Plants vs. Zombies (PS Vita) – The PS3 Attitude Review
Plants vs. Zombies has graces almost every known platform available including Sony’s latest handheld, the PlayStation Vita. The premise of the game is simple; take control of different types of vegetation and defend your house from waves of invading zombies. Does the Vita manage to inject a second life into this undead title or are people simply going through the same brain dead motions once again?
The Vita version of the game includes the single-player Adventure campaign that spans 50 zombie infested levels as well as Puzzle Mode, Mini-Games, Survival, and Zen Garden. In total, there are nearly 100 different challenges to complete. That’s a lot of zombies that need to be disposed of.
Gameplay-wise, Plants vs. Zombies plays out like a tower defense game. Each seed has its own ability when planted. Some plants are offensive and shoot peas at the invading zombie swarm while others act defensively and act as an obstacle, allowing more time to get in an extra hit or two. Every seed requires a certain amount of sunlight in order to be planted. Thankfully Sunflower seeds are always on hand to constantly generate a decent supply of sunlight for planting. As players progress through the Adventure mode, more seed varieties are unlocked. There are a total of 49 seed varieties that offer land and aquatic plants, fungi, and more.
The bigger your plant arsenal gets, the stronger the zombies become as well. You’re only allowed to pick a select number of seeds to take into any given level so strategizing which seeds are best against which zombies is a must. Layout will also influence the ability to plant seeds. Water only allows for aquatic seeds to be planted and mushrooms only thrive during night levels unless assisted with a coffee bean. Fog can also impair your vision of incoming zombies. Knowing the layout is just as important as knowing which seeds to pick.
Playing the game is entirely done on the Vita’s five inch OLED touchscreen. Seeds can be dragged and placed anywhere on the game field or just tapped on for quicker actions. Some plants, like the corncob launchers, allow you to take direct control of the cob missile itself. The controls are fairly intuitive and work well with the gameplay. PopCap Games have had previous experience with touch controls with the iOS and Android versions of the game so it should come as no surprise that it works beautifully. The only problem with having your fingers constantly all over the screen is that the description text accompanying each seed can be obscured and difficult to read. The text itself is also a much smaller font so if you have bad vision, you might want to look into getting a magnifying glass.
For Plants vs. Zombies veterans, you’ll be going through the usual motions for the first part of the game as you collect seeds and unlock all there is to do in the game. Once you get in a rhythm, though, hours can fly by quickly. If you’re not defeating waves of zombies in Adventure or Survival mode, there’s your Zen Garden that needs tending to or abstract mini-games that switch up the rules. There’s never a dull moment and always something to do, not to mention 43 trophies to collect.
Plants vs. Zombies is a blast to play on the Vita and revitalizes the franchise once again. While it’s a shame there’s no multiplayer or a level select feature, but the game offers plenty of content on the go. Even if you already own the game on another platform, Plants vs. Zombies Vita is a must-own title.