather rich for a title that’s been out for almost two years (released to PC on May 5, 2009) and that originally retailed for 20 USD.

  9. #9 by pedro on March 1st, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    It’s certainly a relief knowing controls work just fine.

    I’ve tried this game once upon a time on PC and wasn’t too crazy about it, but i might give it a try.

  10. #10 by Luke on March 1st, 2011 [ 27382 Points ]

    premiersoupir: I agree with you on some other points as well: Move support would have been welcome, and 15 USD seems rather rich for a title that’s been out for almost two years (released to PC on May 5, 2009) and that originally retailed for 20 USD.

    I see what you are saying but when is it going to be cheap enough? There is a ton of content and for $15 it’s really not asking a lot. People that may have picked this up for the PC or MAC, or any other device may just want to skip it. But if you are brand new to the game, this is a very good value.

  11. #11 by premiersoupir on March 1st, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    Luke: I see what you are saying but when is it going to be cheap enough?

    $10 or $12. Make some concession to the fact that PopCap is milking a dead horse. That’s an intentionally mixed metaphor designed to evoke creepy zombie orality. :)

  12. #12 by premiersoupir on March 1st, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    p.s. I see that PJ: Shooter 2, released today (3/1/11) retails for $10. http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/03/01/playstation-store-update-179/

  13. #13 by hobbes on March 1st, 2011 [ 30466 Points ]

    hmm if this were cheaper, i’d bite, will prolly wait till it drops in price

  14. #14 by Dynojunkee420 on March 2nd, 2011 [ 860 Points ]

    Happy to hear that Luke, thanks for the response, I’ll be picking it up soon, my gf will enjoy this as much as me, if not more.

  15. #15 by Dynojunkee420 on March 2nd, 2011 [ 860 Points ]

    premiersoupir: $10 or $12. Make some concession to the fact that PopCap is milking a dead horse. That’s an intentionally mixed metaphor designed to evoke creepy zombie orality

    Milking a dead horse? Either that, or they’re making an already popular game even more popular by placing it on a new system/device. Sounds like a smart move for PopCap, imo. We should be happy stuff is making it across more and more platforms, whether it’s well after it’s release or not. What’s the point in going backwards?

    It might not be an original game, but from my understanding the graphics and gameplay are different and that’s what you’re paying for. I suppose you were hoping for a minis port like Angry Birds?

    Hope I don’t come off as being too harsh or rude, just had to chime in since I saw it mentioned a few times.


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