Beta Test #21: Plants Vs. Zombies

Beta Test

Ok so cat’s out of the bag, I have absolutely played this before. Can you blame me for visiting an old classic? I swear I used to be so good at this game I was going to start a walk through YouTube channel for it before that sort of thing was cool (yes yes, I live in South Melbourne, I drink coffee from a theatre run co-op, and buy overpriced groceries from urban hippies, I know I’m pretentious, shut up).

*Brains*

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The zombies are coming! I’m Bethany Griffiths, and this is Beta Test. A game review platform where I, a crazy plant lady, choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review. 

Fringe season is upon us! Yes oh yes is the central hub of weird arts slamming into my face quicker than a pea shooter on acid. The colour, the lights, finding out you’re seeing a live porn act brought to you solely through mime! Priceless. And while some may be performing in plays, arts, or tributes to lost creative souls past present and future, Ya girl is staying in to play video games. By choice? No. Does it ease the slow agonising slip into the nether vortex of self hate from lack of expression, and guided interest? Yes, Yes it does. (Who needs friends to put on shows with. Wasn’t like I wanted to do it anyway. Be a part of a team. Feel a sense of belonging. Taste victory instead of three day old coffee, and Coles doughnuts. Psh, I’m fine)

But though I may look like the shell of my former self, this zombie girl is bouncing right back into it, and by into it, I mean games. Obviously. Let’s play Plants Vs Zombies shall we?

*Brains*

Plants Vs Zombies, Developed by PopCap Games, and distributed via Origin is a third person shooter, that styles itself like a classic capture the flag game. The main goal is to protect your house (and brains) from the zombies in the neighbouring cemetery (who want brains). Defeat them and you move through the ranks to beat the biggest zombie of them all (and no, I don’t mean me. Please put down your hands). Fail and you’ll get brain gutted by hoards of rampaging souls, set to feast on the most intelligent thing in the area (again, not me). 

What I have always loved about Plants Vs Zombies is its open ended nature. You have a small amount of plants to protect your lawn, but before long you amass a whole almanac. I’ve had so much fun this month putting together the craziest lawns to get rid of my zombie problems. From using only explosive plants, to making a whole lawn of spikes, the possibilities truly are endless, and I am so happy that none of the initial joy I had from this has changed.

Plants Vs Zombies boasts a wide variety of choices in terms of modifiers, some purchasable, some attained through goals. From rakes, to vacuums, and pool cleaners, I always felt supported in my conquest. The rush of getting the next big thing is never so far away that you lose interest. In fact with the culmination of all the varieties of levels, to the different terrains, and atmospheres, I was never put in a position where I felt like the game was a chore. That’s rare. 

What’s more, the game keeps on giving. Once you beat the main boss there is a randomise modifier that you can take to give you your plants for the set to come. It’s so much harder to complete the second time around, and that makes the fun greater. With every challenge, you feel like you’ve cracked a puzzle. I love that PopCap has continued to garner the same essence as it had as it’s early incarnation from the 2000’s. 

The art style is simple. Hard outlines with blocked colour. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a sequel to a flash animation. Indeed, the cartoonish nature of the game makes me think back to the early days of YouTube and internet culture, where games like Mummy Maze, Kitten Cannon, and Chatterbot were all the rage, with Cactuar and Tonberry, and Mr.Weebl’s stuff topping my 10 year old charts. Plants Vs. Zombies brings back a good time for me.

So it should too. We’ve come such a long way in the video game world, I love that I’m able to see some of the things that got me into the game-o-sphere still hold water. (you don’t know how disappointed I am with every ‘3-D’ game of the early 2000’s. Is it a blob of flesh going *mab mab mab*? No, that’s the protagonist – Jimmy Neutron; Boy Genius)

From the beginning I have loved Plants Vs Zombies. It takes everything early Bethany loved and held true to it’s bearings. A+

Because of the timeless fun I always have, I give this game:

4/5 Flower Pots for style
2/5 Flower Pots for plot
5/5 Flower Pots for easiness
5/5 Flower Pots for Bright colour and graphics

So, my dudes! I’ve been Bethany Griffiths, and this has been a Crazy back van salesman Beta Test. A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review. If you have a game that you want me to give my two cents on, Please let me know!

Until next time,

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