Thursday, March 24, 2011

Week 12 - Quick Analysis

Plants vs. Zombies – Plants vs. Zombies is probably the cutest of tower defense—no, the cutest of any games involving zombies on the market. However, considering the game’s massive popularity I’m barely even going to review it; I’m just going to rant. The game has been out for quite awhile now and it has gone through a plethora of console and handheld iterations that have bolstered its popularity from, “Oh, this is cool” to, “OMG, Plants vs Zombies is teh l33tness!!1one” and has garnered it some relatively favorable reviews around the internet. My personal opinion of this game is not much different (the game is great), however the one thing I could never do was keep on playing after I got used to the game’s design and overall mood. Sure, protecting my lawn from the cute, sometimes weird, and even downright epic zombies (Michael Jackson anyone?) was fun for awhile and that made the game more than worth playing, but soon enough that urgency to protect your home dissipates and you, if you are anything like me, are left asking, “Oh, more zombies…and more plants? Fantastic! </sarcasm>”

I think that part of the problem comes from the extremely large number of plants you can unlock to play the game and the rest come from nowhere, because they probably don’t exist. Initially, when the game is still showing you the ropes and your repertoire of plants is small and concise, the game feels strategic, but doesn’t overwhelm you as a player with too much choice. Of course, some (read: most) people will argue that the large number of plants gives the game variety and replay value, I disagree; I think that too many plants gives the player something called “too much choice and too little direction” and can make it a hassle, or even a bother, to choose plants for different battles, especially because these plants aren’t organized into some kind of groups. There are just a ton of plants. This is a detriment usually exclusive to RPG and/or Adventure games, but I believe it applies to Plants vs. Zombies because every strategy games should have some sort of strategic direction. Regardless, I’m not suggesting that we take away variation from the game, but I believe that some plants should be removed, or simply, the interface should be upgraded so that the plants are organized into categories to make it easier for the player to figure out what plants they want to use to fight off the impending zombie invasion. (7.5/10)

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