Plants vs. Zombies Review (PlayStation Vita)

PopCap Games’ residential puzzle/action game fits right in to the Vita line-up.

There’s a reason Electronic Arts dropped a billion or so dollars into PopCap Games when they acquired them last year.  This development team single-handedly makes some of the most addictive games on the planet, ranging from the ball-dropping Peggle to the gem-switching Bejeweled to the shooting madness of Heavy Weapon.  There’s literally something for everyone.  Even Plants vs. Zombies, a game that sounds incredibly farfetched in concept, works oh so well, no matter what platform it’s on.  And this logic holds true to the PlayStation Vita version, which is as fun as any of the others.

The game essentially puts you in a micromanagement role, with a backyard being overrun by various zombie types.  Rather than try to dispatch them yourself, you call upon members of the plant kingdom to do their worst against the horde, from spitter plants to sunflowers that help boost your supply to cherry bombs.  The more you proceed into the game, the more plants you’re able to unlock for your arsenal.  But be careful.  For each new weapon you acquire, a new member of the zombie nation rises up, tougher to knock down than the usual group.

That’s part of the joyous fun of Plants vs. Zombies, being able to progress and actually be challenged with each new level that comes forward.  You’ll discover new strategies and ways to boost your score with each passing stage, and eventually get to the point you can manage a whole garden full of plants while the zombie horde comes stumbling along.  It looks difficult but, in true PopCap fashion, it’s anything but.

The core gameplay remains intact, but PlayStation Vita users have the best of both worlds when it comes to control.  On the one hand, you can use routine analog/D-pad movements for your on-screen cursor, choosing your plant and placing it right where you need to.  But the game also integrates touch screen control, and you can shift back and forth between the two hassle free – something you don’t see in too many Vita offerings these days.  It truly is addictive, and fun to play the first few hours in as it is the first time you boot it up.