We don’t actually know a whole lot of details about the game, but Plants vs. Zombies 2 has finally been given a release date. Last year it was targeted for the first half of 2013. Yesterday PopCap Games announced that Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time will be available in July. That’s technically the second half of 2013, but really all that matters is the game is coming out. The company has released a teaser trailer, which you can see below. It’s basically just a bunch of people screaming about wanting more PvZ, but it has Major Nelson in it.
One thing you can be sure about is that the game will have plants, it will have zombies and it will probably consume as much of my time as Animal Crossing currently is. I really hope the title is alluding to a possible crossover with Back to the Future and Doctor Who and be a game about fighting zombies across time. Wouldn’t that be great?
What do you get when representatives from Zen Studios and PopCap Games meet over lunch during GDC 2012? Well, you get a pitch for Plants vs. Zombies pinball, of course. The game was actually pitched by a member of PopCap Studios’ development team and was given the green light as long as no time was wasted developing a pinball engine. It just so happens that Zen Studios has such an engine and so the partnership was formed.
I can’t tell you just how excited I was that this table was announced. It was teased a few weeks ago with some of the most likely candidates for a PopCap themed table being PvZ, Peggle or Bejeweled. The latter two being the more obvious choices as those games have mechanics that might be more suited to a pinball table. I think it’s hard to argue with just how popular Plants vs. Zombies actually is and now we have a table based on the popular lawn defense game.
Despite buying every version of Plants Vs. Zombies known to man, EA has still managed to give PopCap more money than Tony. Electronic Arts has recently come to terms on a $750 million deal to purchase PvZ developer and all around great game studio, PopCap. The deal is scheduled to close later this year in August.
Now I know what you’re thinking but I wouldn’t worry that EA is going to rock the PopCap boat. You don’t spend $750 million dollars on a house just to come in and repaint all the walls. Remember when Activision bought Blizzard? All that changed in that deal were a couple logos. If there is one thing EA is good at, it’s making money. I imagine this deal can only mean more resources for PopCap to work with. More zombies, more pegs and more jewels means better games. That’s basic algebra.
I have three questions for you. Do you own an Android phone? Do you know the site Amazon.com? Do you like putting plants and zombies in a jar to make them fight? Well you are in luck. Today only, you can snag PopCap’s unique tower defense game Plants Vs. Zombies for the low price of free. As I type this post, there is only five and a half hours left before the deal expires. Be advised you have to get the game through Amazon’s Android marketplace. You need the Amazon app to get to that store. I suppose there is some way to do it on your computer. You should probably start here.
Apps on phones that lead to other marketplaces? This is what the world has become, folks. Should I be happy how far technology has advance or scared that we are one step closer to Skynet? Oh well, free game, woo!
In a bid to get Plants vs. Zombies into as many hands as possible PopCap is turning the popular, and highly addictive game, into a proper board game. This was shown off during Toy Fair 2011 and I want it now.
The game is played by between 2 and four people. There are 80 zombie cards, 40 plant cards and a few different boards to represent the different environments that you can play the game in. Card flips and dice rolls determine which zombies appear and how plants can be planted to deal with them. You’ll also have the ability to mess with other players yards so it’s a bit more involved than the electronic versions of the game.
Plants vs. Zombies: The Board Game is scheduled for release sometime this Fall. The only problem is I want it now.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I like Plants vs. Zombies. I’ve played just about every version of the game that’s available and so the news that it was coming to the DS was very exciting for me. It’s one of the few games that I’ve played through dozens of times now and it just never gets old. It’s a testament of how good and compelling PopCap’s games can be.
What You Need to Know
For those of you that don’t know Plants vs. Zombies is PopCap’s version of a tower defense game. Zombies are invading your lawn from the right side of the screen and you have to defend your house from the invading horde. To do so you plant a number of different types of plants in five or six rows. These plants cost a varying amount of sunlight, which is used as the currency in the game. The hordes will invade your front lawn, back lawn and swimming pool and will culminate in them trying to get through your chimney.
Zombies have been everywhere in the video game world. Capcom has two very successful franchises starring everyone’s favorite undead creations. Only Popcap, though, knows how to make killing zombies a cute experience. Plants vs. Zombies hit the PC in May of 2009 and people have been so hooked on the game it’s been the cause of jailbreaks. The games come out on multiple different platforms and it was only a matter of time before it came to home consoles in some form, but does the gameplay prove to be stale after so many releases or will you be just as hooked as you were the first time you played the game?
Same Addictive Gameplay
The basic premise of Plants vs. Zombies is pretty simple. The zombie horde is intent on eating your brains and you don’t want that to happen. The only thing standing in the way of the zombies and a feast on your brains? A long line of plant defenders. You plant plants in your front yard, back yard, pool and even on your roof. You’ll have nearly 50 different types of plants to repel the zombie horde with when all is said and done ranging from pea shooters, which is the first plant you’ll use all the way up to deadly corn cob cannons, which is one of the last. You have five rows to defend and all it takes is one zombie getting in your house before you wind up dead. The zombies themselves have a range of different abilities and defenses and it will take clever planning and preparation to survive the onslaught.
New Ways to Play
Every release of Plants vs. Zombies brings something new with it. The biggest addition to the game is the multiple two player modes. There are three ways for two people to play together. The first is a jump-in, jump-out style of co-op in the main campaign where a second player can plant the different plants, collect sun or even temporarily hold zombies by dropping butter on their heads. This is a great mode for younger players who can be responsible for sun collecting and using the butter on the zombies. All the sun goes into a single pool to use for your defenses. The second is a more fleshed out co-op mode where each person gets control of four different plants and you have to work together to create the perfect line of defense. You also have to really communicate about who gets the sun because it’s not placed into a single pool of sun, but both of you have your own. Sometimes a double sun will fall from the sky and both players have to touch it at the same time where it will split and each of you will get part of it.
The last mode, and the most fun is the new Vs. mode. One person is the plants, the other is the zombies. In this mode the player who has control of the plants is trying to destroy targets on the zombie side of the yard. Destroy three of the five targets and you win. The zombie player only needs to get one zombie into the house to win. The person in control of the plants plays a fairly regular game. The zombie player uses gravestones to generate brains that you can use to purchase new zombies for your horde. There are three types of play in this mode as well. The first is a quick match where it uses the same five plant and zombie types in every game. You can also play a mode where you each go back and forth choosing a plant and zombie and customize the battle based on your opponent’s choices. The third is a random battle where it will randomly choose your forces. It’s a great new mode that has a lot of depth and replayability to keep you coming back.
There are new zombie types that haven’t appeared in the game before and new mini-games only available on the Xbox. My favorite being Heavy Weapon where you have a pea shooter on a wagon and you’re playing a twin stick style shooter to defend your house from the zombies. You can buy plants that will temporarily upgrade your pea shooter to help in your valiant defense.
The Xbox 360 doesn’t have a mouse to use and so a new control scheme had to be devised to make the game work. Luckily it works very well and takes very little time to get used to. The analog stick moves your cursor around the screen. Simply getting close to sun, coins and other pick ups will have them sucked to you like a vacuum. You use the right and left bumpers to move between the different plants to select them and a ghost image of the plant you have selected appears on the screen under your cursor. The A button places plants where you are currently positioned. The B button is used as your shovel to dig up plants that are in the way. The X button is your alternate weapons like the mallet or the butter when playing in co-op.
This is by far my favorite release of Plants vs. Zombies. Vs mode has been played by nearly everyone in my house over and over again. I’ve finished the campaign once and am now going back through it again because I’m missing a few of the achievements. The new ways to play completely change up the gameplay while still doing a great job of keeping it fresh. The framerate never dips even when there are dozens of plants all shooting at the same time. It stays solid the entire way through. Everything looks gorgeous blown up on my 42” HD TV and I’ll be playing this game for weeks to come, biding my time until I can take the game with me on the go. Whether you’re a fan of Plants vs. Zombies or not you’ll find this release of the game entertaining and fun for a long time to come.
Final Score: 5/5 Excellent
Review copy of the game purchased on XBLA.
Played through the entire campaign, a number of different mini-games, VS and Co-op Modes.
Total Play Time: 7 Hours
That’s right. Finally an official reason to talk about Plants vs Zombies on the website. Laurie Thornton is a PR representative in charge of the franchise on consoles. Yesterday there was a message on her Twitter that had me all twitterpated.
Plants vs. Zombies coming to the Nintendo DS – Jan 2011.
It was a very simple message that means they’ll be getting more of my money. Plants vs Zombies is coming to Xbox Live in just over 2 weeks on September 8th. I’ve got the Microsoft Points sitting on my console waiting to purchase the game and now coming next January they’ll get probably $20 more of my money when the game comes to the DS. They’ll also give you good reason to shell out the cash, because every platform has unique features that draw on the strength of that system.
I’ve contacted Ms. Thornton for any more details and I’ll pass them along to you if I get anything.
Source: Laurie Thornton PR via Kotaku
I know, I know. Not related to Nintendo at all, but I don’t care. I’m just letting everyone know that this game will be available on the Xbox Live Marketplace at the beginning of September. It will dominate my What’s in Your Wii portion of the podcast because I love, love, looooove this game.
This screenshot also shows one mode I’ll be playing a lot of with both my kids and my wife. One player chooses plants, one player chooses Zombies and you go at it. There’s also a new mode where you can customize the zombies in some fashion. Completely new mini-games like “Heavy Weapon” will also be played. The question will be how high can the Tree of Wisdom be grown? My wife got her tree to over 500 ft and I’ve heard rumours of tree’s reaching 1,000 ft.
Also, I want to know when this game is coming to WiiWare because I would buy it there too. Is anyone else out there excited for this release?
I’ve been looking over the past couple of days at my gaming habits lately. The first thing I realized was that I was playing way too many games. That’s not what I’m here to talk about today though. The other thing I realized was I don’t have to spend $60 to get a good game. I can spend $60 and get a larger number of great games. Not all of these games come from Nintendo platforms, but some of them do. That’s what I’m going to talk about today. Why do we spend $60 to get one game on a system that might not be that good when you can spend the same amount of money and get a large number of great games?
The first answer to that is that it’s just what it costs to get a game these days on the major consoles. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have sort of set those prices at $50 and $60 respectively for most retail releases. The biggest reason for this is that budgets have sky rocketed for games. Games that used to cost $500,000 now cost upwords of $14,000,000. Most of that, they’ll tell you comes from high definition graphics of this generation of gaming. I’m here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case.
Let’s look at what I’ve bought in the last few weeks. The first was a PC game on Steam, Torchlight. This is a game brought to you by some of the minds behind the original Diablo and Diablo II for the PC. It’s a dungeon crawling, loot-fest that will take a large number of hours to complete for one character. There are three different characters to choose from that vary the style of play between them so you have different experiences each time you play. The game’s graphical style borrows heavily from World of Warcraft and looks gorgeous on my laptop. It will run on just about anything and that makes it a great value for anyone looking for a great RPG. The game cost me $20.
The next one, an XBLA game, The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom cost me $10 to download. It’s a puzzle game where you play as a man obsessed with pie and you have to solve different puzzles using time warping, cloning and ingenuity to obtain the pastries you so desire. It uses an early 20th century silent movie visual style and was designed originally as a college thesis.
I also repurchased Plants Vs. Zombies on PC for $10 because I had the game originally through a subscription service that ran out, but I wanted to play the game. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played through the adventure mode of that game and the numerous mini-games that come packaged with it. For $10 I’ve lost countless days and weeks of actual time since it was released planting pea shooters and defending my house from the undead hordes.
On WiiWare I’ve spent $20 to purchase Blaster Master Overdrive and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The first is the re-imagining of an NES game that takes about 8 hours to play through. Chances are I’ll play it again, because that’s what you do with NES games. They’re simple and fun and you just like playing them over again. Phoenix Wright is just a port of the DS version, but it’s a faithful port that’s fun to play and will take a good amount of time to finish. Both of these games, while not gorgeous to look at are very well done in the graphical department.
For $60 I was able to purchase four games, that will ultimately take me more time to play through that most retail releases. They’re all great games that will make their developers a lot of money, if they haven’t already. Then we have upcoming releases like Mega Man 10 that will get more of my money and will be another time sink because Mega Man does that to people. The challenge alone will be enough to last 5-6 hours the first play through and then just learning the different ways to defeat the different Robot Masters will add even more time, not to mention the challenges, speed runs and fun that will just keep piling on time.
I’m the type of gamer that lives on a very tight budget. I don’t have money to go out and get new games every week, or sometimes every month. I purchase less than 10 new retail games every year and many of my games are gifts from family members. I do however have the cash to spend $20 on a new title every once in a while and $10 are very justifiable purchases. I would love to see the game industry go more this direction of releasing smaller games for smaller dollar amounts that still give a lot of enjoyment. Why not every once in a while release an RPG that is similar to what we saw on the Super Nintendo? Square did it not long ago with Final Fantasy IV: the After Years and in a way that made the purchase much more bearable and quite frankly easy to do. I’m sure there are a lot of gamers out there like me that would be interested in seeing this.
Microsoft has done something similar to Final Fantasy IV with Fable II. With that game you download an initial hour or so of the game and everything after that you pay for in chunks. You may end up spending the same amount of money, but broken up over time it makes it a much more worthwhile and easier purchase to make. That also gives gamers the ability to really give a game a try and if they don’t like it they’re not out very much money. If they do they can purchase the game in their own time frame. The developers still get the money and the player has made a purchase they might not have made in the past.
With the economy the way it is many gamers are becoming more frugal and you’re starting to see there are more gamers out there like me who are looking for the best value for their money. If I can get Diablo for $20 by playing Torchlight or Diablo for $60 when Diablo III releases I’m going to choose the $20 option. There are a number of ways out there that companies are trying to make purchases more palatable for players and it’s just a matter of time before one of them really sticks and you see that model becoming more and more successful. Personally, I like the digital method of getting high value, replayable games for $10 over getting an experience like Modern Warfare that I’ll play through once or twice for $60 and getting less time with the game.