Iíve been a fan of the original Plants vs Zombies title for
quite awhile, as itís as one of the most simple and fun games Iíve ever played.
So like everyone else that played it, I waited and waited for a sequel to come
along. It took four years, but itís here at long last in Plants vs
Zombies 2: Itís About Time. Featuring new plants, zombies, a
time-travel element, being free-to-play and more, it seemed like the perfect
sequel. Still, there are a few weeds that might leave some on the fence about the sequel.
The first couple of levels serve as an extended tutorial of sorts and
introduces players to Crazy Dave, the aptly-named neighbor from the original
game. After completing the tutorial section, he celebrates by enjoying a taco, but it turns out the taco was so delicious he decides to go back in time just so he
can eat it again. He takes you along for the ride in his talking, time-traveling
car, but goes too far back in time to ancient Egypt where youíll have to once
again use plants to fight off the mummified zombies there.
Thereís three different worlds youíll make your way through: Egypt, Pirates, and
The Old West. Each world has plenty of levels to work your way
through, and luckily youíll come across some familiar plant buddies from the
first title, along with some new ones such as bloomerangs, coconut cannons,
iceberg lettuce, and spring beans just to name a few that will aid you in your quest. This is one of the few
games where the touchscreen controls are practically perfect, as touching and
dragging your plants to where you want them has never been easier. Thereís also
some pretty sweet upgrades and power-ups you can use now, like plant food that
will give your plants temporary boosts. For example, feeding it to the sunflowers will cause them to give up tons of sun for you to use, or feeding the peashooters will morph them into machine
gun-like shooters that will lay waste to anything in their way. Thereís also other
power-ups that you can purchase, such as one that will allow you to flick
zombies off the screen with your finger, zap em with lightning and more. But
this leads to some of the not-so-good features of the game.
First letís address the elephant in the room, this being a ďfreemiumĒ title.
Now if you want, you donít have to buy anything from the in-game store, making
it a truly 100% free game. But the trick is that the difficulty has been ramped
up quite a bit from the original title. So while hardcore gamers might not mind,
casual gamers on the other hand will most likely get frustrated and turn to
buying the extras such as suped up plants, coins, etc. For example, you need to
collect a certain amount of the newly added stars while playing in order to
unlock the next world, and the only way to do it is by completing difficult
tasks in the new challenge levels. Doing these tasks such as ďkill X amount of
zombiesĒ in a certains amount of time or ďdonít use more than X amount of sunĒ
over and over again to collect the stars is bound to piss off even the most
hardcore of gamers out there. So while I do love the fact the game is free,
making things difficult and frustrating to push most to spend $6 or more (you
can easily blow a lot of cash if youíre not careful) is sure
to put a lot of players on the fence about the overall experience here.
Back on the plus side, the graphics and animation have been greatly improved
this time around, as everything looks and moves with the greatest of detail.
Things such as the peashooters puffing up their cheeks before spitting, the
shadows and shading on the plants, zombies and backgrounds makes everything just
look plain better. The music and sounds are just as great, as most of them are
reused from the original but still sound much improved as well.
While the ramped-up difficulty may push some to pay for in-app purchases may
frustrate casual fans, Plants vs Zombies 2: Itís About Time is still a
fun and intimately playable title that everyone with an iOS device should experience, especially
since itís free. With new plants, zombies, and power-ups that are sure to bring
a smile to your face as you play, fans of the original are bound to plant a victory garden
with this release. Just be prepared to water it with cash.