It would be hard to find a gamer around today that hasn’t at least heard of Plants vs Zombies if not played it. Its one of those titles that everyone knows, its in the same realm as Angry Birds and Tetris. The title is on pretty much every format out there. From mobile to console, a group of plants can be found defending themselves and their home against those damned zombies. The title has now hit the PlayStation Vita with all its touch screen goodness.
This game is available as a download only from the Vita store for £8.99. This seems like a lot compared to the price on the IOS store which is????. That said, you are playing on the Vita with a bigger screen and trophy support. Is that enough to justify the purchase?
The game looks as great as it’s always done. Its bright, colourful and clear. The Vita’s screen does the graphics justice. Everything runs smoothly and cleanly and a great gaming experience. If this was an exclusive title or the first time we had seen it on a mobile device you would be drawn in and loose yourself in the fun gameplay. This is the major problem with plants vs Zombies, it’s everywhere. This is an exact port, screen for screen, menu for menu of the PlayStation 3 version and a complete port with a few menu alterations of the Iphone version. This title has been out for a while so everyone has had a chance to play it on one device or another so the exact same version on a different platform feels like the developers dropped the ball a bit especially at this price. The graphics are handled well. I love the art style, the way the zombies look and how they move on-screen. The sound is as good as any other game out there with eerie groans as the comical dead shamble towards you. I was surprised that as this was a launch window release title for the PlayStation Vita that Sony didn’t press them to make some use of the rear touch panel. This feels a bit of a waste as it’s a feature of the hardware that could have been utilized easily for a title such as this. With this being the same title ive played everywhere else i found my gameplay experience different this time around. On previous play throughs on both the Iphone and following that, the PlayStation 3, I went through level after level in one or two sittings. I played for hours, enjoying every joke and funny scene the game had to offer. This time around i found myself playing one or two levels at a time before putting it down and moving onto something else. It’s not the games fault, it’s just that ive already laughed at the jokes. This though is not damaging to the game as there are many times where a quick 5-10 minute burst is all the time you have and so it becomes a great game for those circumstances.
As with other PlayStation Vita titles, it comes with trophy support which is nice but even for a self-declared trophy fan (I can’t be a trophy hunter, I don’t have enough!) getting this game just to grab the trophies is stretching it. They are well spaced out throughout the game so you won’t just play a couple of games and get a fist full of trophies.
The one addition to the vita version that is new is the ‘Create your own Zombatar’. This is where you get to customize a little zombie of your own. You can choose skin colour, hair styles and accessories but there isn’t a huge amount of choice and with a few exceptions the all end up looking fairly similar anyway. To be honest its fun for a couple of minutes before you realize there’s nothing much here and you go back to playing the main game.
All in all I found this game quite hard to get a final verdict on. On the one hand its a great, fun game that will keep you entertained for hours the first or even second time round. On the other hand its the same game you have played everywhere else with no real additions, certainly not to the gameplay. If you have never played Plants s Zombies before then i would recommend getting it. The Vita is a great system to play it on and far outweighs playing it on a phone. If you have already played and own this somewhere else before then i would suggest leaving it at least till there is a price drop. It’s a great game but it’s no different from the same game you played elsewhere for cheaper.
The only hope i have is that maybe this has been released as a possible prelude to a sequel. I’m not sure where they could go with the idea (Zombies In Space??) but it would be interesting to see. This however is only my personal thought with no substance behind it, a wishful zombie dream if you will.