Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plants Vs. Zombies: A Zombie Experience for the Whole Family

For all of you who visit this blog, I don't want you to think that I spend much of my time surfing the web for the most depressing stories that I can find.  I have been meaning to make posts of a lighter nature, which is kind of hard to do, since I look at life so much differently than I did just a few short years ago.  Nonetheless, I do things for fun.  I have been a gamer for many years, and will most likely continue to be one until I die or the grid goes down. 

Anyway, I wanted to let you know of a game that I am currently playing.  Upon first glance, I was cynical.  I am a huge fan of the subgenre of horror called, I guess, zombie.  I love the Romero films (save his last one, "Survival of the Dead", which sucked; sorry, George), the "Resident Evil" series and the works of Max Brooks (he wrote the books "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "World War Z").  I love the zombie genre due to the utter terror presented in the various works, and the social commentary that is often present in them (particularly the works of Romero and Max Brooks).  "Plants Vs. Zombies" has neither of these things.  Upon first glance, it is a family-accessible game, and that's why I was cynical.  I couldn't see zombies in a kid-friendly light.  Imagine my surprise when I began to play the game (via a trial download on XBox Live) and was fully immersed in it.  "Plants Vs. Zombies" is what is known as a "tower defense" game, in which you must defend some piece of territory from an invading menace.  In this case, the "territory" is your suburban house and the "invading menace", of course, are the undead.  You must use sunflowers (and the sun itself) to grow zombie-killing plants and seeds.  How you use the sun, and which plants you plant, are instrumental in how you will fare against the zombies. 

There is lots of cartoon-type violence, rather than the intense, bloody kind that often pervades other works in the zombie genre, but that was okay with me.  The game is very addicting, and I've often lost track of time while playing it.  There are also various modes of play (in addition to Adventure, there is also Survival, Minigames and one other mode).  If there is one quirk with the game, I find it to be pretty easy.  I am currently at Stage 4 (each stage has 10 levels), and have never really had a serious problem getting through the game.  But after the last game I played (Jak II for the Playstation 2, which can be insanely difficult), I can't really complain.  The game is available for many platforms (PC, Xbox, PS3, and also the iPod/Droid if you want to game on the go).  I got it for the PC; Steam (an online game service) has it for $10.  I highly recommend it, and again, it's really family-friendly. 

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